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Free Images & Collage Sheets

Updated on June 21, 2017
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Lisa Vollrath is a prolific mixed-media artist whose work includes altered books, art journals, collage, gluebooks, and paper crafts.

There are over 1,000 free collage sheets posted at Go Make Something.
There are over 1,000 free collage sheets posted at Go Make Something. | Source

Looking For Free Images & Collage Sheets?

Like many mixed-media and collage artists, I've amassed a huge collection of stock photos to use in my work. Assembling a large number of images can get expensive quickly if you start purchasing vintage photos and postcards to scan. If you're looking for contemporary imagery, it can take hundreds of hours of shooting photos to get a wide enough range to be useful.

That's where free images can help you out. If you're just looking for images for your personal work, there are many sites that offer free images, collage sheets, and other goodies that might be useful to paper artists.

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Big Free Image Sites

The sites listed below each offer tons of free images specifically for creative use. If you're looking for quantity, start here. Remember to check any copyright or usage restrictions on each site or sheet before downloading using free images.

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Check Before You Download

Before you download any free images or collage sheets, be sure to check the copyright information, usage restrictions, and angel policies.

  • Many free images and collage sheets are offered for personal use only, which means you can't use them for any commercial purpose. This could prohibit you from using the images in work you want to sell, or from displaying them on sites that are supported by advertising.
  • Some images, particularly photographs, may be offered free for any use with credit. If you can't figure out how to credit the photographer on whatever you're making, you shouldn't use their images.

Always respect the rights and policies associated with the images offered online. It only takes a few people misusing them to push the owners to make them unavailable, which hurts everyone in the long run.

It goes without saying that if you should violate the usage rights on images, you open yourself up to legal action, which may mean lawyers and courtrooms, and almost definitely will mean the filing of a DMCA (Digital Millennium Copyright Act) complaint against your display of anything that violates those rights online. DMCA complaints could get you in a heap of trouble with your web hosting company.

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Government Freebies

Many government departments and agencies maintain large online image collections. Again, be sure to check the usage and copyright information posted on each site.

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Tips For Successful Printing

To get really beautiful, vivid color, don't waste your time printing your digital images and sheets with your home inkjet printer. Have them printed on a color laser printer.

  • Load them on a flash drive and take them to your local copy shop or office supply center. Most places like Office Depot, Staples, and Kinko’s will be happy to print them for you, on your choice of paper.
  • Upload them to a printing service. Those same office supply centers will all let you upload your files from home, place your order online, and pay with a credit or debit card. Next time you’re out, you can go pick up your printed sheets.

If you’re not sure what to ask for, here’s the information I would give any print shop if I wanted them to print my sheets for me:

  • Print on a color laser printer.
  • Print on 32lb color laser paper with a brightness of 98. I use Hammermill laser print paper with those specifications, but there are other brands that will fit the bill.

Stock Photography Freebies

Many photographers share their work on free stock photo sites. Be sure to check the terms for these if you're doing anything other than personal, non-commercial work.

More Free Collage Images

These sites offer a smaller selection of collage images and sheets.

Where Do You Find FREE Images?

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    • Terrielynn1 profile image

      Terrie Lynn 2 months ago from Canada

      This article is very helpful thank you for writing it. I am going to try some of these for images.

    • Lori P. profile image

      Lori Chidori Phillips 6 months ago from Southern California USA

      Great resources! Thanks!

    • ketage profile image

      ketage 23 months ago from Croatia

      Great list of resources, I am working on a new recipe book and will use some of these resources for backdrops and graphics to make the book more aesthetically pleasing :)

    • peachpurple profile image

      peachy 2 years ago from Home Sweet Home

      wow, these sites gives lots of awesome links to great images

    • RadaFrancis LM profile image

      RadaFrancis LM 5 years ago

      great lens! Thank you for posting all of the free resources :)

    • junecampbell profile image

      June Campbell 5 years ago from North Vancouver, BC, Canada

      This lens is a wonderful resource. Many thanks.