Discover 4 Techniques for Creating Stunning Collage Papers with Magazine Image Transfers

Discover how to layer magazine images with underlying text or patterns for a textured effect.

I am thrilled to share this new technique with you, magazine image transfers. In this demo, I’ll show you four different ways to incorporate magazine image transfers into your art. I don’t know about you, but I have a huge collection of magazine and images that have built up over the years, and this is technique is a great opportunity to use up some of that content and create new papers with supplies I already have in my studio.

The first thing to remember is selecting the right type of paper to place your transfer onto — like heavy mixed media paper or watercolor paper. You could certainly use a simple copy paper, but a sturdier base works better when you want to use it as a collage background. It’s also important to choose the right magazine images. I aimed for lighter colored pieces because they let the bottom layers, like text or other prints, show through. You don’t want an image that’s too dark as it’ll overpower the texture beneath it. Think light tones and images with plenty of white space.

Next up, the materials. A roller or brayer, some matte medium (though gloss medium works too), and a rubber cement eraser are going to be your best friends. I also tried out a sponge with a bristly scrubby side, which turned out to be a game-changer for getting that stubborn magazine pulp off..

The process itself is pretty straightforward. After prepping the base layer with some glue, you place your chosen magazine image face down and roll it flat. Once it’s dry, the real magic happens. Using a sponge or a rubber cement eraser, you gently rub off the paper pulp, revealing the transfer underneath. The trick is to be gentle—too much force and you might end up with some unintended bald spots on your image. But hey, even the imperfections add a unique touch.

Don’t be afraid to experiment. Whether your project turns out exactly as planned or takes on a life of its own, the process is half the fun. In an upcoming YouTube video, I’ll show you how I used these images in collages. Stay tune!

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Supplies Used

Mixed media paper 108 lb. 
Or Water color paper 

Light colored book pages, letters, etc.
Matte medium 


Sponge with abrasion 

Rubber cement eraser 

Krylon Workable Fixative 

*Some links are affiliate links which pay a small commission to support the production of this art demo series, while not costing you anything more.

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All artwork is the sole property of Catherine Rains and is held under copyright, even after purchase.The images, artwork, and contents of this website may not be copied, collected, or used for personal or professional gain without the written permission from Catherine Rains. Images on this website taken by Laura Thompkins or Catherine Rains.