So after watching all of Laura's tutorials, and seeing the technique she uses to adhere her collage papers, I went right out and bought myself a tacking iron.
I'm in love with this process.
Here's how it works.
You coat your substrate and both sides of your collage papers with polymer medium. You let them dry. You assemble your collage layers in a pleasing manner. The slight stickyness of the polymer medium makes it really easy to stick papers down temporarily. I don't know about you, but when I compose with untreated papers, they are constantly sliding around, blowing off or curling up and it's really hard to plan a composition. These papers are kind of like colorforms. You can stick them down and peel them up again until you're happy with the arrangement. And once you are? You cover the collage with a piece of parchment paper and iron the whole thing down with your nifty little tack iron.
All your papers are perfectly adhered without wrinkles or bubbles and without spontaneously deciding to fall off after the glue has dried.
I've done 20 collages this way so far, and they are smooth and flat and permanent. I may never use glue again.
I spent a great deal of time over the weekend prepping favorite bits of collage fodder with polymer medium so I'll be ready to collage at a moments notice.
Contrary to the above caption, I'm feeling pretty smart.