Making a sticky collage

I have been on the hunt for a while now for sticky ‘contact’ paper… I see it all over Pinterest, featured in some lovely ideas for creative play, and have been hankering after some as I thought it would make a great starting point for easy, mess-free collage projects with ToddlerGirl (I’m not quite ready to crack open the gloopy glue with her just yet…) I think ‘contact paper’ is an American term as it doesn’t seem to yield any results over here. I wondered if our version was ‘sticky back plastic’, which I remember from my Blue Peter watching days, but again, no. All I can come up with is the sticky film used to cover books with. I’m not sure if this is quite the same but our first project with it was a great success!

Making a sticky collage

I kept it really simple – this literally took a couple of minutes to set up, was super easy to do and clear away, and provided a good half an hour or more of play from ToddlerGirl, so it gets a thumbs up from both of us.

What did we use?

  • A good size rectangle of our sticky paper, taped to ToddlerGirl’s little table (as it’s only sticky on one side)
  • A basket full of bits of torn up paper: some coloured paper and some of ToddlerGirl’s scribbles
  • After a little while, I also added in some extra goodies: sequin flowers, paper flowers, feathers, pom poms and a couple of bits of felt

ToddlerGirl was intrigued by the sticky paper and spent a few minutes investigating the sticky sensation on her hands and fingers, which she thought was really funny. Then she started laying out the bits of torn paper to make a picture. This was fun to begin with but she actually got a bit fed up with it after only five minutes, so I added the bowl full of extra goodies to the table to see if that interested her a bit more. These items were obviously a lot more interesting to work with.

The sequin flowers were a big hit and had to be very carefully placed on the collage. We discovered that the pom poms did not stick down very well at all. The feathers were fun for tickling with and also for laying out on the picture! The felt was repositioned a couple of times and we noticed that some of the furry bits were left behind, leaving a faint pink circle where the piece had been placed originally.

Once ToddlerGirl was satisfied she had used everything she wanted to, we laid a piece of white paper over the top and I made sure this was stuck down firmly. Then I peeled the tape off to remove the whole thing from the table and trimmed it.

Ta dah! The paper sealed in all the elements of the collage and turned it into a picture that we can display on the wall. ToddlerGirl was very impressed and told me where to put it up so we could admire her work.

Of course, we were laying the pieces face up and, with the paper on the top, these are back to front now on our finished picture – we can’t see the patterns on the paper flowers, for example – but it doesn’t really matter. Next time, I’d choose things that look the same / just as good on both sides!

I’m already thinking of some other sticky projects for us to do…


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