Creative Collages

This year in our co-op classes, I have been teaching a senior high art class. We’ve worked on some interesting and challenging projects, but as the year comes to a close, I wanted to do some things that would be a little less time-consuming and really fun. One of those projects was creating collages.

The best part about collages is that children (and adults!) of any age can do it. Here’s what you’ll need to make your own:

  • Canvas (we used stretched canvases, 11″ x 14″)
  • Acrylic Paint (we used craft acrylics)
  • Paint Brushes
  • Sponge Brush
  • Cup with Water to clean brushes
  • Paper Towels for clean up
  • Newspaper for covering the table
  • Modge Podge (found at craft stores)
  • Items for a Collage: old game pieces or playing cards, coins, beads, dried or pressed flowers, fabric or lace scraps, old CD’s, words cut from magazines or newspapers, magazine or calendar pictures, old photos, silk flowers or leaves, broken crayons or pencils, dry pasta or rice, flower seeds, twigs, feathers, etc.

To create the collage:

1. Make a plan!  Help your child decide on a “theme” for his collage. The theme could be anything: animals, dogs, cats, space, nature, holidays, music, scouting, etc.  For example, one of my students created a collage with a meadow theme using dried flowers; another did a Biblical theme using a favorite scripture.

2. Paint the Canvas — Using the acrylic paints and paintbrushes, give your collage some background color. You can also paint the edges of the canvas for a finished look.

3. When the paint is dry (you can use a hairdryer to speed up this process), arrange the items you’re using for the collage on the canvas. Decide where each one will go.

4. With your sponge brush, dip into the jar of Modge Podge. This product works both as a glue and a varnish. Put some on the underside of your item and place it on the canvas (for larger, 3-dimensional items, you will need to use more). Then add more to the top, especially items that are very thin, such as pressed flowers or paper. Although the Modge Podge will appear white or cloudy, it will dry clear.

5. Go over the rest of your canvas with the Modge Podge for a uniform, glossy look.

That’s it!  Let it dry for a day or so (depending on how much Modge Podge you used), hang it on the wall, and enjoy!

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