Celebrating Spring: Accordion Garden Collage

Thank you Make and Takes for such a successful spring project!

The first step to the accordion garden was to draw on pre-cut flowers with oil pastel. Prior to the start of class I prepared three different shapes and sizes of flowers using scissors and a flower punch. Some were tulip shape, some simple circles, and of course the fancy punch was a flower! Each student decorated anywhere between 6-9 flowers.

Some children were content to scribble lines, some created patterns and designs, and some focused intently on coloring their entire flower edge to edge with pastel.


After coloring with oil pastels we painted our flowers with Glitter Liquid Watercolor paint. Each flower became a miniature watercolor and oil pastel resist. It’s fun to watch the watercolor absorb into the paper and the drawing to reappear. White pastel is especially fun because it’s like making a secret message. At first you don’t see your drawing but as soon as you paint on top it appears.


For the base of the garden collage we used cereal boxes cut up and folded into an accordion.

For the stems we used pre-cut paper strips and Popsicle sticks in various colors of green.
The paper stems included: old maps, recycled art, construction paper, paint chips and scrap book paper.
Children get very excited to use glue but if they have a heavy hand it can end up very messy so adults assisted the younger students with their glue stripes.
Before I passed out the glue I demonstrated how to make a nice straight line by resting the tip of the glue on the paper and dragging it along, stopping before I got the edge. I like to make rhymes, jingles, or sayings to help the students understand the technique. This time we kept it simple with, “drag, drag, drag, drag, STOP!”.
Once the stripes were adhered we trimmed off excess and got to gluing our flowers. This was all done within 45 minutes and the flowers were all dry enough to glue even though they were freshly painted.


Here are some colorful finished gardens!




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