Magazine Mosaics

One of my favorite art / history projects to do with my kids is to make a “Magazine Mosaic” — it’s really just a collage, but the word mosaic gives it some nice alliteration, don’t you think.

Here’s how it works: save your old magazines (if you subscribe to them) for a few months. Certain magazines work best for this — National Geographic, Time, Life, Newsweek, anything that covers global events and human interest stories. If you don’t buy or subscribe to these magazines (or if you’d like to get an abundance of them) visit your local library or Goodwill store. Very often, you can find older editions of these magazines for dirt cheap. (We buy National Geographics for a quarter each).

Next, choose a theme. Almost a year ago, my wife had the girls create a “Visioon Board,” a collage filled with images of hopes, dreams, and goals they would like to achieve. During a science unit, I had the girls cut out images of the different ecological environments: tundra, desert, rain forest, etc. Using the magazine pictures they created environment backgrounds, and then found animal photographs (or drew pictures of their own) to place into the foreground.

Now, a lot of people cherish their old magazines and want to keep them in storage for years and years. In that case, this project might not appeal to you. However, in my family’s case, I learned long ago that after reading the magazines they just hang around in the bathroom, until our magazine rack is chock full. So now our rule with magazines is this: read them thoroughly, use them for creative purposes, and hang our favorites on the wall!