October Art Journal Prompts | Collage Ideas

Sometimes you’ll want to make a collage but have NO idea what to collage about. A good way to jump start the creation process is by using a prompt! For this prompt list, I’ve focused on things that can be translated visually, e.g. colors or images or both. Here you’ll find ideas for colors, subject images, and themes to use in your collages in October.

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October Prompt Art Sample

Here’s a how-to video on creating a digital collage using Canva, inspired by this month’s art journal prompts!

Birthstone Color Palette

The birthstone for October is Opal, which is known for its shifting rainbow colors. What’s neat about this color palette is that it’s not obviously autumn-y nor Halloween-y, which is great for people who want to do something other than the typical brown/orange/black colors.

Tip: Upload this color palette to Canva’s color palette generator to get the exact hex code you want!

Word Association

Use these as starting points for brainstorming collage subjects or making a mind map.

Autumn splendor: leaves changing colors; ripe pumpkins; shortened days and dusk coming earlier; cooler temperatures and digging out sweaters to wear; animals migrating and preparing for winter.

Start of the holiday season: anticipation, planning and preparation; vacations, time off from work, de-stress; family, getting together, reuniting after a long separation, sharing food and friendship.

Preparing for winter: digging out winter clothes from storage; stockpiling food and filling the pantry; soups and hot cocoa; knitting warm hats, cozy blankets and thick socks.

Since I live in the northern hemisphere, this is very focused on autumn-turning-into-winter. If you live in the southern hemisphere, then your seasons are reverse– so consider seasons changing from spring to summer.

Zodiac Signs & Associations

October has two zodiac signs: Libra, the scales, and Scorpio, the scorpion. Here are some associations and keywords for those two zodiac signs:


Element: Air
Ruling Planet: Venus
Spirit Color: Blue
Lucky Gem: Sapphire
Flower: Rose


Element: Water
Ruling Planet: Pluto, Mars
Spirit Color: Black
Lucky Gem: Topaz & opal
Flower: Hibiscus & geraniums

Remember, you don’t have to be born in October to use either birthstones or Zodiac signs for ideas! They’re just starting off points, to be used for brainstorming colors and image ideas.

October Full Moon Names

According to the Old Farmer’s Almanac, the full moon in October is called the Full Hunter’s Moon. Time for hunting and laying in supplies for the upcoming winter!

Other October moon names are: Drying Rice Moon, Falling Leaves Moon, Freezing Moon, Ice Moon, Migrating Moon.

Holidays and events

October has one of the big holidays in it: Halloween! If you’ve ever been inclined to make art featuring witches, warlock, and ghosts, now’s the time to do it.

If you want to go the non-traditional route, there are many other holidays to get inspired by. NationalToday.com has a complete list of holidays and events throughout October. Here’s some of my favorites:

  • Oct. 1: International Coffee Day
  • Oct. 4: World Animal Day
  • Oct. 5: National Get Funky Day
  • Oct. 9: World Post Day
  • Oct. 16: Dictionary Day
  • Oct. 20: International Sloth Day
  • Oct. 22: International Caps Lock Day
  • Oct. 25: International Artist Day
  • Oct. 26: National Pumpkin Day
  • Oct. 31: ​National Caramel Apple Day

And of course there’s the biggie, Halloween, on October 31st as well!

Inspirational Quotes

Quotes are my favorite way to brainstorm a collage subject. Here’s some quotes about the month of October which I find particularly nice:

“Ah, Lovely October, as you usher in the season that awakens my soul, your awesome beauty compels my spirit to soar like a leaf caught in an autumn breeze and my heart to sing like a heavenly choir.” ― Peggy Toney Horton

“Autumn serenades the breeze into dancing a cha cha cha; the mountains echo in the background. October sky never looked more charming nor the sublime leaves of the trees so graceful.” ― Avijeet Das

“October had tremendous possibility. The summer’s oppressive heat was a distant memory, and the golden leaves promised a world full of beautiful adventures. They made me believe in miracles.” ― Sarah Guillory

“He loved October. Had always loved it. There was something sad and beautiful about it – the ending and beginning of things.” ― Jacqueline Woodson

“Pumpkins in October, as fat as the full moon, they sit on our doorstep at night and glow.” ― Richelle E. Goodrich

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