Reuse, Reduce and Recycle…Into Fine Art!

This week up in “The Studio” famous artist Louise Nevelson inspired us. She was an American sculptor known for her monumental, monochromatic, wooden wall pieces and outdoor sculptures. We decided to use recycled materials to create collages. Then we painted our artwork in one color, just like Louise!

Louise Nevelson Collage
Louise Nevelson Collage


  • Anything recycled such as:
    • cardboard
    • popsicle sticks
    • paper clips
    • toothpicks
    • bottle caps…the list goes on and on
  • Pre-cut pieces of cardboard — approximately 4”x 6”
  • Glue
  • Paint — any color that you would like; we used white, purple and orange. (Louise only used white, black and gold, as shown in the picture collage above)

Collage art project materials


Step 1 – Hand out all of the recycled materials to the children or have them choose which items they want for their artwork.

For the 2-year-olds, we gave them the objects.

Kids creating recycled art collage

Preschool kids in art class outside

For the 3-year-olds (and up) we let them choose their objects as found they often times want to create a space, object or specific design with certain recycled materials.

Kids with cardboard art project

Kids in CMP art class creating collages

Step 2 – Glue down all objects.

Little tip: Have the children count to ten  out loud while holding down the objects after applying the glue.

Kids creating art in preschool


Step 3 – Paint the entire collage one color. Maybe apply more than one coat and demonstrate how to use the paintbrush to get into small spaces and completely paint over the textured objects.

Kids painting with yellow paint

Kids having fun in art class

Boy and girl painting collage

Carmel Mtn. Preschool kids in art class

Step 4 – Have Fun!!

Recycle preschool art project

Recycle yellow paint preschool project

Art project by Carmel Mountain Preschool Master Artist & Art Studio Teacher, Julie Goldstein.

If you enjoyed this post we invite you to read our blog, “The “Dear Sea, Love Me” Art Exhibition by CMP Art Teacher, Julie Goldstein.”

Carmel Mountain Preschool provides a safe and caring environment with hands-on, developmentally-appropriate programs for children. We also offer excellent care for elementary school-age students with our before and after school programs. CMP is located at 9510 Carmel Mountain Road, San Diego, CA 92129, situated between 4S Ranch, Rancho Peñasquitos, Carmel Valley, and Santaluz. For more information, please visit our website or contact us at 858.484.4877.

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