Inspired by patterns found in nature, kids can make lovely mixed media flower collages. This beauty of a project combines art theory and science with stunning results!
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Make: Modern Mini Flower Collages

It has been absolutely beautiful outside lately, so we took a little nature walk yesterday to pick out some favorite blooms, do some serious observing and gather inspiration for some nature art. When checking out one of MY personal faves (Iris!) we were totally blown away by the crazy cool patterns and beautiful color gradients on each petal.

Inspired by patterns found in nature, kids can make lovely mixed media flower collages. This beauty of a project combines art theory and science with stunning results!

Isn’t it stunning?!? It’s so hard to capture in a picture, but the way the bright yellow and deep purple meet to create a soft pink in places is amazing. Upon further investigation, we found all sorts of patterns and color-mixing happening in our garden, and took a handful of examples in to create something with.

Inspired by patterns found in nature, kids can make lovely mixed media flower collages. This beauty of a project combines art theory and science with stunning results!

Knowing how well watercolors work for mixing, I grabbed a paint set and brushes and we started experimenting. By the time we were done, we had made a cute little collection of floral-inspired mini collages!

Inspired by patterns found in nature, kids can make lovely mixed media flower collages. This beauty of a project combines art theory and science with stunning results!

There is so much more at work than cute crafting here though. In addition to the wonderful observational opportunities, this provides a nice introduction to patterns and art theory in nature. This was the perfect lead-in to other conversations about naturally-occurring patterns in other earth sciences or biology (like leaves, trees, butterflies, constellations, rocks, etc.) and we can’t wait to tackle them in this new art style too!

Inspired by patterns found in nature, kids can make lovely mixed media flower collages. This beauty of a project combines art theory and science with stunning results!

To make your own mini modern flower collages you’ll need:

BASIC SUPPLIES:

  • Watercolor Paper or Heavy Cardstock
  • Watercolors and Brushes
  • Masking Tape
  • Scissors
  • A Glue Stick

OPTIONAL SUPPLIES:

Inspired by patterns found in nature, kids can make lovely mixed media flower collages. This beauty of a project combines art theory and science with stunning results!

You don’t have to do exactly what we did, but if you love an excuse to get out in nature, collecting examples of patterns and gradients in nature is a great outdoor activity for kids! You don’t even have to go far – we found all of our inspiration right in our own back yard. Once you’re done, you can reuse your nature inspiration for some paper straw and play dough fairy forests or create a habitat for pretend pets!

Mini Modern Flower Collage Instructions:

  1. Cut sheets of paper into 3, 4 or 5 smaller squares and rectangles

    I thought it would be a fun twist to paint our gradients on patterned paper instead of plain white paper, so I printed out the black and white patterns from our Memphis Paper Sculptures post. For mini-sized (more eco-friendly!) collages like ours, cut your sheets up into smaller squares and rectangles – no need for perfection, we’ll be cutting these up again later!

    Inspired by patterns found in nature, kids can make lovely mixed media flower collages. This beauty of a project combines art theory and science with stunning results!

  2. Prep by taping your paper squares down to a board or tabletop

    Use making tape to secure an assortment of your patterned paper “canvases” to a solid surface. This keeps the paper from curling up when drying, and can save kid-frustration, as it keeps papers from moving around and watercolors dripping onto other sheets.

    Inspired by patterns found in nature, kids can make lovely mixed media flower collages. This beauty of a project combines art theory and science with stunning results!

  3. Add watercolor gradients to your paper squares

    Start watercoloring! We kept our leaves and flower petals close by for color gradient inspiration. This is a great time to experiment with different watercolor techniques. You can lightly cover your paper with water, then add color and watch it bleed. You can try using different sizes and shapes of brushes. You can use one color and fade to white, or use two or more colors to see what colors they make when they mix.

    Inspired by patterns found in nature, kids can make lovely mixed media flower collages. This beauty of a project combines art theory and science with stunning results!

  4. Let dry thoroughly

    Once you’ve painted all your paper squares, let dry thoroughly. The bubbles and warping in the paper will slowly flatten out (if you’ve taped the edges down) as they dry. If you want to speed up the process, grab a hairdryer and hit them with a little heat for a few minutes!

    Inspired by patterns found in nature, kids can make lovely mixed media flower collages. This beauty of a project combines art theory and science with stunning results!

  5. Remove the masking tape

    Your gradients are done! Take all the tape off and set back for a good look at these beauties! For younger kids, you can use your gradient squares for a color-matching activity. Even older kids will have fun observing how the colors mixed together and how close they got to matching the colors in their nature inspiration.

    Inspired by patterns found in nature, kids can make lovely mixed media flower collages. This beauty of a project combines art theory and science with stunning results!

  6. Cut a 5-inch by 5-inch (or similar) square from cardstock or scrap paper to use as your collage background

    Grab another sheet of paper you can use to build your collages on. I cut some colored cardstock into 5″ x 5″ squares, but you can use any type, size or color you like best!

    Inspired by patterns found in nature, kids can make lovely mixed media flower collages. This beauty of a project combines art theory and science with stunning results!

  7. Cut simple leaf and petal shapes from your watercolor gradients and glue.

    Cut some simple leaf and flower petal shapes out of your gradient squares. You can use your foliage, favorite flowers or pictures as inspiration! Use a glue stick to glue your layers of leaves and flowers down.

    Inspired by patterns found in nature, kids can make lovely mixed media flower collages. This beauty of a project combines art theory and science with stunning results!

Voila! Beautifully modern and wonderfully unique mini flower collages! These can be used as special handmade cards for loved ones, combined to make one large art piece, or strung together to create a super cute summery garland! Have a kid who would have fun with this but isn’t into flowers? You could easily make animals or landscapes too!

Inspired by patterns found in nature, kids can make lovely mixed media flower collages. This beauty of a project combines art theory and science with stunning results!

And wouldn’t these make the perfect kid-made Mother’s Day cards?

Inspired by patterns found in nature, kids can make lovely mixed media flower collages. This beauty of a project combines art theory and science with stunning results!

How beautiful are these color and pattern combinations inspired by nature?! If this activity is right up your alley, your pattern-loving heart will be set a-flutter by our melted crayon butterflies, gradient leaf banners, or halftone leaf and gourd collages.

Inspired by patterns found in nature, kids can make lovely mixed media flower collages. This beauty of a project combines art theory and science with stunning results!
Inspired by patterns found in nature, kids can make lovely mixed media flower collages. This beauty of a project combines art theory and science with stunning results!
Inspired by patterns found in nature, kids can make lovely mixed media flower collages. This beauty of a project combines art theory and science with stunning results! | via barley & birch
Inspired by patterns found in nature, kids can make lovely mixed media flower collages. This beauty of a project combines art theory and science with stunning results!
Inspired by patterns found in nature, kids can make lovely mixed media flower collages. This beauty of a project combines art theory and science with stunning results!
Inspired by patterns found in nature, kids can make lovely mixed media flower collages. This beauty of a project combines art theory and science with stunning results!
Inspired by patterns found in nature, kids can make lovely mixed media flower collages. This beauty of a project combines art theory and science with stunning results!
Inspired by patterns found in nature, kids can make lovely mixed media flower collages. This beauty of a project combines art theory and science with stunning results! | via barley & birch

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About Amanda Eldridge

With a passion for cultivating imagination, Amanda aims to help families discover their creative potential and be inspired to make the world a better place through art, play, adventure, activism, conservancy, and community. When not playing with ideas, designs and projects for barley & birch, Amanda enjoys working as a modern art curator and managing her own small design business.

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