I have been having so much fun with this project I thought I'd share a little tutorial. It started with Biscuit and I working on some Eric Carle inspired art. So colorful and fun!
Start by using water colors to brush blocks of solid (or blended) colors onto whatever paper you have on hand. We used some computer paper, some sketch paper and found the backs of the covers of sketch pads have a great texture for watercolor. Biscuit was trying some stippling but I liked the look of straight brush strokes or swirls in the finished project.
OR, even better, if you have a toddler/preschooler odds are you have some painted art that has come home. I had an entire sheet of paper a younger Biscuit had painted brown and used it throughout this project since I didn't have brown water color. What a great way to use/repurpose/save young children's art. I wish I had more of her paint scribbles (no idea why I had the brown piece).
Use a papercutter (or craft punches if you got 'em?) to cut out traditional block shapes. I used somewhat consistent sizing so the 'blocks' would fit together. I cut a mix of squares in 2x2 or 1x1 inches, rectangles in 1x2, 1x3, 1x4, 2x3 an 2x4 and triangles which were 2x2 or 3x3 squares cut in half on the diagonal. Remember that blocks always have those cool arch pieces. I cut those rectangles 2x3.5 or 2x4 and free handed the arch cut leaving about 1 inch on either side for stacking. Use the interior of the arch cut outs as well. Here is an image for inspiration that makes me think I should have cut some of my rectangles into triangles. Next time.
Now have FUN playing "blocks" and making castles and towers and other arrangements on a blank sheet of cardstock. I tried to "design" each block tower to be something that could actually stand up if it were 3-d. Ideally you'd have a kid to help you with this section but I was addicted and Biscuit had NO interest in arranging blocks--she was too busy with her own project.
Glue! I used a glue stick to get the glue all the way to the edges of each block. When pasting, leave a sliver of white showing between each block. As soon as everything is glued press your piece under a stack of books or magazines to get it flat.
We made this building block art to supplement the project we did here and a note Biscuit wrote her brother at school. My goal is to create a wall of original "art" by family members to hang in Oscar's room. The frames are all cardboard and part of the project as well (I have a phobia about having real picture frames fall on me when I sleep--hello growing up in earthquake country--so cardboard frames felt just right for above a crib. Plus they are fun to make, kitschy and the price is right too!)
Here's what we've got so far. The lower left with the car, horse and tree is Biscuit's piece. I love it and feel bad the "frame" isn't a better fit. Hard to find really big pieces of cardboard.