Hanging Fabric Collage

While my daughter could spend all day at the park, she’s not so interested in hanging out in our garden these days. I’m wrapping my head around the dilemma of spending too much time inside, and have a few theories and solutions brewing, one of which is to take our art projects outside!


  • Paper to nail to fence or wall
  • Scraps of fabric
  • Glue Jar + Glue
  • Fat paintbrushes
  • Scissors

We began by nailing a couple long strips of tan butcher paper to our fence so that the paper wouldn’t blow away.

Hanging Fabric Collage

N painted thick glue on the paper, and then stuck pre-cut small pieces (roughly 2″ x 2″) of fabric directly onto the glue.

Hanging Fabric Collage

Meanwhile, baby Rainbow enjoyed having the sandbox all to herself!

Hanging Fabric Collage

The fabric we used came from a small stash of  fabrics that I’ve had for ages (dress shirts, boxer shorts, and quilt remnants.)  N found this men’s shirt and wanted to wear it as a smock. When I taught Elementary Art we used dress shirts as smocks all the time, and it took me back to a happy time! She asked a million-plus questions about the boxers, and specifically wanted to know why we were cutting them up. The unintended consequences of this activity: a lesson plan that covered recycling, thrift stores, upcycling, and…

Hanging Fabric Collage

Cutting with GIANT scissors!

At this point, N left the glueing phase and entered the cutting phase of the project. Once she gets those scissors in hand, there’s no stopping her.

Hanging Fabric Collage

Here’s what the collage looked like before she got “chilly” and requested that we move back indoors.

Baby steps, right!?


This post is shared with It’s Playtime


  1. Hmm, that’s a tricky dilemma, the not wanting to be outside. We have the opposite going on, as our art activities have taken back seat a bit as we’ve gotten a chance to do more and more outside exploration. (For everything there is a season!) I wish I knew a bit more about N’s personality so I could give you some suggestions!

    • It IS tricky. Thanks for understanding 🙂 I should have said more about it in the post, but our yard is covering was covered in splintery wood chips and I think she’s still wary of walking around and getting splinters in her feet. I’m building up a mud pie kitchen idea that she hasn’t bought into yet, but hope that when the weather warms up (it actually has been chilly this week!), things will change.

    • ay ya yay! and you have the humidity working against you too, don’t you. enjoy the outdoors while you can 🙂

  2. Love the paper cut to the size of your fence panels. Anyone would want to make their mark on those. Very inviting.
    And, I’m really enjoying your involving the Baby Girl. It’s refreshing to see how babies use materials usually saved for the older siblings.
    I used to invite babies into the Studio where I worked and when really watching their process, I marveled at the complexities of their learning.

    • Thanks for the nice observation, Jena. I thought the fence-sized panels were pretty cool too 🙂 That’s so great that you invited babies into the studio. I’m all for all-age learning. It’s such an authentic way to grow and experience life.

  3. Today it was 70 and C thought it was too cold —-it was 90 on Tuesday! We are trying to take art outside too! A whole post could be written about this! Should we force little ones to do art inside when it is so gorgeous outside?

    • Hi Melissa 🙂 Well, we should never force art making on little ones, but I did sort of feel like I was coercing her to be outside.

  4. Rachelle – my boys are the same. Happy as larry to spend all day outdoors anywhere but home (except in summer when they swim in the pool). Some days I feel like locking them out there 🙂 I think taking art outside is a wonderful way to try to get around this for younger kids. I’m needing ideas for 12 year olds!

  5. We are in the same boat at the moment. The weather is getting colder and for us people from the tropics its just a little too cold to be outside. But I’m getting a bit of cabin-fever. We were inside all day today. So I have been trying to think of ways to get the little guy outside more without him getting cold and cranky. How do you guys deal with the winter?

    Rachelle, would you come over and link this to our Outdoor Play link? 🙂 🙂

    • Gosh, Kate, I guess this is a universal dilemma! Winter is tough, especially when we have a lot of rain. Because it’s almost summer here, we’re not used to bundling up, and I wonder if it would be different if we had more winter gear on. Have you stocked up on hats and warm sweaters? I’ll pop right over and link up — thanks for the invitation!!

  6. What a great idea! We have done paper collages and object collages, but never fabric. And taking art activities outside is always a hit around here – hopefully she’ll come round to the outdoors with more fun activities like these!

    Thanks for linking up at Outdoor Play! Hope we’ll see you again next Friday!

    • Thanks for the nice note 🙂 Now that it’s warmed up (finally!), we’ll have lots more to share!

  7. I love this idea, my DD would definitely enjoy this.Thanks!

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