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


  • Thursday, Friday 10 am - 4 pm
  • Saturday 10 am - 5 pm
  • Sunday 12 pm - 5 pm

Closed Monday,Tuesday, Wednesday

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Making Art Together

A Green Thumb

During our preparation this week for the next Public Art Project,  I was reminded of how much we love using magazine paper for programs here at The Carle.  From time to time we'll acquire a stack of cooking or home magazines from someone's attempts to clear out their clutter.  We cut out interesting patterns or textures and organize them in baskets by color (plus one basket just for fun, crazy patterns!) and set them aside until we might need them.


We'll be using magazine papers (as well as other types of paper) for the upcoming project The Shape Game, which starts this Wednesday the 18th.  I took a moment to play around with the clippings when I was photographing the baskets, and very quickly made a color wheel.

The magazine papers are so much fun to arrange and sort!  It's just another great way to explore color, pattern and visual texture with children.

By coincidence, one of our regular visitors (and mom of three) Sara G. brought by a whimsical tree she recently made with magazine clippings and other materials she had at home.  This is a great example of a project you could work on as a family or a class to really customize to the style.  Bright colored papers and drawing tools make a 'loud' tree,  or just pencil drawings on neutral colored papers make a 'quiet' tree.  Or  go all out and make a color wheel tree!

Sara collaged both sides of every leaf on the tree with a mix of patterns and colors.  The leaves are 'laminated' between pieces of packing tape and attached to the branches with floral wire.  They still have a lot of movement and when I was photographing the tree in our orchard, the leaves were flapping in the breeze just like the real thing.  The branch is attached to a block of wood, which she collaged with paper and brown beads (to represent the roots).

I even love the surprise birds' nest she tucked into one of the branches!

For another color wheel project Meghan made click  here, or search keyword "color" in our search bar. Do you save magazine clippings for collage at your home or in your classroom? What's your sorting system?

Thanks for sharing your project with us Sara!  



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 Diana MacKenzie

This entry was posted on Monday, April 16th, 2012 at 4:25 pm and is filed under Collage, Every Day Art Program, Our Favorite Materials. 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.

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