Easy Bumblebee Collage

Here’s what I would call a kinder and first grade version of my Bumblebee project. I think it’s a good way to introduce children to collage as the colors are fun and bright and the cutting is pretty basic. PREP: I bought most of my colored papers at Staples. The letter size cardstock comes in multipacks, … Read More

Geometric Bumblebees

I tried this little formula for a bumblebee collage with my kinders last year, and they did a great job. It’s also fun to replicate in many sizes for a little perspective fun. 1. Trace yellow cardstock circles of varying sizes. Cut out and cut in half. 2. Cut black and white strips of paper and … Read More

Earth Day Collage

Magazine collages can be striking works of art, but I find that when students work on their own, they tend not to finish. If you approach them as group projects though, a lot of progress can be made in a short amount of time. This was created by 35 fourth graders in about 45 minutes. PREP: … Read More

Sticker Snowman Card

Office stickers make these snowmen a breeze to put together, so students can concentrate on creating a short story. And with just a few adjustments to the placement of the eyes, nose and buttons, all kinds of body positions are possible. PREP: Cut lots of 2.25″ x 4.25″ rectangles (with a paper cutter) from multicolored card … Read More

Tissue Paper Leaves

Fall leaves are made of lots of fun curvy shapes, so I had my art journal students trace them today to make a tissue paper collage of maple, white oak, elm and maple leaves. 1. Download my leaf line art and print a page for each student. Pass out lots of rectangles of tissue paper that … Read More

Collage Name Card

Lately I’ve been inspired by scrapbook artists and the layered-looking collages they often create. This project lets students get creative and colorful with the letters in their name. SESSION ONE 1. Cut enough 9″ x 12″ drawing paper into fourths measuring 4.5″ x 6″ to furnish each student with one page for each letter in their … Read More

Recycled Rooster

Save all those clean packing boxes, such as for cereal and pasta, and you can make some really colorful collage roosters. For a lead in story, “Farmyard Beat” is perfect and actually the inspiration for this project. 1. Most 1st graders have trouble drawing large sizes, so I made templates for them to trace. They just … Read More

Fun with William Wegman

William Wegman is a photographer famous for his compositions with his Weimaraner dogs. His fascination with humanizing his animals has created hundreds of amazing videos and photographs. I like his book shown here as it shows the dogs in many everyday poses. • View and download Dog Head Template 1. Print Dog Head template and gave … Read More

Scotch Tape Fall Trees

All the supplies for these fall art trading cards actually came from my local Staples store. It seems they now stock this cool new Scotch Expressions masking tape, which makes the perfect tree collage art. 1. Cut 2.5″ x 3.5″ cards from cardstock paper. 2. Students use an assortment of Scotch masking tape to cut and … Read More

Tissue Paper Fall Leaves

These are cut out tissue paper leaves outlined with a gold marker, and enhanced with just a bit of watercolor paint. 1. I used my “How to Draw a Maple Leaf” post to create a paper template, and traced it on the tissue paper (mine was an American Greetings® brand from the drug store). I found … Read More

Matisse Patterned Collage

Henri Matisse, an important French artist, loved all kinds of patterns. Not only the decorative forms he created, but also reproductions of tapestries, embroideries, silks and more. A recent donation of leftover wallpaper inspired this project. 1. Give each student a 12″ square of chip board for mounting. Pass out a variety of wallpapers cut in … Read More

Faith Ringgold Flag Collage

Faith Ringgold, an African-American artist, is best known for her large story quilts. In 1985 she made a piece titled “Flag Story Quilt” which inspired this collage. 1. To help cut swatches, I gave the students a template to follow, printed on 8.5″ x 11″ cardstock. I passed out several old magazines to have them cut out swatches of red, and … Read More

Butterfly Leaves

This project was inspired by Lois Ehlert’s beautiful book “Leaf Man”. A little technology, namely stock photography and a color printer, helped me make dozens of flat, easy to cut and glue leaves. 1. If you are so fortunate as to live near some fall foliage, you can take the real thing to a color copier and … Read More

Torn Magazine Duck Collage

I adore torn edges. They have a way of making shapes that would never happen if you started cutting away with a pair of scissors. 1. Find two magazine pages with similar shades of yellow, and two with similar shades of orange. 2. Tear small shapes from both sheets of yellow and glue to make up … Read More

“My Favorite” Collage

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This could be called “My Favorite” page, which could include food, pets, flowers, clothes … anything that is easy to find in your average magazine. 1. I found my photo first, and glued it to the center of the page. 2. I wrote in curved lines, “My Favorite” on top and then “Oatmeal Cookies” below with … Read More

