How to Make Newspaper Art

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Sure you can throw old newspapers into the recycle bin, but it’s a lot more fun and interesting to turn your own trash into treasure. Why not make newspaper art? It’s an easy, eco-friendly project that’s perfect for both kids and adults.

Things You'll Need

  • Newspaper
  • Containers
  • Balloons
  • Glue/tape (optional)
  • Flour
  • Water
  • White copy paper
  • Non-toxic poster paint
  • Frame with glass and cardboard backing
  • Acid-free double-sided tape
  • Archival spray

Papier Mache Newspaper Art

  • Collect old newspapers to use as your canvas and discarded containers to use as the molds, like cardboard boxes, plastic bottles and aluminum cans.

  • Plan your paper mache newspaper art design by getting creative with your molds. Glue or tape containers together to create the basic shapes you’re looking for. Regular balloons work well for spherical shapes, but you can really get creative with the special “modeling” balloons often used by clowns and other entertainers to make animal balloons.

  • Create a paper mache mixture out of three parts flour to one part water in a large container. Stir well until blended.

  • Tear your newspaper into thin strips. Dip each one into the paper mache mixture, saturating it completely. Drape each strip over your mold until it is completely covered with one layer of newspaper. Work out any bubbles and smooth out the edges.

  • Let the first layer of newspaper dry completely. Then repeat the process three more times, again letting it dry completely in between each layer. Remember to smooth out all bubbles and edges.

  • Tear the copy paper into strips. Dip into the paper mache, saturate and add as your final layer to your newspaper art. You’ll get a much better effect with your paints if you have this white surface to work with instead of the newsprint. Again, let it dry completely.

Collage Newspaper Art

  • Find a frame with glass and cardboard backing to make newspaper art collage. Take out the cardboard to use as your canvas. This is the easiest way to have a ready-made frame rather than trying to find one the perfect size for a random piece of cardboard.

  • Cut out images, words, headlines and articles from the newspaper. You can go with a theme – like the environment – or simply a collection of whatever catches your eye.

  • Arrange your newspaper clippings onto the cardboard canvas from the frame. There’s no right or wrong way to do this. The arrangement simply depends on what’s pleasing to you.

  • Use your acid-free double-sided tape to attach your newspaper clippings to the cardboard canvas. Acid-free is critical to preserve the newspaper. Avoid glue at all costs as this will warp and destroy the effect.

  • Spray your collage newspaper art with the archival spray once you have everything taped down. This will help prevent the newspaper from getting yellow and brittle over time. You should be able to find archival spray at your local craft store.

  • Replace your cardboard canvas back in its frame so that your collage is protected by glass. Just be sure to let the archival spray dry first.

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