Art Projects for Sunday Church School: Mixed Media Collage

This series of blogs about including art in the Sunday Church School will offer a variety of art techniques and ideas. Each week will focus on one medium, offering a tutorial for one project (which can be used at multiple age levels), as well as several other suggested ways to incorporate the medium in other projects. The purpose of the series is to offer Sunday Church School teachers ideas which they can keep in mind for future reference as they plan to use art in their classroom. Each technique can be applied to a variety of lessons, whether Bible stories, Church history, lessons on the Faith, etc. For the purpose of keeping it simple, the cross will be used in each illustration throughout the series.


Mixed media art can be used with children of all ages. It is an art form that can be very detailed and take a lot of time, or can be basic and fairly quick to complete. The materials vary according to what is available and/or what the artist wishes to incorporate into their piece. Mixed media is an art form that can be easily used in the Sunday Church School classroom, especially in collage form. Here is one example of a mixed media collage project. (This project is geared towards older children because of the many steps required to complete it.)


Cover your workspace to protect the table. Gather all of the art mediums and supplies that you wish to make available to the children, and place them in the center of the workspace. (Generally speaking, this is the point where you tell the students to use the mediums/supplies as they wish to create a piece of art reflecting whatever it is that you taught about in the lesson. This blog will show the process of creating one specific piece of mixed media art featuring an “embossed” cross on a mixed media background.)


For a project like this, first draw the focus piece (in this case, the cross) on a piece of cardstock or cardboard. Cut it out if desired.


Outline the focus piece and any details you wish to include with tacky craft glue or hot glue. (The type of glue you use is up to you: it can depend as well on the age/ability of your students and the amount of time you have for the project to dry/cool.) Set the focus piece aside, to allow the glue to dry or cool.


While the glue on the focus piece is drying/cooling, begin to decorate the background. (Students can use any type of media for this part of the project. Watercolor art is the base for this particular piece.) Paint a piece of watercolor paper with plain water. Paint over that water with different colors of watercolor paint. The colors will run together and mix on the already-wet paper.


While the paint is still wet, sprinkle salt on the paint. Set the background piece aside to dry.


When the glue on the focus piece is dry/cool, cover the entire piece with glue from a glue stick.

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Gently place a piece of tin foil over the entire piece, wrapping the foil around to the back. (This requires a bit of careful thought if your piece is a shape, such as a cross. Cut the foil as needed to be able to wrap it around to the back.) Add a little glue stick glue to the back if desired, to hold the folded-back parts in place.


On the front side, smooth the foil down carefully with paper towel-covered fingers to avoid tearing the foil.

Use a cotton swab to push the foil against the paper at the glue ridges. Work slowly and carefully: the foil tears easily.

Use a blunt pencil to add additional details into the foil.


Rub the whole thing with dark shoe polish, let it dry for a few minutes, and then gently buff it off with a paper towel. The focus piece is now finished. Set it aside while you finish preparing the background piece.

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Returning to the background piece, gently brush the salt off of the paper. Add scraps of other paper, stamped images, bits of fabric, or whatever is desired for the final effect.


Glue the focus piece onto the background piece and add any desired additional touches.


Your mixed media collage piece is finished!

Note: this project can be easily simplified for use with younger children. For example, the focus piece could be simply cut out of cardstock and decorated with crayon, rubber stamps, or even stamped fingerprints. The background could be decorated in a similar manner, or with swatches of colorful paper. The beauty of a mixed media collage is in its versatility: whatever you have on hand is fair game for use in whichever way the students wish to use it in their art piece!

The cross for this project was inspired by this:

The watercolor ideas for this project can be found here:

Here are more collage links to inspire you: (using paint, magazine photos, and stickers) (using marker, paint, fabric, and sequins); (this is a picture only, but shows use of fabric/lace scraps in collage)

Following are other ideas for mixed media collage:


Create a still life with a mixed media collage as illustrated here:


Gather pictures, color swatches, and/or letters from cereal boxes to use in your mixed media art as suggested here:


Glue colorful strips from magazine in parallel lines and then cover that with a negative cut-out of black paper as suggested at


Start with wiggle eyes glued on paper, and allow the children to draw around them:


Sew buttons onto paper and have the children draw them into some part of the Creation.

Or, glue buttons on paper and allow the children to incorporate those buttons into their drawing.


Stamping ideas that can be used in mixed media art:  make your own foam stamps like this:

make prints using found materials as demonstrated here:

print with the wheels of toy vehicles as shown here:

make your own stamp pads for stamping as demonstrated here:


Use mod-podge, paint, and paper scraps on a piece of wood to make a beautiful scripture verse wallhanging as found here:

1 thought on “Art Projects for Sunday Church School: Mixed Media Collage

  1. Pingback: Lenten Sundays Series: The Sunday of the Veneration of the Holy Cross | Orthodox Christian Sunday Church School Teachers

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