Styrofoam Plate Mosaic and Stencils – For Open-ended Art

by Rashmie Jaaju on July 10, 2011 · 18 comments

in Art & Craft

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

{ 18 comments… read them below or add one }

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

What a great way to reuse plates! The pictures looks wonderful. It reminds me of stained glass.
JDaniel4′s Mom’s recent fabulous post..Rockin the Baby Link Up with Things I Can’t Say

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Rashmie Jaaju July 16, 2011 at 7:39 am

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

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Michelle July 12, 2011 at 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!

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Rashmie Jaaju July 16, 2011 at 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.
Rashmie Jaaju’s recent fabulous post..The beauty of multi-cultural learning, India’s Eclectic Culture and the Role of Schools

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Laura@art4littlehands July 14, 2011 at 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.
Laura@art4littlehands’s recent fabulous post..Places to Go: Washington DC Zoo

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Rashmie Jaaju July 16, 2011 at 7:46 am

Dear Laura,
Thank you for your kind words and encouragement. I agree with you – the culture the child lives in and explores, will reflect in her/his art too. I feel it’s so important for the child to know not just her/his own culture but other cultures too, which will broaden their outlook. Some time back, I shared my views about multi-cultural learning. It’s here:
http://mommylabs.gorgeouskarma.com/art_craft_projects_kids/growing-up-in-a-multi-cultural-learning-environment/
Rashmie Jaaju’s recent fabulous post..The beauty of multi-cultural learning, India’s Eclectic Culture and the Role of Schools

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Natalie July 14, 2011 at 3:12 pm

Thanks for explaining the technique! I think we are definitely going to try it out – the result is gorgeous!
Natalie’s recent fabulous post..Encouraging Spelling Through Games

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Rashmie Jaaju July 16, 2011 at 7:48 am

Natalie,
Thank you for visiting and for sharing your thoughts. I am glad you like our foam mosaic. :)
Rashmie Jaaju’s recent fabulous post..The beauty of multi-cultural learning, India’s Eclectic Culture and the Role of Schools

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cathy @ nurturestore July 14, 2011 at 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.
cathy @ nurturestore’s recent fabulous post..Eat some numbers: Fruit cocktail maths

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Rashmie Jaaju July 16, 2011 at 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.
Rashmie Jaaju’s recent fabulous post..The beauty of multi-cultural learning, India’s Eclectic Culture and the Role of Schools

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Aimee July 15, 2011 at 12:59 pm

What a creative way to recycle- Styrofoam is fun to color on! Thank you for sharing it on The Sunday Showcase.
Aimee’s recent fabulous post..Animal Alphabet Book: K is for Kangaroo

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Rashmie Jaaju July 16, 2011 at 7:51 am

Aimee,
Thank YOU for visiting and sharing your thoughts. I am glad you like this recycling art.
Rashmie Jaaju’s recent fabulous post..The beauty of multi-cultural learning, India’s Eclectic Culture and the Role of Schools

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Aimee July 15, 2011 at 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
Aimee’s recent fabulous post..Animal Alphabet Book: K is for Kangaroo

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Rashmie Jaaju July 16, 2011 at 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. :)
Rashmie Jaaju’s recent fabulous post..The beauty of multi-cultural learning, India’s Eclectic Culture and the Role of Schools

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Michelle Willow July 16, 2011 at 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!
Michelle Willow’s recent fabulous post..HIGH PAW – Show us your best!

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Rashmie Jaaju July 16, 2011 at 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. :)
Rashmie Jaaju’s recent fabulous post..The beauty of multi-cultural learning, India’s Eclectic Culture and the Role of Schools

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creativejewishmom/sara July 16, 2011 at 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!
creativejewishmom/sara’s recent fabulous post..Welcome To Craft Schooling Sunday!

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Rashmie Jaaju July 18, 2011 at 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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