Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Cut Paper - Collage Hats

The children make three-dimensional collages to be turned into charming hats. For Ages 3 to 6. Plan 1 to 2 sessions.

  • Cutting with scissors
  • Using glue
  • Making a collage
  • Working with three-dimensional form
collage, twist, curl, fold, three-dimensional

  • 9- by 12-inch construction paperone per child
  • Construction paper for cutting
  • Half-inch and 1-inch strips of construction paper 12 to 18 inches long
  • Colored tissue paper cut into approximately 3-inch squares
  • Scissors
  • Fast-gripping glue sticks (Avery and Elmer’s extra-strength glue sticks work well.)
  • Slightly dampened sponges to wipe sticky fingers
  • Hole punchers
  • Cotton balls
  • Feathers
  • Thick cotton or synthetic yarn cut into 18-inch piecestwo for each hat
  • Stapler
  • Invisible tape
  • Mirror
  • Round the edges of the 9- by 12-inch construction paper. Strengthen the midpoints of the 9-inch sides with tape. Punch a hole in the taped areas. To make ties for the hats, double knot one end of each piece of yarn and pull the other end through the punched holes.
  • Make a hat to wear as an example while introducing the project.
  • Set out the round-edged construction paper, the strips, and the paper for cutting.
  • Set out the scissors, glue, and slightly dampened sponges.
  • Set out the cotton balls, tissue paper squares, and feathers.
How to Begin
Making the collages
  • Explain to the children that they will be making collages by arranging and gluing materials onto paper. The collages will then be cut and folded into hats.
  • Demonstrate the proper way to hold and use scissors. The thumb goes in the small hole and two or three fingers go in the larger hole. With the blade of the scissors opened wide, place the paper deep into the opening, taking advantage of the whole blade while cutting.
  • Show the children how to cut a variety of shapes, such as strips, spirals, and freeforms. For a circular shape, use one hand to slowly close the scissors, while using the other hand to gradually turn the paper. Continue opening and closing the scissors while turning the paper until a circle is completed. 
  • Explain that in order for the shapes to be seen when the collages are made into hats, they need to be three-dimensional, or standing up. The shapes can be bent or folded, attaching only part of them to the collages. Strips of paper can be curled with pencils, folded back and forth accordion-style, or twisted and turned like a roller coaster. A hole puncher can be used to add texture. Glue only small sections of the shapes onto the collages, leaving the rest unattached and three-dimensional.
  • Show the children how to lightly wad tissue paper squares and attach them, as well as cotton balls and feathers, to the collage using the glue sticks. Fingers become sticky, especially when gluing the cotton balls, and can be wiped on the slightly dampened sponges.
  • Let the children each choose a round-edged paper for the background surface of their collages. Be sure they understand that this paper is not for cutting. Using the strips and the paper for cutting, have them make and glue shapes onto their hats, along with cotton balls, tissue paper, and/or feathers.
Forming the hats
  • Turning the collages into hats needs to be done by an adult. Cut 3 to 3½ inches into the middle of the backs of the collages.
  • Fold one cut-side 2¼ to 2½ inches over the other cut-side and staple.
  • The two front edges of the hats can be curled upward or downward with a pencil.
  • Plan enough time to tie the hats on the children and let them see themselves in a mirror.
  • The delightful experience of this project is well worth the preparation. 
  • Wearing a collage hat while introducing this project will create a lot of excitement and enthusiasm.
  • Plan to have an adult volunteer to help cut, staple, and curl the edges of the hats.
  • When cutting and folding the hats, some pieces on the collages might need to be lifted slightly or adjusted and glued again.
  • Plan to have a camera available. The children love to pose in their new hats.
  • This makes a great “Easter bonnet” project.
  • Talk about the variety of materials used to make a collage.
  • Discuss how the shapes attached to the collages were made to be three-dimensional.
What the children might say...
  • My curly paper won’t stick. It keeps popping off.
  • My scissors don’t work. It won’t cut the paper.
  • How can I make my paper strip be wiggly?
  • I did it! My paper is curly.
  • Cotton balls are sticking to my fingers.
What you might say...
  • When gluing your shapes to your collage, be sure to use enough glue and press the shapes down on the paper for a few seconds.
  • To make your scissors work, remember to put your thumb in the small hole and your fingers in the large hole
  • To make your paper wiggly, roll it tightly around a pencil, squeeze it, and pull the pencil out, or you can fold a section of your paper back and forth, over and over again.
  • That's great. Remember to glue only the ends of your curly paper to your collage so it will stand up and be three-dimensional.
  • Whenever your fingers get sticky, you can wipe them on the sponge.
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