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Anti-Painting Sundays

What do you do on a “Painting Sunday” when you run out of watercolor paper?

Well, something else, of course. And it had better be fun!

One of the challenges of establishing a regular routine for homeschooling projects—or any arts and crafts projects with children—is making sure you have all of the necessary supplies on hand. Well, we ran out of watercolor paper a few weeks ago and didn’t replace it in time for Painting Sunday. Doh!

Matt was faced with the dilemma of coming up with a last-minute art project for the kids. As usual, he delivered! We have a stack of scrapbook paper that I got at a great price last year, and he put it to great use, as you can see below. To make your own collages like these, read on…

Kelly’s Sea Collage with Goldfish Shark, Birthday Cake, Crab and Coral (8 1/2 years, June 2010)

Timmy’s Sea Collage with Sawfish, Kissy Fish, Seaweed, Coral and Cupcake (5 1/2 years, June 2010)

To do this at home, use two pieces of cardstock paper matching in size but not color. Matt chose to go with a solid background sheet and a patterned top layer.

Using the top sheet, make long, 1/4″-wide parallel cuts from one side of the paper to within 3/4″ of the other side. Children can then help twist each strip a few times and paste them to the back sheet. Because of the twists, the strips won’t reach the end of the bottom layer. Just line the strips up next to each other as you glue them, and then cut off the excess edge from the bottom sheet when you’re done.

For the critters, have children use sturdy paper—in our case watercolor scraps—to create and color any shapes they want for the collage. Then have them (or help them) cut out the shapes.

To attach the shapes to the bottom layer, use short, thin strips of paper, about 1 1/2 inches by 1/2 inch. Fold these mini-strips into Z shapes, apply glue to the upper 1/2-inch and lower 1/2-inch parts of the Z, and attach those parts to the underside of the critters and onto the bottom sheet of paper, in between the long strips of the top layer of paper.

While these have horizontal layers to represent waves, our next version will probably have vertical strips to illustrate grasses. Those will probably be populated with snakes, insects and perhaps another cake or two.

Have fun!

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