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How to Make Painted Paper Collages for Kids

by Sofia Fonseca Garcia
August 2, 2021

Create painted paper collages inspired by Mexican piñatas. A fun and easy craft that is great for introducing children to Mexican culture. Project and post by Sofia Fonseca Garcia.

Painting and stamping paper

Inspiration is everywhere. We can find it in nature, in things that we like, in music, in almost everything. But sometimes it can be hard for us to find inspiration, so I want to share a way that helps me to stay inspired.

Years ago, I started my life as an art teacher and finding inspiration suddenly became vital. So I decided to dig deep into my own culture. 

One incredible source of creative inspiration can be your country. Every country has its own traditions, art, and talented people. With our help, kids can find great inspiration from these things.  

Today, I’m excited to share ideas for making art with a cultural context with your own kids.

I live in one of the most beautiful countries in the world: Mexico!  I wanted to share what I was learning about my country art with my students.

children with paint and paintbrushes

One of my favorite ways to transform Mexican culture into art is making collages using painted paper. I like to use this painted paper to make collages of piñatas, a very special, traditional object in my country.

Many years ago the Mayan civilization used to fill piñatas with cacao, which was a treasured food. Every time Mayans went to war and won, they celebrated with piñatas. The strongest warrior was the one who broke the piñata (made with hard clay) and everybody could take a bit of cacao. It was a present from the warriors to the rest of the population. 

Today, Mexicans have piñatas at many celebrations (especially at Christmas). And did you know that they are always in the shape of a star? 

In my art class, my students learned about piñatas and then we made images of them using paper that we had painted ourselves. This is such a fun and easy craft, and is great for introducing children to Mexican culture.

How to Make Painted Paper Collages

MATERIALS

  • paper (any kind, white, recycled, magazine, etc)
  • lemon, lime or orange, cut in half
  • green leaves
  • paint
  • glue
  • scissors

INSTRUCTIONS

  1. Paint paper


    Use acrylic paint or watercolors to paint your objects (we used citrus fruit and leaves).

    Then stamp your object onto the paper to make prints. (It’s also fun to paint the entire paper, let dry, and then stamp over it with bright colors.)

    Be sure to paint several pieces of paper to have enough to collage with. 
    painting a leaf_sofia garcia

  2. Cut shapes out of the painted paper

    Cut geometric shapes out of the painted paper.  For my star piñata, I started with a circle for the center and triangles for the points. I made a circle for the center and two triangles to make the candy. 

    stamps from leaves_sofia garcia

  3. Glue the paper pieces together

    Use glue to attach the paper pieces to a larger piece of paper.

  4. Use the shapes to tell a story

    Hang your collage up somewhere and use it to tell a story. You can create a piñata to tell the story of the Mayans, or you can use an image or object that is important to your culture and use that to tell a story!How to create pinatas with painted paper

This is an amazing way to learn about your own traditions and become a storyteller! If you’d like to try this with a tradition from your own culture, you can ask yourself questions like: 

  1. Why is this important in my culture? 
  2. When and how did this tradition start? 
  3. Why is it important to keep celebrating?

I hope you get a chance to try this project with your family or students!

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Photo by Danielle Falk

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How to Make Painted Paper Collages

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