September Art Journal Prompts & Ideas for Collage

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 September.

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Digital Collage Example

Follow along as I make a digital collage using ideas from this post:

I make all my collages using Canva, a browser-based image editing website. You can make your collages however you feel most comfortable– even in traditional paper style, if you want!

Birthstone Color Palette

The birthstone for September is Sapphire. Typically the blue version is what comes to mind for that specific birthstone (and that’s what I’ll use for this inspiration post), but sapphires actually come in many different colors besides blue.

Sapphires traditionally symbolize sincerity, truth, faithfulness and nobility.

Here’s a color palette inspired by sapphires:

Tip: Upload this color palette into your image editing software to use it as a base for picking colors!

Word Association

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

Beginning of fall: days getting shorter; leaves falling and coating the ground; plants dying; seeds waiting until the spring to come back up; harvesting season.

Cooler weather: pulling out sweaters and heavier blankets; stocking up on hot cocoa and soup; thick socks and cozy fleece; rainy days; getting the fireplace ready to use.

The cusp of changing seasons: interstitial moments; not being one thing or the other; hot one day and cold the next; slowly adjusting to the new normal.

Since I live in the northern hemisphere, all my associations with September have to do with autumn, but if you live in the southern hemisphere then your seasons will obviously be switched! Also, in Southern California we tend to have hot weather up until the end of October, unfortunately. I miss my cozy socks!

Zodiac Signs & Associations

September has two zodiac signs spanning it: Virgo and Libra. Virgo is most often visualized as a maiden, while Libra is a set of scales.

Here are some associations and keywords for those two zodiac signs (edited slightly for relevancy):


Element: Earth
Ruling Planet: Mercury
Spirit Color: Silver
Lucky Gem: Perido
Flower: Sunflower & marigold


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

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

September Full Moon Names

According to The Old Farmer’s Almanac, September’s moon is called the Full Corn Moon (or Harvest Moon) and corresponds with the yearly corn harvest.

Here are some name variations (mostly on a similar harvesting theme): Autumn Moon, Child Moon, Falling Leaves Moon, Leaves Turning Moon, Mating Moon, Moon of Brown Leaves, Moon When the Rice is Laid Up to Dry, Rutting Moon, Yellow Leaf Moon.

Holidays and events has a complete list of holidays and events throughout September. Here’s some of my favorites:

  • Sept. 4: National Wildlife Day
  • Sept. 6: National Read a Book Day
  • Sept. 7: Telephone Tuesdays
  • Sept. 12: National Video Games Day
  • Sept. 13: European Heritage Days
  • Sept. 14: National Coloring Day
  • Sept. 16: Collect Rocks Day
  • Sept. 19: Talk Like a Pirate Day
  • Sept. 21: Harvest Moon Festival
  • Sept. 22: Hobbit Day
  • Sept. 24: World’s Biggest Coffee Morning
  • Sept. 25: National Bunny Day
  • Sept. 27: World Tourism Day
  • Sept. 30: National Love People Day

These have strong visual ideas behind them, making it easier to pick focus images and related ephemera for a collage. For instance, “Collect Rocks Day” doesn’t sound very exciting on the surface, but think of all the cool rocks and rock-related things you can pull inspiration from. Marble statues can make for striking focus images (for example), and the insides of geodes look really neat when layers behind something.

Inspirational Quotes

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

“September was a thirty-days long goodbye to summer, to the season that left everybody both happy and weary of the warm, humid weather and the exhausting but thrilling adventures.” – Lea Malot

“I cannot endure to waste anything so precious as autumnal sunshine by staying in the house.” – Nathaniel Hawthorne

“Fall has always been my favorite season. The time when everything bursts with its last beauty, as if nature had been saving up all year for the grand finale.” – Lauren DeStefano

“By all these lovely tokens, September days are here. With summer’s best of weather and autumn’s best of cheer.” – Helen Hunt Jackson

“We know that in September, we will wander through the warm winds of summer’s wreckage. We will welcome summer’s ghost.” – Henry Rollins

You don’t have to use the entire quote and you don’t have to put it on your collage. Just think of how the quote makes you feel, and if it brings any specific images or colors to mind.

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