Collage Name Card

Lately I’ve been inspired by scrapbook artists and the layered-looking collages they often create. This project lets students get creative and colorful with the letters in their name. SESSION ONE 1. Cut enough 9″ x 12″ drawing paper into fourths measuring 4.5″ x 6″ to furnish each student with one page for each letter in their … Read More

Arcimboldo “Fruit Face”

Giuseppe Arcimboldo was an Italian artist from the 1500s who spent years working as an official court painter. He developed a style of composing portraits from fruits, vegetables, etc., which was uniquely his own. There’s a great book about him called “Fruit Face” which is what I used to introduce this lesson. 1. Find lots of … Read More

California Collage

    My experience with collage is that students enjoy them, but often have trouble filling a paper in one class session. I thought that if they all work on one large project, they might stay on task a little better. I’ve made a large multi-page California template that measures about 30″ tall. • View and download California … Read More

Tissue Paper Collage

This is really good for young kids (age 5 and 6) who may not have used a paint brush before. The only catch is finding liquid starch, which seems to have been replaced by new products. 1. Students make a collage with just warm colors: red, yellow and orange. Give them a few dozen tissue paper … Read More

Romare Bearden-Style Collage

Many art historians consider Romare Bearden to be one of America’s most important and inventive artists. Bearden loved collage, combining painting, magazine clippings, old paper and fabric together like a jigsaw puzzle. This project gives a nod to Bearden’s love of photos and texture, but also offers a kinder / 1st grade version of my “Collage … Read More

Faith Ringgold Flag Quilt

Faith Ringgold, an African-American artist, is best known for her large story quilts. In 1985 she made a piece titled “Flag Story Quilt” which inspired this collage. 1. To help cut swatches, I gave the students a template to follow, printed on 8.5″ x 11″ cardstock. I passed out several old magazines to have them cut out swatches of red, and … Read More

Cut and Tear Cityscape Collage

This comes from “The Usborne Book of Art Skills” which has a ton of great art ideas. 1. Begin with a description of neutral colors, which are the only ones used in this collage. Give the studentsa 9″ x 12″ sheet of white paper and several of neutral construction paper (black, brown, tan, gray, etc.) I … Read More

“My Hand” Collage

I’m experimenting with different ways for students to start the school year off with an expressive project. Aside from drawing their faces, tracing their hands and making a collage / painting can make some very colorful and individualistic art. And most classroom teachers love having colorful art right away to fill their classroom walls. 1. Using … Read More

Fruity People Collage

One CA Visual Art Standard centers around how to create feelings with one’s own artwork. This book “How Are You Peeling?” is full of some very creative photographs of fruit and vegetables, all made to reflect a wide variety of emotions. Reading it first helps to make connections that certain shapes can look a lot like … Read More

CD Case Diorama

Here’s one more recycle project – using a CD case, cardboard boxes, and dried beans. 1. Collect clean cardboard packages, such as those used for cereal, crackers, pencils and markers. Open them up and cut out simple vehicle shapes, along with mountains, trees and sun. 2. Glue a small amount of dried beans to the inside … Read More

La Boca House Collage

La Boca is a neighborhood, or barrio of the Argentine capital, Buenos Aires and is a popular destination because of its colorful houses. Looking at lots of photos of these amazing buildings is a good way to start this project. 1. I discovered these really cool Fiskar paper crimpers at JoAnn Fabrics, and brought several to … Read More

California Collage with PDF Template

My experience with collage is that students enjoy them, but often have trouble filling a paper in one class session. I thought that if they all work on one large project, they might stay on task a little better. I’ve made a large multi-page California template that measures about 30″ tall. The file may be downloaded HERE. 1. To … Read More

Collage Figure Study

This project makes learning figure proportions fun, while still allowing room for creativity. Many poses are possible when your figure can bend in so many ways. 1. Background collage: Each student needs a background piece of 9″ x 12″ construction paper, and then 2 other panels that were roughly 5″ x 12″ (I used green and … Read More

House Collage

This is a fill-in-the-blanks kind of challenge for students, which can be easier than starting a drawing from scratch. I looked online for architecture photos, and printed them out in black and white. You could also just xerox magazine photos. Look for a variety of images, making sure to have a selection of house parts including … Read More

Cool and Warm Color Collage

The very first color theory lesson that students as young as 1st grade can learn is which colors are considered ‘warm’ and which are ‘cool’. Seeking out examples of the colors in magazines and using repetition helps store these two categories to memory. 1. I used my computer and printer to make sheets with windows and … Read More

Torn Duck Collage

I adore torn edges. They have a way of making shapes that would never happen if you started cutting away with a pair of scissors. 1. Find two magazine pages with similar shades of yellow, and two with similar shades of orange. 2. Tear small shapes from both sheets of yellow and glue to make up … Read More