I had an piece of map that I wanted to use in collage. One way to make a sturdier element is to turn a paper piece into a gel transfer. This is done by coating the item over and over (usually at least 3 times) with acrylic matte medium and then allowing it to dry for 24 hours. Soak the item in water and rub the paper off the back. It creates a plasticized collage piece that has some transparency.