Create Colorful, Artist-Inspired Rainbow Collages With Kids

Here’s a fun afternoon art project for rainbow chasers and art fans alike: modern rainbow collages for kids (with an artist-inspired twist!). Dive into the colorful world of deconstructed rainbow collages with us, inspired by the one and only Frank Stella. Prepare for a cut-paper kaleidoscopic blast!

It’s been cold and grey here this season, and to fill the walls with a bit of sunshine and color, I came up with this rainbow collage project. WOW, what a surprise hit it’s been!

Nine of our colorful deconstructed rainbow collages sitting on a white background

At home, a once blah white wall has become an eye-catching paper rainbow art gallery.

Meanwhile, out there in the interwebs, this project has been shared and re-imagined in SO many fun ways by art teachers, students at every grade level, and even preschoolers playing with pre-cut paper rainbow arcs…! I am blown away by how many people have tried this and tagged me in their beautiful results.

The shapes and colors are influenced by a series of paintings by one of my very favorite artists, Frank Stella. The curving arcs and glowing color combinations in Frank’s Protractor Series are stunning to see in person – and a quick Google image search will help you understand why rainbows and Stellas go together like peanut butter and jelly.

Watch the quick rainbow collage video tutorial below to get a peek at our rainbow art-making process!

I often find the best way to get creative is to take something familiar, rip it apart, and start building it back up in a different and unique way. So that’s EXACTLY what we did for these deconstructed rainbow collages.

Starting with something fun and familiar (like a rainbow) can introduce kids to abstract art ideas or approaches in a more appealing way. It can also provide an opportunity to experiment with different mediums and explore color and composition.

Although I designed and used printed rainbows, you can draw, paint or cut out your own with different art materials. You can also experiment with making cool or warm-hued rainbows. Mixing and matching rainbows has been an ENORMOUS hit, and if you try this, I’d love to hear how it went for you!

Visit our latest variation on this project with our new rainbow road abstract art for kids tutorial!

To make your own deconstructed rainbow collage art, you’ll need:


  • Paper
  • Markers, crayons, paints & brushes, or other drawing supplies
  • Scissors
  • Glue


How to Make Deconstructed Rainbow Collages With Kids – DIY Instructions:

Rainbow collages for kids

Bring a splash of color to your life with these easy-to-make deconstructed rainbow collages! Inspired by Frank Stella, they’re perfect for introducing kids to the world of abstract art.

Print our rainbow templates or draw a set of your own.

This bold modern art project for kids deconstructs rainbows to create bright & colorful collages inspired by Frank Stella

Color or paint your own set of rainbows – or use our printable rainbow templates (in classic Frank Stella colors!). I recommend making or printing at least 3-4 different rainbows with different color combinations – this will give you a great variety of sizes & color combinations to choose from!

Cut your rainbows apart.

Rainbows cut apart and rearranged sitting on a white background with a pair of scissors.

Cut each of your rainbows apart by color so they create a series of different-colored arcs in all sizes.

Experiment with creating compositions from the rainbow arcs.

Experiment with creating collaged compositions from the deconstructed rainbow arcs

Start playing with your arcs – you can mix & match the colors to create new rainbows, overlapping them, turning them at angles, or joining them to create circles, squiggles, or swirls.

Glue down your rainbow collage and trim the edges.

Use a glue stick to glue down your rainbow collages.

Once you’ve made an arrangement you like, use a glue stick to glue it all down to a piece of paper. Trim off any edges, and ta-da – ready for framing!

Of course, using glue is optional here. If you’d prefer, you can just let kids play with arcs without creating a piece of permanent art. In fact, you can laminate your deconstructed rainbow arcs for long-term reusable play and art exploration.

Here’s the VERY BEST part of this collage activity: these pieces look AH-MA-ZING when finished. Every. Single. Time. Especially for kids who may feel a little less confident exploring art concepts, this is a project that proves there is no wrong way to create. It is a process that’s guaranteed to encourage and entertain kids of all ages and interest levels.

Two of our final Frank Stella inspired deconstructed rainbow collages sitting side by side

Using Rainbow Collages for Learning and Play

Over the years this project has been tried by so many kids of all ages, and I’ve so enjoyed seeing the way they’ve made this art activity their own! Here are more ideas and variations to help your children or students explore and enjoy this idea…

1. Build Giant Collaborative Rainbow Collage Art

Using this paper collage art project in a classroom or with quite a few kids? Group your collages together to form one BIG rainbow collage wall – a seriously stunning bulletin board decoration or classroom wall display.

2. Explore Color Theory through Rainbow Collaging

Use the colors in your rainbows to discuss primary, secondary, and tertiary colors, then try making collages from the different color groups. Make monochromatic rainbow collages using tints and shades of just one color, or investigate color values.

3. Host a Rainbow Art-Making Party

These paper collages make a creative birthday party activity that’s quick and easy to throw together. Simply print out a page of rainbows for every party guest, layout with construction paper, scissors, and glue sticks, then let them go to town building their own rainbow collage.

4. Make Cardboard Rainbow Collages

Glue our rainbow templates onto scrap cardboard and cut them apart for dimensional rainbow collage pieces that can be rearranged repeatedly. For younger kids, these can also be a simple but captivating handmade puzzle (perfect for practicing color recognition and fine motor skills!).

A selection of our colorful paper rainbow arcs sitting on a white background with scissors

As we wrap up this chromatic journey, remember that the world of rainbow art is infinite, and there’s always more to deconstruct and explore. These dazzling rainbow collages might just inspire the beginning of a lifelong love affair with creativity and self-expression in your own kiddos…we hope so!

More Rainbow Art and Craft Projects for Kids

For another rainbow craft that packs a colorful punch, try making rainbows using a different medium with our DIY chalk pastel rainbow pillows or dazzling rainbow unicorn scratch art.


Amanda Eldridge
Amanda Eldridge

With a passion for cultivating imagination, Amanda aims to help kids and families discover their creative potential through art, play, adventure, activism, conservancy, and community. Amanda has a background in graphic design, environmental design, and art curation. When not playing with ideas and designs for barley & birch, she enjoys working in freelance design, art, and illustration.

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