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Art Lesson: Found Object Pet Portrait Collage

written by: Nicole Hilsabeck • edited by: Tricia Goss • updated: 6/20/2014

Use items around the house to create a unique pet portrait.

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    Students will assemble found items into a collage-style portrait of a pet.

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    • Recycled/ found objects (such as buttons, magazines, sequins, yarn, paper, or other items found around the house)
    • Sturdy paper or cardboard
    • Scissors
    • Paint or markers
    • Glue (hot glue gun or matte medium if supervised by an adult)
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    Lesson Procedure

    Lesson Procedure 

    Step One: Using cardboard or sturdy paper that can handle paint and glue, students will draw a basic design for their pet portraits with a focus on the pet’s face. Students should stick to simple shapes, creating a map for where their glued items will go. Students may use markers or paint to add color to the design, which will serve as the background for the picture.

    Step Two: Students will assemble found items onto the background to create a pleasing design, focusing on creating the pet’s face. Students may also wish to cut some words that describe their pets out of magazines to work into the designs. Once students are satisfied with the arrangement of text and objects, they can begin gluing the items to the background. 

    Note: students should only use adhesive such as matte medium or hot glue if there is adult supervision, and should follow all necessary safety precautions if doing so.

    Step Three: Students will place their collages aside and allow them ample time to dry. Once collages are dry, students can add any desired finishing touches with marker or paint.

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    None needed

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    Students who enjoy this project may wish to continue with additional household pets or try a family portrait.