A collage afternoon

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I love the inspiration that new art materials bring. Or, in this case, a new container for the art materials. Maia worked on a collage for well over an hour yesterday afternoon, which is a record for her.


She started off by drawing a girl onto the matboard with oil pastels.

The matboard is great for collages because it is so thick and doesn't buckle under the glue and other materials applied. I picked up our supply of matboard remnants for free from a frame shop. (note: there are actually two pieces of matboard in these photos, one on top of the other, for no real reason.)


After drawing, Maia added glue in copious amounts.


Then set in googly eyes and some tiny buttons and beads for the eyes and nose (and for two hands).


And a circle of googly eyes around each cotton ball shoe, for good measure.


Feathers for hair.


And then lots of dried beans for the smile and belt, and some tissue paper to decorate the dress.

She said this was for her friend Stella and her parents and wrote their names in the corner. While working on the collage, she kept saying, "Stella is going to LOVE this!"

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  1. says

    That is fantastic! I haven’t done collage for awhile now. Thanks for the inspiration.
    I have a question for you. I know Maia is giving this particular picture to her friend, but what do you normally do with Maia’s artwork afterward? We usually display the art somewhere but with two kids making art (actually 3 kids now – my 20 month old is even bringing art home from his toddler program) at home and bringing it home from school, it just piles up sometimes.
    I eventually have to recycle some of it but I always feel terribly guilty afterward.
    I would love to know what others do with artwork after.

  2. says

    for the record, MY daughter’s name is Stella, and I can emphatically say that she would love it!! i’m now thinking of hitting up all the frame shops in town for mat remnants! thanks for that idea!!

  3. colleen says

    Celebrate, Hang and Rotate!
    We use art portfolios for the treasured best.
    We take pictures of them all for a portfolio book.
    Some times my kids are in their photos, sometimes not.
    Giving them to people in assisted living is a nice touch sometimes too.

  4. says

    I agree — celebrate (hang up all over the house), and rotate art work. In our old house the fresh works were on the fridge or somewhere in the kitchen, the heart of the home, and we also had an ‘art gallery’ in the back hallway where rotated works stayed for a while until I had time to decide whether or not they were keepers.
    Then, choose your favorite pieces of artwork for the big box in the closet of treasured art. I try to focus on keeping art that is not only cute but reflects child development, i.e. the first time they label a picture, the first time human figures have necks or wear clothes, etc.
    I learned the hard way with my first daughter to label the back of pictures with child’s name, date, and any special things to remember about the creation of the art.
    Now that I’m living abroad with all of my treasured belongings in storage (sob sob) I’m getting even better at knowing what to save and what to pitch but I would never, ever consider not saving art work. It’s a reflection of their childhood.

  5. Wendy McDaniel says

    It is so precious! She did a GREAT job! I hope her friend feels the love she put into the project.

  6. Barbara Zaborowski says

    My kids (who aren’t kids anymore) got to choose what to save (and, of course, I got to choose some, too. Otherwise their “first” would have been lost.) If you save their art around the house, they’ll have a good volume to choose from and they may well be ready to let the rest go. The work they’re ready to let go can be sent to out-of-town relatives (who may throw it out eventually, but your kids won’t know) or (lovely suggestion, Colleen!) it can be donated to assisted living facilities or hospitals. It can be left for Santa or the tooth fairy, in which case it HAS to disappear overnight. It can be recycled into wrapping paper or cards. Or, of course, your child may have other ideas that would work.
    I had a mom one year (I’m a preschool teacher) whose son loved making big constructions (boxes that turned into rockets and theaters and such). She lined them up on the patio and, when she needed more room, took the oldest, dismantled it and gave us the pieces for new constructions. She claimed he never noticed.

  7. says

    Jean dear,
    When you get a chance please drop by Acorn Pies blogspot. She has some amazing
    cut paper projects and so much more. I am so enjoying her creative ideas (as I do yours). I’ve been away filming some television programs and will get the winner’s book in the mail tomorrow.
    Congratulations for the response to the giveaway. Amazing.
    Sharon Lovejoy writes from Sunflower House and a Little Green Island

  8. says

    What a fantastic picture! I love seeing what kids can create with lots of different objects for collage. We have a container similar to the white on in the top picture. I should pull it out and fill it with things from our art room.