Art-Making Activity: Photo-Transfer Collage

Bring your family together in a photo collage! Gather family members from across the generations in a group photo collage that will not damage your original photographs in this step-by-step art-making activity. 


André Kertész (American, b. Hungary, 1894–1985), In Mondrian’s Studio, 1926–1928, Gelatin silver print, 4 x 3 ¼ in., Museum purchase, Women’s Volunteer Committee Fund and Dr. Ralph Fabacher, 73.173




  • Photocopies of family photographs
  • Clear packing tape
  • Scissors
  • Thick paper in a light color
  • *Colored pencils
  • *Markers
  • *Ribbon
  • *Washi tape 
  • *Upcycled magazines



1. Before you begin, collect a few family photos and photocopy them in black and white.  Print one or two copies of each found photo.

2. Place clear packing tape over the printed photograph slightly overlapping each piece of tape. Cover the entire image.


3. Cut away excess paper and trim the image with tape over it to the desired size.

4. Turn the image over (tape side down) and apply a light coat of water using a sponge or paint brush.

5. Gently rub away the paper with your fingers. Be careful not to rub too hard and tear the tape. You have transferred the photo to the tape!


6. Let the photo transfer dry and make some more transfers if you like. Gather a few family members from different photos (and maybe different generations!) onto one collaged image.

7. Add some color using colored pencils and markers on the back of the transfer (sticky side of tape).


8. When all transfers are dry, arrange them on the thick paper. You can also trim away some of the image if you like. When you are happy with the layout, tape them to the paper using clear or decorative tape.

9. Create a frame around your photo transfer collage with ribbon, washi tape, or other decorative materials. You may also choose to embellish the portrait with colored pencil, markers, or paper collage. Add a hat or an object that reveals something about that family member.


View other at-home art-making activities that can engage all ages.