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The Eric Carle Museum
of Picture Book Art
  • 125 West Bay Road
  • Amherst, MA 01002


  • Thursday, Friday10 am-3 pm
  • Saturday 10am – 4 pm
  • Sunday 12 pm - 4 pm

Closed Monday,Tuesday, Wednesday

Accessibility Information

Visit the carle


Making Art Together

Collaborative Window Collage

Once a month we offer a drop-in project in addition to our ongoing Everyday Art Project. At a recent Special Sunday event we took inspiration from the landscape to create a collaborative installation exploring light and color.

Using photographs and our view of the Holyoke Range as a reference, we drew a portion of the range's ridgeline onto paper. By creating a grid over the drawing and then a corresponding and expanded grid on the window, we recreated our drawing on a large scale. We used black masking tape to create a bold line across our windows, echoing the hills visible on the horizon.

We invited guests to experiment with applying papers to the surface of the window using a paintbrush and liquid laundry starch.

Shapes and colors combined to create patterns and, in some cases, characters in stories that played out across the windows.

The light shining through the papers created a rainbow of color on the floor of the Art Studio.

With the help of many people we filled the Art Studio with bright colors.

We experimented with using both tissue paper and cellophane on the windows and would recommend using tissue paper applied with liquid laundry starch. While the cellophane has a beautiful transparency, it is not porous and as the laundry starch dried it flaked off and the cellophane peeled. Also, because cellophane does not break down, it is a material we try to recycle and use in multiple projects. The tissue paper stuck to the window nicely and came off relatively easily with soapy water and a scrub brush a week later.

Inspired by what we learned from this project, and by our recycled cardboard boxes, we used the leftover cellophane and tissue paper to create a window display that invites further experiments in color mixing as well as continuing to engage with the museum’s beautiful natural surrounds.


Update: 6/27/2018: We no longer use store-bought liquid laundry starch in the Art Studio and instead use AP certified non-toxic Elmer's Art Paste. 



We enjoy exploring materials and ideas in the Art Studio, and we’re excited to share our process with you! Please consider the following factors when adapting these posts for your learning environment: 

We facilitate a variety of programs within the Art Studio for a wide range of age groups. Please carefully consider the age appropriateness of each individual activity in your own learning environment.

Our projects are always done with adult supervision and proper safety precautions. Be sure all of your projects are overseen by adults who likewise follow proper safety precautions. The adults overseeing your project must also be responsible for handling or assisting with any potentially harmful equipment or materials. 

The Eric Carle Museum of Picture Book Art is not responsible for any damages, injuries or liabilities that result from any activities contained within this website, and we expressly disclaim any responsibility or liability therefor. From time to time, we reference materials that we have found to be particularly important in our projects. We do not receive any monetary compensation for recommending materials. 


by Meg Nicoll

This entry was posted on Monday, January 30th, 2017 at 10:20 am and is filed under By Meg Nicoll, Displays & Window Shades, Collage, Light, Nature, Paper. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.


Linda Ford
Tuesday, January 1, 2017 - 1:39 pm
This is absolutely breathtaking I fell in love with using tissue paper by reading Eric Carle s books in the classroom. During the fall season we did this with leaves by putting the leaves onto clear contact which preserved the leaves and then putting it on one of the windows in the classroom.

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