In this project we used all recycled materials to create an art project with lots of color and fun detail!
For our base we used pre cut cereal boxes which provided a nice stiff surface. Any kind of recycled cardboard will work great. After our background was colored with a first layer of ripped up tissue paper we added wrapping paper, magazines, dictionary pages, comics, wallpaper samples, unclaimed art, maps and even paint chips. We used white glue diluted with water.

  • Stiff background: cereal box or cardboard
  • Paper ephemera: tissue paper we added wrapping paper, magazines, dictionary pages, comics, wallpaper samples, unclaimed art, maps and even paint chips
  • White glue (or Mod Podge)
  • Brush for glue

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We call this process “glue, paper, glue”  because first you apply glue, then paper, then glue on top to create a nice glaze and really hold the paper in place. This is a great way to practice fine motor skills as you have to treat the tissue paper delicately. We had a lot of fun overlapping different color tissue papers and watching what colors we could make. The color in the tissue paper also bleeds out into the glue so this became a fun lesson in color mixing!

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Adding materials was very engaging as we looked for different patterns, words and pictures in the box of ripped up materials, almost like a scavenger hunt. Ripping up materials was also a fun task for children that moved through the first part of this project quickly.

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Your hands can get very sticky during this project so we had wet towels out for students that were sensitive to the stickiness.

Don’t worry, the glue dries clear!

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We focused on the concept of overlapping and filling up every space with colors and patterns. To cover up small spaces we added more tissue paper which still let other patterns and materials shine through. Some children picked a color theme for their collage or were inspired by different shapes and images they found.

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At the end each collages looked so different, three dimensional and beautiful!

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