Article Type Making Art Together Making Art Together Categories Collage Infants and Toddlers Sculpture

Collaging on Sticky Surfaces

Diana MacKenzie

On a recent Sunday, one of our favorite artists, Keri Smith joined us to help host a masterfully-messy event in The Studio, appropriately called, Mess: Art Made by Accident. Throughout the Studio we had open-ended projects designed with Keri that involved randomness and chance, including Collaging on Sticky Surfaces, Funky Drawing, Hot Glue Sculptures and Painting with Drips and Spills.

Keri is the author and illustrator of Wreck This Journal and How To Be an Explorer of the World: Portable Life Museum, as well as other idea-generating books that you can discover on her website. She told me that when she signs books, she likes to hide secret messages in them for the reader to find, what a fun idea!

One of the activities for guests that day was designing collaging on different sticky surfaces.

Guests used a variety of colorful textures to drop, float or press onto their collage:

  • Shredded construction paper
  • feathers
  • felt stickers
  • different weights of collage papers
  • hole punches to make paper confetti
  • colorful plast bags cut into skinny strips
  • plastic gimp cord
  • yarn
  • foam shapes
  • chenille stems (pipe cleaners)
  • oversized colored stickers
  • rolls of colored masking tape

Kids and adults took right to it! Some kept with the day’s theme and placed things randomly…

And others worked slowly and thought longer about placing their objects.

No matter how they approached the project, all were one of a kind.

A handmade sticker shark even made a special appearence!

In the image below, this guest is collaging onto paper, but instead of using glue, she used tape to attach all of her shapes.

At the end of the day there was still a lot of leftover materials, so we stuck it all to two large sticky foamcore display boards to hang in The Studio.

Thanks to everyone for being a part of our messy day. I hope to share more photos from the other fabulous stations in a future post, so stay tuned!


Diana, smiling wearing an orange scarf and brown shirt.

Diana MacKenzie

Public Art Program Educator from 2007-2016, Diana has a BFA in Printmaking from Syracuse University and creates mixed-media works inspired by her travels, combining her interests in printmaking and sculpture. She received her M.A.T. from Mount Holyoke College in June 2017, and continues teaching visual arts to children and adults.