Thursday, February 18, 2010

Clean collages

Collages are fun, but gosh, they're messy, aren't they? When I happened upon an idea for a glueless collage, I was intrigued.

You will need:
  • Clear contact paper
  • Masking or painter's tape (something less sticky than scotch tape)
  • An assortment of scraps of things such as: construction paper, ribbon, fabric, feathers, old buttons, tissue paper, streamers, pretty cards you are done with, etc.

Cut a piece of contact paper, and then tape it, sticky side OUT, somewhere in your house that is accessible to your child. I chose to tape ours on the sliding glass door, since I wouldn't run the risk of peeling paint when the tape came off. This is the trickiest part, but I would suggest peeling only a couple inches down, then tape the top. Peel a couple inches from either a side or the bottom, and then tape. Continue until all sides are taped, and then pull the rest of the contact paper backing off. This will help keep the tape and the contact paper from getting all stuck into a ball, and then having to throw the whole thing out and start over again. It also helps if you can do this task before your small child tries to... help you.

Present your child with the various scraps...

...and allow them to stick whatever they want, wherever they want.

What is really awesome about this project is that it can take as long or as short as you want it to take. The amount of materials you provide, the size of the contact paper you cut, and of course, the interest of your child (most important!) all determine how long this craft can take. I LOVE that I could start my two-year-old on this project and just let her have a ball with it while I tended to some other things. I finished some organization projects I'd started this morning, worked on the laundry, started preparing lunch...

...but apparently I should have drawn the line at going to the bathroom by myself. This is what greeted me on the floor outside the bathroom. That was how I knew we were done.

This was her finished project.

I took the tape off and attached the sticky side of the contact paper to the door. I figure we'll leave it up for a couple of days. It's fun to let them display their work, especially at their own level!

Next time, I might try having pre-cut shapes for our collage. Wouldn't snowflakes look cute on my door this time of year? How about shamrocks for March? Ducks, bunnies, and Easter eggs for spring? Red, white, and blue glitter (if you dare, which I probably won't) for July "fireworks?"

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