Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Paper strip Collages

Way back last May (already!), one of my very first posts on The Butterfly Jungle was a test post. I knew no one was listening and I was mainly just playing and experimenting. Actually, that's what The Butterfly Jungle is for me: playing, experimenting, sharing, goofing around. It's not my vocation, it's one of many avocations.

Anyway, if you've clicked over to that post you know that I was goofing around that day, scrambling to come up with a craft activity at work.

Since that day, the craft I came up with has become one of my favorites to do with my patients. It's fairly easy, readily adapted, and oh so colorful.

Mostly colorful. But maybe you're feeling a bit monochromatic.

Like my sparkly Barn Swallow?

Anyway, the basics of this project are that you cut paper into strips and glue them onto a piece of tag board that has been cut to the dimensions of a frame mat. This project is super cheap- get the mats at a dollar store (usually two in a package), use scrapbook paper, magazine pictures, wrapping paper- anything you have around the house, and tag board or posterboard for the backing. You could even use cereal boxes- heck, don't spend lots of money on this. Most of you dear Butterflies have ribbon but if not, hit  up Wal-Mart for a couple of spools at 97 cents each. Cheap!

I'm going to have to send you elsewhere for the tutorial on this, acutally two tutes. I made the original tutorials for The Creativity Greenhouse, my "professional" blog, and since, as we know, tutorials are time consuming to make, I won't re-invent the wheel but rather send you over there to check it out.

The first post- Paper Strip Collages, Part 1- gives the basic directions for making this project. Keep in mind that the audience of The Creativity Greenhouse are professionals who mainly work in healthcare settings with individuals who may have varying degrees of cognitive or physical impairment. Some of the instructions may seem obvious to you but The Creativity Greenhouse is intended to target folks who may not necessarily have had so much craft exposure in their lives or for whom crafting and creating is serving a different purpose.

Paper Strip Collages, Part 2 gives some adaptations that make the collages easier for folks with some type of impairment, even craft impairment. Seriously, I once had a patient who was a physicist but she just didn't get this at all so she and I worked together ("Let's do this in the closet", she said, "So no one can see what a dolt I am.") at a fairly basic level. It was like Einstein not being able to figure out the yo-yo. Anyway, she got it and proceeded to go to town with it.

I love it when that happens!

So since you'll not be getting the tutorial here (and I do hope you'll click over the The Greenhouse and give it a try), I'll show some of the collages I've made- nothing too fancy. I love variations on a theme and tend to get a bit carried away. Check it out.

I loved cutting out this girl and her doll! More cutting in my future.

This one is a bit different in that I cut th paper into wavy strips
and highlighted the edge with a silver Sharpie. After I glued them to the
backing, I put a piece of vellum over the top of the strips.

For the butterfly on this one, I used a favorite photo of my daughter, taken by my dad, and colorized it in Picnik. Fun stuff.

So jump over to The Creativity Greenhouse to get the lowdown on how to make these. Scissors and glue- doesn't get much more basic than that!

Thanks for visiting and have a great day.


  1. I love that last butterfly made from the photo of your daughter, so creative.. as well as the pink girl... great job

  2. Inspiring! Love this! Especially that it is unbelievable simple and yet can be so visually pleasing.

    Art and creativity have the power to heal, don't they?