Some of my most vivid childhood reading memories revolve around Jeannie Baker books, each page in her books is a miniature collage artwork and I was fascinated. Recently I attended a collage workshop with Jeannie and picked up some tips from this amazing artist and picture book creator.
Collage comes from the French word colle, to paste or glue. So you will need glue of some form. We use Mod Podge A LOT at our place, which also acts as a sealant, but we also love a glue stick (especially the kind that goes on blue and dries clear – my 3-year-old adores her glue stick). Jeannie specifically mentioned that she never uses glue sticks. The main tip she offered when it comes to the topic of glue, is that it needs to be applied in a nice, smooth layer. Which almost never happens with glue, but definitely happens when you have a 3-year-old, so let’s not worry too much about that.
Jeannie also has a preference for using natural materials like bark, leaves and feathers to create her collages. But to keep things relatively simple, my preferred material for kid’s collage projects is good old paper.
We paint old picture books or the White Pages, then we cut and paste to our heart’s delight.
With this project, we pasted shapes over the top of a previous artwork that Miss 3 had painted.
We also love using sparkly, buttony loose parts for collage. The beauty of this art technique is that you are only really limited by your imagination.
Jeannie suggested that you always paint the background in the colour that you wish it to be so that when you collage over the top of it, you don’t get the “wrong” colour poking through in any gaps that may occur. Miss 3 instructed me on what shapes she wanted me to cut out to create her objects.She then worked the glue stick.
Butterfly Collage Project
This is a fun project that results in a piece of artwork your kid would be proud to have on their bedroom walls. It’s super-easy to set up and I find it’s a nice project for my 3-year-old to work on at the kitchen bench while I make dinner.
Step 1: Mark out an area on some coloured cardboard.
Step 2: Stick your coloured paper chips all over the inside of your marked area.
Step 3: Once the glue has dried, use a template to cut out the shape of your butterfly (or any other shape you wish). You can draw your own shape, or download and print a plain shape from the free clip art files found via Google.
Have fun creating lots of different collages.