Here is a twist on the popular Wassily Kandinsky circles project: a group art mural made from recycled CD case trays. This project is perfect for Earth Day, but it does require advance planning.
- CD Jewel Case insert trays, preferably donated, one per student
- Oil Pastels (we used Crayola)
- glue and backing for mounting (see below)
- Source CD jewel cases. I got 250 CD jewel cases via the ‘for sale – free’ section on Craigslist. Like many others, the donor had switched from CDs to MP3s and didn’t want the old CD cases going to a landfill. Score!!!! Free art materials AND trash kept out of the landfill.
- Pry off the colored plastic CD trays from the clear jewel cases (a parent volunteer helped me with this step). Save the clear cases for another project.
The Art Lesson:
I introduced Wassily Kandinsky to the kindergarteners. We looked at several of his famous artwork including Color Study: Squares with Concentric Circles. We noticed Kandinsky liked to make paintings with bright colors and shapes – not landscapes or paintings of people. Here are two brief YouTube videos I showed the kinders.
The Art Project
The art project couldn’t be easier:
1. Pass out oil pastels and CD case insert trays. Flip trays so central ‘bump’ is up.
2. Students start by coloring a fat ring around the center bump. They trade colors with a neighbor, then color another concentric circle. Repeat until the entire plastic circle is colored. Finally, they color the edges.
3. Group completed insert trays and mount
So easy and fun! 100% of kindergarteners had success with this project.
I plan on using four glue dots per CD tray and mounting on foam core.
UPDATE: The glue dots failed immediately. I had better luck with strong spray glue (3M Super 77 Spray Adhesive – use it outside or in a well-ventilated area). One week after the art show, I was able to remove the plastic circles to hand back to the kids.
However, you may choose to use a different adhesive and base depending on the number of circles you have, and the length of time you want the mural on display. Because I have 45 circles and only want the mural on display for one week, I am creating a display that can be easily dissembled.
UPDATE: If you want to a more powerful adhesive for long-term mounting, try 3M Scotch Heavy Duty Mounting Tape. I created CD case mural using the mounting tape, and sent it off to a museum show. The mounting tape worked beautifully.
Another option: keep the plastic insert inside the jewel case. Color, then close and mount each case to display surface (I separated the insert tray from the jewel case because I needed the clear cases for another project).
This would be a great activity for an Earth Day event – each participant can make a square for the mural. The entire activity, including the videos and clean up, took only 40 minutes. I also see this as a fun art activity booth at an art fair or school carnival.
Do you have a great resource for free art supplies?
Do you have a favorite recycled art project?