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I’ve been daydreaming of mountains, forests, and epic top-of-the-summit sunsets this week, so I thought I’d share a project that can help you escape winter and head for the hills with me! If your kids can rip paper (and what kid doesn’t love a good paper ripping) you’ll be able to create some pretty cool mountain landscape art together for an afternoon of artful adventure & scenery.
One thing I absolutely love about this project is the flexibility – these are so easy to make in various sizes. We used some smaller pieces of paper to make ours, but younger kids might enjoy working larger or a full sheet of paper, a scrap of cardboard, or something even bigger!
For a more advanced torn paper landscape project, visit our brand new fold-out secret garden tutorial! Or use this torn paper idea to make a BIG DIY city landscape book that folds out into a backdrop for play.
For your own torn paper landscapes you’ll need:
- Construction paper, cardstock, or any paper scraps in a variety of colors
- A glue stick
- A simple triangle stamp and stamp pad
DIY STAMP SUPPLIES:
- A foam sheet (cardboard will work if you don’t have this)
- Craft glue
- An X-Acto knife
NOTE: I wanted to make some smaller landscapes (and save a little paper) so I cut a piece of paper up into quarters and used those as my base sheets to build my landscapes on. You can use any size you like though, and for smaller kids, I tend to think the bigger the better.
Torn Paper Landscape Art Instructions:
- Tear up a few sheets of colored scrap paper
Rip that paper UP! Try to rip it at some different angles to create “hill” or “slope” shapes. The messy ripped edges are what really give this project a cool look.
- Glue down landscape layers from the torn pieces
Pick 3 or 4 (or more) colors you like together and start layering them on top of each other. Torn paper works really well for making mountains, but you don’t have to stick with what I did! When you start moving shapes and colors around, you might start to see other places too…beaches, fields, forests…let your imagination take you wherever it wants to go! Once you find a landscape you like, glue your layers down with a glue stick, working your way from the back to front (background to foreground).
- Trim excess paper from the edges
Flip your project over and trim off the excess, following the sides of your base sheet. Pro tip: save the leftover scraps created from this project for some quick scrap paper collages or a simple color exploration grid for kids!
- Create mountains with a simple DIY stamp
Now you have a beautiful landscape – but to add a little extra beauty to the scene, we wanted some trees. Use your triangle stamp to add your own groups of trees! Think about where you’d like to see them in the mountains. If you have two sizes of triangle stamps, you can use a larger one in the foreground and a smaller one in the background to create depth – or maybe your trees aren’t even triangles – you can make them any shape you like! You can stamp in different colors or one color. Or add a forest of trees or only a few special trees here and there.
Making your own stamps? It’s super easy!! Simply cut the desired stamp shapes out of a thick foam sheet or piece of cardboard. Glue it to another square piece of cardboard (you can also use a wooden block) with a craft glue, let dry, and you’re good to go!
Once finished, a few of these hanging together look fantastic as a collection or as part of a gallery wall. We actually chose to send our scenic beauties on to friends and family members. After writing our messages on the back, we popped them into envelopes and sent off our surprises. Nothing is more delightful than receiving a frame-worthy piece of mini handmade art in the snail mail!
I’d love to see the landscapes you make! For more creative but simple paper landscape ideas try our plains-inspired coffee ground bison art, or Memphis style paper sculptures (conceptual, futuristic landscapes for the win!) For a completely different kind of landscape, break out the playdough and go on a nature walk to find everything you’ll need to make your own fairy forests.