Many times I have heard other teachers saying, “somebody gave me a pile of this or that, what I am going to do with all this? “I was in a similar situation when a parent came to the classroom with a big number of flat pizza boxes, my first thought was also, what can I do with it? I have never rejected a donation, no matter how big or how small. I keep everything but I do try to use our bits and bobs as soon as we can to avoid overcrowding our art room.
This activity involves collage, painting and textiles, therefore it will take more than one session to complete. It can be divided into three sessions: collage – paint – textiles.
Students should have the freedom to choose the theme for the painting and textiles. For example, some students might decide to decorate the box with pictures of animals, others might choose birds and some others might choose to use an imaginary picture. Whatever theme they choose, they will have to repeat the theme with textiles. As an extra interest we added tittles to the boxes. Students loved practicing writing big letters and then cutting them to create simple tittles like: CAT Ð HORSEY Ð COOL CAT.
The first step is to find other materials that you might already have in the classroom such as different kinds of paper and lots of fabrics like fake fur, cushion material, felt and other small decorative objects like buttons, feathers, yarns and others. We have a list of recycled materials for you to look through.
Thin, colourful foam to cut out big letters to create the tittles is important but not essential.
Use different kinds of papers to collage the interior of the boxes.
Papers: coloured – textured – old maps – discarded and cut up old paintings and prints – old books – old greeting cards – Japanese Paper – Chinese papers or any other kind of colourful and patterned papers.Glue – any classroom glue would be good.
Painting and Lettering
At this stage students paint their chosen themes on the top of the box. Use thick heavy body colorful paint like Heavy Body Tempera or Acrylics, depending on the age group and availability of paint.The first step is to paint the top of the box in white or any other opaque color to cover the lettering of the box. For quick dry, apply the paint with a piece of sponge.Next, draw the design on the box using colored chalks, crayons or charcoal and paint.
While the paint is drying, work on the letter designs, it is important to encourage the students to create big fat letters. The title should be made of no more than one or two words.
Use a big circular object, like a lid, to cut out of newspaper several round shapes to give students to use as patterns when cutting the fabrics, each student will need two circular shapes.
Next step is to collage the front circle cutting and gluing or sewing, shapes cut out of coloured felts, fake fur and other miscellaneous bits, like buttons, feathers, pompoms, whatever is available in the classroom.
Once the glued shapes and other decorations have dried, start sewing the two pieces together to form the pizza/friendship cushion.
Sew cushions using big needles like Chenille or tapestry needles. The kind of needles will depend on the type of fabric the cushions are made.
For felts – big semi sharp needles, Chenille.
For open woven materials like burlap or hessian use tapestry needles or plastic needles.
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Art Teacher, Author and Blogger