How to Make Paper That Looks Like Popcorn Art

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Making popcorn collages is a creative activity for preschoolers and elementary school-age children. If you don't have popcorn on hand for this project, or if you're worried about insects or leaving a collage up for a length of time, you can use colorful tissue gift-wrapping paper to get the same effect. Using paper instead of popcorn doesn't make the craft any more difficult for children, and with colored paper you can produce even brighter, longer-lasting results.

Things You'll Need

  • Gift-wrapping tissue paper
  • Wax paper
  • Scissors
  • Spray laundry starch
  • Paper or posterboard
  • Pencil
  • White craft glue
  • Popsicle stick or paintbrush

Choose the colored tissue paper you want to work with, or use white if you prefer so the result will look more like real popcorn. Cover a portion of your workspace in wax paper.

Cut the colored tissue paper into 5-by-5-inch squares and stack them up. You'll need a lot of squares, as each one will be equivalent to one piece of popcorn; how many you need will depend on the size of your collage, but popcorn art can take at least a large bowl or two of corns.

Place one square of colored paper on the wax paper in front of you. Spray it with laundry starch (don’t saturate it, just mist it). Crinkle up the tissue paper into a tight ball. Place it in a container to dry as you make more.

Continue making paper popcorn one by one. Twist them or roll them if desired. Make each one look unique, as each piece would be unique in real popcorn art. Allow the starch to dry before giving the paper popcorn to the child.

Draw an outline of the picture you want to make with a pencil on paper or posterboard. Instruct the child to spread white craft glue with a popsicle stick or craft paintbrush onto one section of the paper or posterboard.

Press the colored paper popcorn onto the glue. Continue section by section until the design is complete.

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