I’ve been wanting to post this project for a year. This rainbow collage invitation was presented to my art camp kids one year ago today, which just happened to be the same day as the Pulse night club shooting in Orlando. My little kids obviously didn’t know anything about this, their happy faces a stark reminder that there is so much good in this world. I had a hard time keeping my eyes dry that day, but for the five and six-year olds, it was just a happy rainbow-making time.
And now, on the one year anniversary of this sad day, here I am finally sharing these photos with you. I am a terrible planner, and I honestly forgot today was the anniversary until I listened to the radio on my way back from school drop-off. I had to change my intro to reflect my heavy heart today. I continue to focus on the good and decent people around me in my life, as I honor those whose dreams were cut short too soon.
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The idea for these rainbows came from one of my favorite art studios, Collage Collage in Vancouver, BC. Owner Erin Boniferro not only has the most wonderful art ideas, she also runs a beautifully curated shop within her studio. A visit to Vancouver is on my bucket list!
Gather your supplies
~ Rainbow colored paper collage material (I used a combo of cut up old art, colored paper, scrapbook paper, and fabric)
~ Cardboard rainbow shapes (I used cereal boxes in these photos, but you can also use thicker cardboard from boxes)
~ Optional craft wire to make a hanger
Preparing materials and presenting your creative table
~ First, make a rainbow template. Cut out one rainbow shape from regular paper, and use that to trace on top of the cardboard.
~ Next, prepare your collage materials. I collect lots of scraps throughout the year so may of these odd shapes were already cut. I then went through my old art drawer and took out a bunch of paintings. I cut these into square and rectangle shapes. I also have a draw of colored paper and a drawer of patterned scrapbook paper. (I use the Alex drawers from IKEA to store paper and old art.) I selected a few pieces and cut them up. Next I found some fabric scraps and cut those up, too. Lastly, I separated each color into its own tray and added some buttons.
~ If you have pom-poms, put some in a basket.
~ To set up your table, just put one rainbow at each place along with one glue, and spread the collage material along the table. The children will have to get up and walk around to find the color they need. For smaller children who may just use what’s in front of them, I gather a little of each color and put it next to their rainbow.
~ Then, just let the children do their thing. You can just stand back and enjoy watching their process and listening to their chatter.
~ When the rainbows have dried, you can punch two holes at the top and add a wire if you want to hang it up on a nail. This is optional.
Rainbow collages are a great birthday party craft idea
Last weekend I did a birthday party for 6-year old Riley and she chose to make these rainbow collages. What I love about this idea for a birthday party is that it’s sort of a craft, but also very open-ended so that each child makes something different. Since there are no instructions to follow, it’s stress-free! No right or wrong.
Here are some photos from the party. This time I used thicker cardboard.
I love looking at these rainbow collages. I wish I could keep all of them and hang them on my wall permanently. A rainbow wall of love and acceptance.
Roughly what size did you make the rainbows? They’re the perfect size for really letting the kids have some space and go free. I adore this project. It’s just so happy.
hi Vela, so they are about 12″ wide and about 10″ tall. hope this helps! xx bar
I just ordered your book from Amazon and I am SO EXCITED!
thank you for ordering, Kellie!!! xx Bar
I want to buy the book, what’s it called?
hi Nidia, the book is called Cardboard Creations and you can find it on Amazon. Here is a link: https://amzn.to/3fQbuBR
Is there a pattern for the rainbow anywhere?
hi Karen, I don’t have a pattern. I would suggest folding a piece of paper in half, then cutting half the rainbow. Open it up and use that as a template for the cardboard. Good luck! ~ Bar
The book is fabulous! So inspiring.
This got me all teary. Thanks for spreading some love and sunshine.
This is such a great rainbow craft! I love the addition of the pom poms, We featured it a while back on our article 10 fun kids rainbow crafts 🙂 https://www.diythought.com/10-fun-kids-rainbow-crafts/
thanks for sharing my rainbows!! xx Bar
So fun! I came across this and am planning on doing it for one of my daughter’s 4th birthday party! May I ask where you got the baskets from? I love how they display all the goodies.
hi Sharon, the wicker baskets are actually charger plate – that you put under a regular dinner plate at dinner parties to be fancy – and I got them at a tag sale. but you can probably google “wicker charger plate” and find them online. this is perfect for a 4-year olds’ party! good luck! xx Bar
Hello! I would love to use one of your images from your post to share your blog on my instagram account. Let me know if that would be ok 🙂
Sure, please just tag me @artbarblog! Thanks! ~ Bar
Thank you; it’s such a great idea! I have many flattened cereal boxes and they are juat perfect for this craft.