SoulCollage® Tips and Resources

Copyright Free Images

Note: Because every site's image terms of use and policies can change over time, it's highly recommended to review image use guidelines, FAQ, privacy and any other pages that relate to correct use of the site's images before downloading or purchasing.
For every site you consider using for images always be sure to read the “fine print” for usage guidelines or terms of use. Once informed, take great care to adhere to the terms.


A Guide to the Web's Growing Set of Free Image Collections - Several interesting sources, including museums, NASA, and more.

The Getty Museum - Open Content Program.
High-resolution, reproduction-quality images with embedded metadata, some over 100 megabytes in size. Browse all available images here, or look for individual “download” links on the Getty Museum’s collection pages.

Colleen Benelli, a SoulCollage® Facilitator and Reiki Practitioner, offers copyright free images in photo galleries on her website. These images can be downloaded free in different sizes, including 5 x 8. Visit

Creative Commons -

morgueFile -

Dreamtime -

Gimp Savvy -

iStockphoto - Photos come with restrictions; price per image varies depending on how you intend to use it. -

An annotated list of website with free images:

Courtesy of Ina Armstrong for SoulCollage® use at her PhotoBucket site: 

Finding Copyright Free Images via Google Search

A tip from Daniel Cook, SoulCollage® Facilitator and owner of

"Google software engineers unveiled a change to Google's Image Search that will speed up your ability to find copyright free images! By checking a few boxes in the "Usage rights" section of the advanced image search page, you can now filter every image Google has ever indexed so that you see only files tagged with a license that allows re-use of the image. What if you need to modify the image and then use it for commercial purposes? No problem -- just select which level of usage rights you need in a drop-down menu and Google will narrow the search even further. See the full article by Google.
Here is a sample that I compiled of search terms and how many images appeared, showing only images labeled for "reuse with modification":
Spirit: 573      Woman: 481      Man: 508       Lion: 413      Stress: 444
Beauty: 393    Nature: 461       Birds: 501

High Resolution/Pixel Guidelines

Use the following minimum numbers to select images that would be sharp (not fuzzy or “pixilated”) when large enough for a full 5”x8” SoulCollage® card:
1) File Size: 744 KB    
2a) Width: 5" or 750 px    
2b) Height: 8" or 1200 px
(all above translate to 150 dpi)
Files that are larger than this file size (1) or larger than these dimensions (2a , 2b) yield an image that is 150 dpi and is safe to use to fill the entire 5”x8” card.


(dpi = dots per inch and designates whether an image is scanned or created with enough pixels to yield a quality print for the method which it is printed. 150 is generally sufficient for inkjet or laser desktop printers and 300 is required for traditional offset printing which you would go to a print shop for.)"

Technique: Image Transfers with Tape

Submitted by SoulCollage® Facilitator Consuelo Tolosa, MA-ATR

**Note: Most people simply use glue to adhere images to their SoulCollage® cards, but this method was offered by one SoulCollage® Facilitator/artist and provides an interesting alternative process.

Needed: Tape Transfers materials: Inexpensive, transparent packaging tape, glossy magazine images, a bucket of water, towel

Choose your image and place the tape over it. Smooth it with your fingertip and then burnish it with something smooth. This step is very important because it is when you get the ink off the paper and on the tape. I use a bone folder; if you are not a book-binder you may use a spoon or the rounded wood edge of one of a rubber stamp. Soak the image in a bowl of room-temperature water for at least 5 minutes. If you are making several transfers at a time and you leave them in longer, you may have an easier time with this next step.

Peel the magazine paper off the back and then rub any residual paper off under running water. If you use a moist towel and rub, you may lose some of the image, but the effect may be nice too. Make sure you get as much paper off as possible to get the clearest transfer. Pat dry on a towel, and you are done! You can attach it with clear-drying glue or gel medium; sometimes the residual glue from the tape is enough.

You can make great layers for your SoulCollage® cards using this method. It is fast, easy to do and very inexpensive. You can use any clear packaging tape, I prefer generic tape from the dollar store. Glossy magazine images work the best -- the thinner the paper the easier the transfer happens. This method will not work with color copies or printer produced images (ink-jet or laser). You can use other nicer quality pages, like National Geographic or calendar images, it just may take longer to get all the paper off and sometimes you may not be able to get it all off. It still is a good effect. If the image you want to transfer is wider than the tape you can overlap strips of tape about one quarter inch and proceed with the same steps as a single width transfer. Your larger transfer will not come apart easily and it will be hardly noticeable when you apply the transfer to your card.

Clear Card Sleeves

Many SoulCollagers like to finish and protect their cards with clear plastic bags. The following bags have been suggested by several SoulCollage® Facilitators. They can be used with or without the adhesive strip. Crystal Clear Card Sleeves


dave and john