Boho Woodland Animal Collage Art {Crafting with Your Kids No. 1}

This shop is part of a social shopper marketing insight campaign with Pollinate Media Group® Elmer’s and Wet Ones, but all my opinions are my own. #pmedia #CraftandCleanUp

Today, I am starting a new series called Crafting with Your Kids, which is of course, one of my favorite things to do as a mom! This series will consist of projects that parents and children can collaborate on together to make unique works of art or decor for your home.

Up first, are these “boho style” woodland animal collages that my three year old daughter, Hazel, and I made for the playroom. 

Since being a mom is busy, I don’t have a lot of time to make my own art the way that I used to, but I have a deep need to be creative. Working together is a great alternative.

Hazel has been begging to use “real glue” for awile, but I was worried about the mess. Up until now, she has only had experience with glue sticks, but those don’t always have the best sticking power.

I thought it was about time I gave her a chance, so I headed out to Target to get some real glue
I found an awesome combo pack of Elmer’s glue and Wet Ones in the Back to School section of our local Target. A mother’s dream. If you plan on letting your preschooler delve into real glue…go get this pack first! 
This project actually began a couple of months ago, in early summer, when we brought our crafting fun outdoors. I set the kids up with a small table, some taped down catalog and magazine pages, washable paints and sponge brushes.
My younger son, Owen, was even able to help with this portion of the project, since he finally stopped putting everything in his mouth.
The next phase of this process, was preparing a couple of canvases for collage art.

I started with flat gray spray paint. One of them got a distressed finish using the method I described in this previous post. But for a new twist, Hazel and I painted some other colors on top. 

For the other canvas, I painted a rough chevron pattern with a mixture of white and pale yellow and then dry brushed over it for a distressed look.

Just have fun with this part! It doesn’t have to be perfect by any means.

The next step involves taking the painted pages and cutting them into shapes to make the animals. I have included two templates for you to use available at the end of this post.

If you have very young children like mine, this part is your job. If you have older children, who do well with a pair of scissors, they could do this portion.

I drew out the shapes in the areas on the painted pages that I wanted to be part of the collage (specifically where there were cool patterns and bright colors) and then cut them all out.

And now comes the really fun part, where the kids get to break into that glue! Hazel was beyond excited and very prepared: smock on, Elmer’s glue in one hand, Wet Ones in the other. A girl on a crafting mission.

I felt the easiest method would be to put the glue in a plastic dish and then have her use a sponge brush to apply it to the backs of the collage pieces.

We started with the owl collage first. Hazel glued down the body and legs.

She kept telling me that we needed “more glue.” Thank goodness we had the Wet Ones! It was getting messy up in here.

The Elmer’s glue did a great job keeping all of our pieces in place, which Hazel was very impressed by. (I don’t think she will go back to glue sticks any time soon.)

This first collage was a “learn as you go” project. It wasn’t looking as much “owl” as I had hoped – the beak was too big! (I made sure to make adjustments for the templates below, so no worries.)

I ended up improvising by doing my own painting over top to finish him up. I painted the ears in this piece, but included them in the template.

And now for the fox (my personal favorite!):
For this one, I had Hazel paint on old book pages in reddish-orange on some, and off white on others.

Once they dried, I cut out most of the shapes from the ones she had painted, except the body piece, which I used a text page. We went through the same process…gluing them on in order one at a time. For the nose, ears and eyes, I cut out pieces from the catalog and book pages in black and gray.
Once the whole fox was glued down, I did my own painting on top to finish this guy as well. This is the part where you creative parents get to have your fun!

I painted the front legs in and added white spots on the eyes and nose to make him really “come to life.”

Here are the two finished collaborative pieces! Pretty good for a preschooler and her mom, I’d say. 🙂

Once we were all done with our collages, it was time to clean up! As much as my girl loves to make a mess, she also loves to clean up. Having the Wet Ones on hand was awesome. Even for me when I made my own messes during the project (which was actually quite a bit…I am a messy artist). Oh and not only are they antibacterial, but they smell really great too.

I think I will need to have them close by for more of our future crafting projects!

Hazel was just about as excessive with the wipes as she was with the glue, but it was great that she could do her own cleaning up. She felt very proud about that.

After we were all done, and Hazel had gone inside to play, I gave each of the canvases a coat of protective sealant. Once they were good and dry, I brought them inside to hang in the playroom.

I am in love with this fox! Isn’t he cute?

Some day I will share about the yo-yo tree mural that I created in the playroom. Till then, you can check out the owl collage underneath (and both Hazel and Owen’s other “wall art.” It is amazing what happens when you leave the room for only a second, isn’t it? I am always finding a new drawing somewhere around this place!).

Here is a break down of the supplies we used:

– two canvases (ours were 11″x14″ and 12″x16″)
-catalog, magazine and old book pages
-washable paint
-sponge brushes and regular paint brushes
-acrylic paint
-Elmer’s Glue and Wet Ones combo pack (available at select Target stores)
-protective sealant

To make it easy for you to do on your own, I created these templates:

Print them out on card stock, then use to trace on the collage paper. They are numbered in the order that you should glue them down. There are two sheets per animal, so don’t forget to download them all. Click on the links below to copy and save to your computer. You will need to do your own painting techniques to get a finished look like our collages, but these will give you a head start!

(Please Note: These templates are provided for Personal Use Only. Please do not redistribute in any way. Thank you!)

(Update 8/5/14: I forgot to include the shapes for the eyes in these templates (my apologies!), so don’t forget to cut out two larger circles and two smaller ones for the owl, and two smaller ones for the fox. Or get creative and paint them in yourself!)

I encourage you to get outside to do this craft project with your kids while summer is still here. The warm weather will be gone before we know it and there is something special about creating art surrounded by nature.  Make sure to head to a select Target store to get the Elmer’s and Wet Ones combo pack (while supplies last) before you get started! If you are going to let a little one use glue, you are definitely going to need those wipes. Trust me.

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Till next time…
~Alice W.