Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Collage Art!

I thought I'd share with you a simple craft idea for making your own childrens' room art. Start with art canvases of any size and paint on a layer of Gesso. Then, paint a decorative edge using acrylic art paint. Sometimes I just paint the outer edge (like in the first collage below), and sometime I have a little fun with painting on the face of the canvas itself.

Next, use any pictures you have around the house--especially in the recycling bin! I've used magazine pictures for both of these collages because the weight of the magazine paper is easy to work with. You can use anything, though: old greeting cards, used books, even junk mail.

Instead of layering all of the pictures at once, I use Modge Podge to glue down the largest pictures first. If a picture has a difficult edge (like a sunflower, for example), I'll just glue down the middle so that I can easily slide other pictures under it later.

I don't always know what pictures will go where when I start. In other words, I don't try to lay out the design all at once. I find that wanting the collage to look a specific way from the beginning is too hard to achieve. Instead, I just design as I go. To help fill spaces that occur between larger pictures, I use wax paper to trace the shape I need. Then, I put a little glue on the wax pattern, place it over the image I'm using, and cut out the desired shape. (Look at the bottom left under the turtle for an example. This space was blank for awhile until I found a little piece of "plaid". I traced the area onto wax paper and was able to fill in the space with the plaid)

When the collage is done, I seal it with a new product my mom found for me called "Triple Thick Brilliant Brush-on Gloss Glaze." I really like it. The first collage you see here is actually sealed with resin, which has a wonderfully thick, glossy finish, but is toxic and hard to mix. I'm not sure what possessed me to use a toxic material for kids art in the first place, but thankfully I'm not doing that anymore! (For a debate on resin versus triple thick glaze, check out this thread on etsy.)

I hope you try some of these ideas out. Don't feel restrained by the way I've collaged here. The beauty of this project (in addition to creating recycled art that is lightweight and doesn't need to be framed) is that everyone will make something different. Find your own collage style and encourage your children to do the same!
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1 comment:

  1. Your collages are beautiful, Kel! A few months ago I made a "vision" board that is also sort of a collage of things that you hope and dream about and wish to attract into your life for the future. Since we are waiting to adopt a baby, I have lots of pictures of babies and inspirational quotes and pictures to remind me to relax and be calm when the waiting gets tough.