Eric Carle Style Cards, by Jeanne*


Created by My Art to Inspire Contributor: Jeanne

Good, white card stock and envelopes
Tissue paper of many colors
Tempra or other opaque paints in several colors
Water color paint sets and brushes of several sizes
White glue and small clean brushes to apply it

NOTE: The tissue paper will need to be painted ahead of time, dried, and stored in color sets.

OBJECTIVE: Create original one-of-a-kind designs that are appealing and can be kept, given away, or “sold” for fundraising

Step One: On a nice clear and not windy day outside, or simply in a large space with washable flooring, put students/clients to work in teams applying various colors of paint to the tissue paper pieces. Use lots of variation on the type of brush strokes, the colors, and techniques such as splattering the paint. (Caution them not to over-do!) Let all tissue sheets dry, then store them for later usage. NOTE: The instructor or facilitator may want to cut the tissue sheets into much smaller pieces with a paper cutter since no design will require large amounts of the decorated tissue.

Step Two: Help them to come up with ideas for their designs—keep them simple: snowman, ladybug, sunflower, etc. (The complexity of the design will vary with the age of the students, but the simpler they are, the better the cards will turn out.) Students may want to sketch an idea and use colored pencils to plan the design they hope to create. When satisfied, go to next step. HINT: The instructor or facilitator may want to do only one design with the group imitating whatever that person has chosen. After one experience, the artists will be able to be more creative on their own.

Step Three: Guide the students in drawing their design onto white paper or tagboard; cutting it out carefully; then tracing it onto the colors of tissue needed.

Step Four: Place the colored pieces of tissue designs where desired on the right side of the folded cardstock. Then carefully, one piece at a time, using a small amount of diluted white glue and a clean, smaller paint brush (like the better ones found in children’s paint sets) dab a little of the glue onto the tissue. Carefully cover the tissue design (ladybug or whatever) taking care not to tear or scrub at it. (The diluted glue will penetrate the tissue and fix it onto the white card stock nicely.) When finished applying all tissue pieces, set the card(s) aside in a safe place to dry overnight.

Step 5: (An adult must do this) Place each card between white copy paper and press the card flat with a hot iron. Be sure it will not burn them!

Now the lovely cards are ready to keep, send, sell, or even frame, just like Eric Carle does it! His picture books are not just for the young, so be sure to have a few to show the artists and to inspire them. (The card shown in the photo was done by a six year old.)