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Styrofoam Plate Mosaic and Stencils – For Open-ended Art

The styrofoam plates left over from Pari's last birthday party have been giving us new artsy ideas. 

Pari has used them for art and craft activities in various ways. But of all, she loves cutting small pieces from them, painting them with acrylic colours and sticking them onto her picture drawn on a invory paper/card paper.

Over the last two weeks, she's made many a mosaics from her styrofoam plates.

Elephant Mosaic (this was part of the accordion book that she made with 5 artsy elephants – over at The Craft Crow.)

Sunflower Mosaic from Styrofoam cuttings


A Bird Mosaic

Wondering what is it about this specific activity that's so like-able…

I think I have the answer.

For one, I think it's the texture and thickness of the Styrofoam that gives a child a special sensory experience when cutting them up with scissors. They are neither too easy to cut as with paper nor too hard as with a thick cardboard. The sturofoam has thickness and yet softness that feels nice under the scissors!

Pari's friend Sama putting together a Sunflower Mosaic by cutting pieces from Styrofoam plate.

Secondly, she can cut in the pieces into whatever shape she wants. So, there's a big element of creative freedom and open-ended art that's so appealing to a child. She's not bound by any specific shape or size or way.

Thirdly, when she sticks them onto the drawing on the paper, the whole picture becomes sort of three dimensional and comes alive when she applies paint.

No wonder, she loves doing this over and over again…

Using Styrofoam plates to create stencils for art activities.

Either she, or I (if it's a difficult sketch) draw on those plates and then cut it out. This creates a stencil that she uses to replicate sketches for different artwork.

I cut out a 'Choozu' (chick) stencil inspired by the charcter from one of Pari's favourite storybooks – 'Little Chicken in a Hurry'


This elephant stencil from styrofoam plate paved the way for some gorgeous, colourful artsy elephants

Using the Styrofoam stencils for more artwork

Pari also loves using those plates for styrofoam printing. But, I'll talk about that in another post.

In what other artful ways do you use the Styrofoam plates?

I'd love to hear your ideas…

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Update on July 16 2011, Saturday

This art was featured on all these creative and artsy blogs:

featured at hands on : as we grow

It's Playtime: Paper Play

 Best toys for toddlers

High Paw – Show Us Your Best

Classified: Mom

Sunday Showcase – A Child Centered Linky Party

Creative Jewish Mom: Craft Schooling Sunday

{ 19 comments… add one }

  • JDaniel4's Mom July 10, 2011, 8:25 pm

    What a great way to reuse plates! The pictures looks wonderful. It reminds me of stained glass.

    • Rashmie Jaaju July 16, 2011, 7:39 am

      Thank you for stopping by. Yeah, you are right – do do give an impression of stained glass… :)

  • Michelle July 12, 2011, 6:17 am

    I love this idea! It would be so perfect for the 9 to 11 year-old activity group I lead. Thanks for the idea!

    • Rashmie Jaaju July 16, 2011, 7:40 am

      Michelle,
      Thank you for visiting and sharing your comment. Yes, you’re right – this activity will be perfect for older kids as well.

  • Laura@art4littlehands July 14, 2011, 1:31 pm

    I love her elephants! You can see through her art her culture and I love that. I wish my kids had that in their lives more. I love her colors and designs. She is awesome. Thanks for sharing in my blog party. So glad to see you there. I love your blog.

  • Natalie July 14, 2011, 3:12 pm

    Thanks for explaining the technique! I think we are definitely going to try it out – the result is gorgeous!

    • Rashmie Jaaju July 16, 2011, 7:48 am

      Natalie,
      Thank you for visiting and for sharing your thoughts. I am glad you like our foam mosaic. :)

  • cathy @ nurturestore July 14, 2011, 5:09 pm

    I love these ideas. It’s always wonderful to see child created art – so much attention to detail here. I think you’re right about the texture of the foam being a pleasure to cut – interesting to add an extra sensory element to art.

    • Rashmie Jaaju July 16, 2011, 7:50 am

      Cathy, Hi – Yes, isn’t it blissful to see a child creating something from his own imagination without anything to refer to or follow!
      Thank you, for visiting and sharing your thoughts and appreciation.

  • Aimee July 15, 2011, 12:59 pm

    What a creative way to recycle- Styrofoam is fun to color on! Thank you for sharing it on The Sunday Showcase.

    • Rashmie Jaaju July 16, 2011, 7:51 am

      Aimee,
      Thank YOU for visiting and sharing your thoughts. I am glad you like this recycling art.

  • Aimee July 15, 2011, 6:35 pm

    Yay- we are going to feature this on The Sunday Showcase this week! Come and grab your button- you’ve earned it!
    http://www.classifiedmom.com/2011/07/sunday-showcase-710.html

    • Rashmie Jaaju July 16, 2011, 7:52 am

      O, thank you, Aimee for choosing this to feature on The Sunday Showcase. We feel honoured!
      I will grab the button and add it to the post. :)

  • Michelle Willow July 16, 2011, 4:51 am

    This is awesome reusing idea and beautiful work! Featured in this week’s High paw! :) Thanks for adding it to the linky!

  • Rashmie Jaaju July 16, 2011, 7:53 am

    Dear Michelle,
    Thank you for the feature on High Paw. We are so honoured. I’ll add the button to this post. :)

  • creativejewishmom/sara July 16, 2011, 8:35 pm

    a super wonderful idea, especially styrofoam is one of the few things that isn’t recyclable!
    I love to make prints with styrofoam, but love, love, love the mosaic idea! thanks so much for sharing on Craft Schooling Sunday!

    • Rashmie Jaaju July 18, 2011, 5:27 am

      Dear Sara,
      Thank you for featuring this on Craft Schooling Sunday. It’s an honour :)
      I am so glad you loved this idea and yes – you’re so right – since styrofoam is not readily recycleable because of a few recycling locations that accept this Polystyrene (plastic # 6), it makes so much sense to upcycle them so that they do not end up in the landfills and stay there for hundreds of years.

      On another note, I found out this useful tip about how to recycle styrofoam at home.
      If you spray styrofoam with an organic citrus peel extract/oil called, lemonene, it will shrink the styrofoam to 1/20th of its original size. The resulting gooey substance can be used as super glue! You can find lemonene under the brand name – Green Terpene in the U.S. – http://www.greenterpene.com/

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