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by | Jul 24, 2020 | Collage, Painting | 0 comments

This is a great collaborative activity that can entertain a whole group of kiddos. The bigger the collage the more kids can participate!

Recycled Collage Painting

Inspired by artbarblog


Large piece of Cardboard for Backing
Variety of Cardboard Recycleable Materials (Paper Tubes, Egg Cartons, Scraps of Cardboard, etc.)
Hot Glue Gun
Paint Cups

Part One

  1. Arrange a variety of recycled materials over a large sheet of cardboard or foam bard, something stiff so it will hold the weight of all the recycled bits. Recycled materials should be cardboard or wood so they hold paint. Choose things like cardboard tubes, egg cartons, scraps of cardboard, popsicle sticks etc.
  2. Once arranged, use the hot glue gun to secure all the materials to the cardboard.


Part Two

  1. Put out cups of paint and brushes. You can use any kind of paint you like. Watercolours will be more subtle and subdued on the cardboard, whereas tempera or acrylic paints will be more vibrant and opaque.
  2. Allow kids to paint, leaving the paints and collage out for an extended period of time giving them a chance to revisit the activity over a few sessions.

For more details on how we tried this idea at home and how it went, keep reading!

Ever since I saw Barbara Rucci’s Recycle Art Wall on Pinterest I’ve wanted to try it out! Last weekend we tried out something similar with some of our closest little friends and it was the perfect activity keep them all busy while the adults chatted around the table for a few hours.

I have a bin in our art cupboard where I throw all the paper recycling bits that could be fun to create with. Things like cardboard tubes from toilet paper and paper towel, egg cartons and trays, bits of corrugated cardboard packaging… and about a month ago I realize our bin was full to overflowing! So it seemed like a great opportunity for a large collage project. Since my kids are still quite young I decided to create the wall of recycled materials myself for them to paint and decorate, but if you have older kids, get them involved in creating the collage as well. Set out the materials and sheet of cardboard and spend a session cutting and arranging materials in a massive collage together. Then come back to it for a second session to do some painting! Two activities in one!

I had a black cardboard presentation board from Staples which I used for the base of our collage. I cut one side of the board off and arranged tubes, pieces of egg carton and other bits till I had covered the whole board. Then I used a hot glue gun to stick them into place. I wanted the backing to be nice and sturdy as the materials do make it kind of heavy and wanted everything to be well secured for little artists.

Once everything was in place I put the collage away on our counter downstairs till the next time we needed an art activity. Since we’ve been busy swimming and playing outside it sat there for a number of weeks. Till this past Sunday when we had friends over for the morning and the girls asked if we could paint with them. I was so excited to be able to pull this out for an exciting and independent art invitation they could all do together!

Instead of mounting on the wall, I lay it across two end tables that were the perfect height for all the kids to stand and paint around. I wanted to make sure they would all have room to paint and be able to reach the collage and all the supplies on their own.

We set out cups of our new Colorations Simply Washable Fluorescent Paint in our new No-Spill Paint Cups along with paint brushes. The only instructions I gave them was that they could paint anything on the board and for the little ones explained how to keep the brush with cup of paint so the colours wouldn’t get mixed up. The fluorescent colours were amazing! The whole things is just a bright cheerful rainbow of colour! 

I loved watching as the kids would go and play only to come back, pick up a brush, and add another bit of colour to part of the collage. And the best part was that it didn’t require any adult involvement apart of setting the paints out. It was a fantastic way to keep the kids entertained while giving the parents some space to enjoy each other’s company. Just make sure you set it up somewhere that is easy to clean up after. 😉

The painted collage has been sitting on our dining room table and I am debating whether I should hang it up as is or give the kids some new materials to add and expand on the project over another session. I’ll keep you posted!

Once the glue outline was completely dry I set out a sheet of hearts for each of my girls along with some paint brushes and liquid watercolours. You could also use watercolour paint pods that you buy in trays to create the same effect. This time I used the liquid watercolours because I wanted to specifically set out pinks and reds for Valentine's Day. I gave them 3 colours to paint with mixing our watercolours with a bit of water to give them a softer feel. Once they were dry we cut out our hearts which we will add to our valentine cards in the next few weeks!


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