Celebrating Spring: Punchy Paper Garden


This little paper garden is perfect for spring and so fun for tiny hands. Using a variety of paper punches and recycled materials, each artist created their own unique garden.


  • Patterned Paper
  • Colored Construction Paper
  • Paper Punches
  • Glue Sticks
  • Recycled Cereal Box


First, the kiddos punch out a variety of shapes, colors, and sizes of paper. We used recycled butcher paper off the tables from previous weeks of printing and painting.




After exploring the different punches, it is time to start composing flowers. We had star, circle, heart, and a few flower-shaped punches in a variety of sizes making layering a lot of fun.


Now the recycled cereal box comes in handy! We used this as the “dirt” in our gardens. Because we used recycled materials, everyone’s dirt patch was a different size and even slightly different colors.


After adhering the dirt to the background construction paper, it is time to add stems. We also used a variety of greens made from paint strips, construction paper, and green painted paper.


Our Masters Class used white glue instead of glue sticks because they have the ability to control a line.


Once the stems are on, there was nothing stopping our tiny artists from putting on their punchy paper stars, and completing their sweet spring garden masterpieces!

papergarden38 papergarden36 papergarden22

Famous Artist III: O’Keeffe


This session exploring different artists. To explore an artist means we examine the work as a class, draw inspiration from the colors, content and techniques and then turn it into something of our own. For O’Keeffe we discussed the color palette she used in Oriental Poppies (1928), brush stroke size, and how big she painted the poppies.



  • Large White Construction Paper
  • Warm Color Construction Paper (pink, yellow, orange, red, etc)
  • Large Black Construction Paper (cut into strips betwen 1/2 – 1 in. wide)
  • Brown Construction Paper (cut into small circles for younger children)
  • Black Tissue Paper
  • Warm Color Paint (we used permanent tempera)
  • Paint Brushes
  • Scissors
  • Glue Sticks



We started by adding a border on our white construction page; this is where you will be mounting the flowers later. We did this step first before the table was covered with paint. We made each child had his/her name on the back of the paper to match it with flowers later.


Originally, we had cut the black paper two lengths: one for the long and short sides, but we found that inevitably, someone would glue the short construction paper on the long side. So we left all the black paper the same long length and had the children trim the excess.


Then we moved on to shaping the large flower. We wanted circular shapes, not perfect circles. We also wanted to keep the flowers large so instead of cutting a circle we rounded off the corners of a square paper.

Helpful hints:

1) draw guide lines for the student to follow with their scissor

2) rotate the paper as you cut not your hand/arm.

3) trim a little at a time, cutting off chunks as needed.


This project has A LOT of cutting, and new cutting techniques such as shaping circles.


Next, we used the brown construction to make the center of our flowers. Our masters students (5Y+) drew circles and cut them out themselves. Our younger students used precut circles.


Then we feathered the flower centers by making half to full inch cuts towards the center of circle, all the way around.

I explained a rhythm of cutting and rotating demoing it as I sang ” chop, chop, chop, turn, chop, chop, chop turn” . Kids love the idea of chopping up a piece of paper. The younger versions were very rough but full of personality!

When they finished this, they crinkled the centers so that the cuts didn’t lay flat and added 3-D texture.


After making sure all the white sheets were cleared, we got started painting. In the Master’s class, some stuck with wide brush strokes and worked from the center out.




All students were expected to paint to their ability.



While the paint was wet we added our feathered centers.


We used black paint as glue to adhere small pieces of tissue paper that we had crumpled.


In the Master’s classes, they also added black detail on the flowers.


As soon as each child finished their flowers we mounted them onto their background.


We couldn’t get enough of this project!


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