PLAYFUL SHAPES - Abstract Collage

MODULE:  Mixed Media  |  GRADE LEVELS:  1 - 6  |  DURATION:  1 Hour

PROJECT 22  |  02.23.22



Video Editing by Jorge Davies, Graphics by Melissa Sabol



Colors, shapes, textures, patterns and lines are all around us! Collage is a great way to combine these elements into a beautiful creation. Follow these steps using scraps of fabric and paper to make a unique, abstract composition!


  • Encourages students to explore form, line, color, pattern, and texture.

  • Challenges students to create abstract images that rely on the arrangement of patterns and shapes.

  • Motivates students to experiment with non-representational art.

  • Instills creative thinking, by allowing students to be free of the limits of representational art.

  • ​Inspires freedom to play with materials and experiment with different techniques.

  • ​Shows us how small changes in the use of materials can create unexpected outcomes.

  • Strengthens motor skill development by cutting templates and creating shapes.



  • Fabric Scraps

  • Paper Scraps

  • Colored Pencils

  • Scissors

  • Glue

  • Matboard

  • Shape Template

  • Sharpie




Select paper and fabric pieces that catch your eye and bring you joy. Look for your favorite colors, patterns, and textures and put them in a pile to work with. Make those choices quickly - don’t overthink it!

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Print the “Shapes Template” onto heavy cardstock. Next cut out the shapes. Feel free to make your own shapes by cutting up those basic shapes or re-cutting the leftover scraps.

Shapes Template

Shapes Template

Click to download & Print

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  1. Flip the fabric or paper over to the wrong side (the side you don’t like).

  2. Place a shape template down on the fabric or paper. Trace along the outside edge with a pen or dark pencil. Trace many shapes so you have several options to pick from.

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Carefully following the lines you have drawn, cut out the fabric and paper shapes. If you don’t want to use the templates, just cut the material directly into any shape you want.

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Pick your favorite shapes and arrange them on the mat board. Pay attention to how colors and patterns look together. Play with different groupings until you like the overall design.

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Once you are happy with your design, start gluing pieces down to the matboard one piece at a time!

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Add lines using colored pencils or a sharpie to make one part standout or unify things that look really different.



Create an abstract collage

Using paper, fabric, magazine pages and a template create your own abstract collage. Let your imagination run wild!

Create an account  -  Share your art  -  Be inspired



Pelloux Figures imposées, collage on paper, 2019.jpg

Guillaume Pelloux
Guillaume Pelloux is a collage artist who lives and works in Paris. Always fascinated by paper and images, he naturally turned to collage. He collects, borrows, and extracts materials from old art history books, and prefers editions printed in the last century, photos, flyers, and covers.
Imposées, collage on paper, 2019
Website >>

LE IDEE - Series #1, Collage on paper, 2022.png

Marina Misiti

Marina Misiti worked for several years as a reportage artist, graphic journalist and writer before turning to collage, mixed media and book arts. During the last 20 years she has explored urban spaces, signs, patterns, textures, color and typography. She takes these ideas and combines them into creative layouts and abstract collage.

LE IDEE - Series #1, collage on paper, 2022

Website >>


Kurt Schwitters

Schwitters worked in several genres and media, including dadaism, constructivism, surrealism, poetry, sound, painting, sculpture, graphic design, typography, and what came to be known as installation art. He is most famous for his collages, called Merz Pictures. Merz is a nonsense word he invented to describe his collage and assemblage works based on scavenged scrap materials.

Pine Trees, mixed paper on board, 1946-47



Abstract art: uses shapes, colors, forms, and lines to create compositions that may or may not look like real objects in our everyday world.

Collage:  refers to the technique of making compositions in two dimensions or very low relief by gluing paper, fabrics, photographs, or other materials onto a flat surface.

Color:  is produced when light shines on an object and is reflected back to the eye at different wavelengths. Some colors bounce off the object and others are absorbed by it. The colors we see, such as red, blue, and yellow, depend on how these light waves are reflected.

Composition:  arrangement of elements within a work of art.

Instinct:  the way people or animals naturally react without having to think.

Intuition: the ability to understand something immediately, based on feelings rather than facts.

Negative Space:  the empty background or area void of artistic elements that makes an essential contribution to a composition.

Pattern:  a regularly repeated arrangement, such as a design made from repeated lines, shapes, or colors on a surface.

Line:  is a long mark, stroke, row, or path.

Shape:  a flat closed area defined by an outline.

Space:  the area above, around, and within an object.

Texture:  the feel or consistency of a surface, such as fuzzy fabric, or a visual representation of wood. It is usually described as smooth or rough, soft or hard, coarse or fine, matt or glossy.