Glittery Cotton Ball Collage

My very active almost 3-year old hopped off her bike just long enough to work on a collage. The weather has been so nice, and I can’t really blame her.


  • Cardstock: 8.5 x 11, from a fat ream I picked up at the office supply store
  • White glue in a jar
  • Glitter
  • Scissors
  • Short-handled artist brushes
  • Collage Materials: Cotton balls, tissue paper, pasta, paint chips

She mixed the glitter and glue with a brush. Now that N’s fine motor skills are more refined, I really like these short-handled artist brushes because they enable her to paint marks as she imagines them. I think I picked them up as part of a set in the art supply section of JoAnn Fabrics. We also have a stash of fat toddler-friendly brushes, which cover large surfaces quickly in case that’s what she’s after.

She painted the glitter-glue onto the card stock.

And then she added do-dads to the glue.

A few pieces of pasta and tissue paper later and we had ourselves a beautiful child-designed glittery cotton ball collage.

Do you have a favorite collage technique?

Rachelle Doorley Rachelle Doorley is a mom and an arts educator with a passion for helping families and teachers set up meaningful creative projects for kids. She's the author of the popular kids’ craft book and bestseller, TinkerLab: A Hands-on Guide for Little Inventors, and her articles and ideas on creativity and arts education have been featured in School Arts Magazine, Real Simple, and FamilyFun. Rachelle has an art studio. in Palo Alto, CA where she seeks out ways to make every day creative. Join the TinkerLab circle through our FREE newsletter.


  1. says

    I love how N put the glitter in the glue! Fun! Making your own glitter glue would be a great project in itself! Why not make a whole set of colors!? I know what you mean—C would rather be outside playing than sit down and do an art project! That is why I’ve been trying to think of outdoor related activities and ones you can bring inside! Collages are always a winner with me—They can be done with just about anything! We did a lot of contact paper collages when C was 2!

    • rachelle says

      When it’s beautiful outdoors, I’m not overly eager to make art indoors either! But it is a good way to unwind and take a few deep breaths, which seems to be emotionally restorative too.

  2. N. says

    What a fun activity! Can you share where you got your litter from? Those look great for pouring/squirting instead of the ubiquitous shaker jars.

    • rachelle says

      The glitter is pretty great, and unfortunately I bought it at our teacher supply store and found out that the company no longer makes the glitter. Sorry about that, but I bet there’s something similar to it out there.