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MARBLE MAZE - Recycled Art

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

PROJECT 23  |  03.28.22


Video Editing by Jorge Davies, Graphics by Melissa Sabol




Not all art creations are just for looking at! In this project you will make a functional marble maze that incorporates recycled objects into a fun game!
Follow these steps to combine basic engineering with an artistic air into something amazing!


  • Demonstrates how throw-away materials – paper, cardboard, wood, glass, plastics, metals – can be transformed into works of art. 

  • Inspires students to look at everyday objects in an artistic way.

  • Challenges students to engineer a maze that relies on the arrangement of obstacles made with found objects.

  • ​Sparks imaginative thinking and the freedom to experiment with materials without the limits of representational art. 

  • Encourages problem solving skills, and a focus on process instead of the end product. 

  • Strengthens motor skill development by cutting, gluing and arranging objects.



  • Cereal Box

  • Marble

  • Recycled Materials (buttons, rocks, wood bits, toothpicks, paperclips, straws, popsicle sticks, tiny old or broken toys, metal washers or bolts, etc.)

  • Tape

  • Scissors

  • Crayons

  • Pencil or Pen

  • Gluestick

  • Poster Putty

  • Paper Scraps

  • Stickers




  1. Tape the ends of the box shut.

  2. Poke a hole using a pencil in one corner.

  3. Cut all along the edge of the box.
    Be sure to save the extra cardboard.

Marble Maze-04.png


  1. Mark where you want to start the maze and poke a hole through side of the box using a pencil.

  2. Create another hole on opposite end of box for exit.

  3. Test both holes using the marble to make sure they are big enough. Use scissors to widen the opening
    if needed.

  4. Sketch a rough path of where you want the marble to go.

Marble Maze-05.png


  1. Use the cardboard that was set aside earlier to cut strips 2” wide.

  2. Glue strips into the corners of the box to avoid the marble getting stuck.

  3. Make walls for the path by folding a cardboard strip in half lengthwise to make an “L” shape.

  4. Cut to t the size of the line needed for your design.

  5. Add glue or tape to one edge and press into place.

  6. Repeat for all the lines you have drawn.

Marble Maze-06.png


  1. Create a focal point at the end of your maze by adding a small object. Use poster putty or tape to make it stay in place.

  2. Repeat this process to add all of your favorite objects to create obstacles & targets for the marble.

  3. Test with the marble to make sure it goes where you want it to.

  4. Adjust the obstacles and walls as needed.

Marble Maze-07.png


  1. Add cut paper or stickers to areas you want to decorate.

  2. Give points to each target and the exit of the maze.

  3. Use crayons to give more interest.

Marble Maze-08.png

6. PLAY!!!

Have fun seeing how many points you can get as your marble travels through the game you have made!

Aritst to Know


Joseph Cornell_Sun Box 1956 .jpg

Joseph Cornell
Joseph was an American self-taught artist and filmmaker and one of the originators of the form of sculpture called assemblage, in which unlikely or found objects are put together to create a piece of art. He began to make the 'shadow boxes' for which he is best known – glass-fronted box constructions containing arrangements of found objects and paper, assembled in a sort of three-dimensional collage.
Sun Box, 1956, mixed media
Website >>

Bonnie Hartenstein_Self-Posessed (1987-2018).jpeg

Bonnie Hartenstein

Bonnie is an artist of painted and sculptural compositions, site-specific installations, and large scale paintings. Some of her most interesting pieces are created with found objects. After her studio mate gave her a box of his old cast-off objects, she began wondering about the “lives” of collected junk and gave them a new life by combining them with other objects.

Self-Posessed , 1987-2018, mixed media

Website >>


Noah Purifoy

Noah Purifoy lived and worked most of his life in Los Angeles and Joshua Tree, California. Purifoy moved his practice out to the Mojave desert and lived for the last 15 years of his life creating ten acres full of large-scale sculpture on the desert floor. Constructed entirely from junked materials, this otherworldly environment is one of California’s great art historical wonders. You can visit Noah’s exhibit 63030 Blair Lane, Joshua Tree, California 92252. The Noah Purifoy Desert Art Museum of Assemblage Art is open to the public every day of the year from sun up until sundown and is free of charge.

Untitled, outdoor art museum joshua tree, ca, mixed media

Website >>



Assemblage: a sculptural technique of organizing a group of unrelated and often throw-away objects into a unified whole.

Construct:  to build something or put together different parts to form a whole.

Design:  an artistic plan showing the main features of something to be made.

Engineer:  to plan, design, or build something in a skillful way

Focal Point:  center of interest or activity; main point of focus in a piece of art.

Form: the shape or structure of something.

Function:  a purpose or the way something works.

Functional Sculpture:  any three-dimensional sculpture that can be used for a purpose other than decoration.

Path:  a route, course, or track along which something moves.

Plan:  to think about and decide what you are going to do or how you are going to do something.

Maze:  a complicated system of paths or passages that people or objects find their way through.

Recycled Art:  made from throw-away materials that once had another purpose. Recycled art is about repurposing and reusing materials.

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