Every week I check out new library books for my daughter Little C to enjoy, and I return a few of the books she is finally ready to let go of. One of our favorite things to do lately is to make books come to life through art projects. Once we create an art project for a book, she is usually more willing to let the book go back to the library. We both enjoy having fun images from our favorite books hanging up around the house. This week, we were inspired to create art based on Eric Carle’s book Little Cloud.
This is such a cute book about a little cloud who changes into different objects on each page before joining back up with the bigger clouds. This book is right up my daughter’s alley because she is always telling me what every juice puddle and paint blob looks like. I always love books that bring out my daughter’s imagination. If you’d like to recreate these adorable clouds, you are in luck, because I included plenty of pictures in my step by step tutorial to make it as easy as possible for you to recreate this project with your kids.
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- Mixed media paper
- Blue, and white paint (tempera, or acrylic)
- Sponge brush, cotton ball, or pom pom ball
- Cardstock paper
- Templates, or a pencil to draw with
- Contact Paper
- Permanent marker
- White glitter
- Little Cloud book by Eric Carle
- Gather all your materials.
- Cut your mixed media paper into four equal rectangles if you want to do four different clouds like we did. I cut mine 4 by 5 inches since I wanted to display them on an 11 by 14-inch paper, and eventually frame them in a standard 11 by 14-inch picture frame.
- Print out templates for the cloud shapes you want, or quickly draw the cloud shapes on four separate pieces of 4 by 5 card stock paper. You want these templates to be the same size as your mixed media paper that you cut in the previous step. We printed out a template for a lamb, and an airplane, and then I drew a tree and a hat based off the illustrations in the book.
- Cut out the inside of your drawings/templates. Make sure you cut slightly wavy lines, rather than straight edges.
- After you’ve turned your cardstock templates/drawings into stencils, use them to trace your cloud shapes onto contact paper.
- Cut out your contact paper cloud shapes on the outside edge of the black marker. Peel the paper backing off, and slowly, firmly press the contact paper onto your mixed media paper.
- Mix up several different shades of blue, and white.
- Have your child paint all four squares of paper with several different shades of blue, with white mixed in here, and there.
- Wait for your blue paint completely dry, then slowly peel off the contact paper.
- Now you have to decide if you like your artwork as is, or if you want to add texture to your clouds. If you would like to add a little texture, place your cardstock stencil on top of your cloud, and have your child dab white paint onto the cloud. We used an up and down dabbing motion for two reasons. Reason number one is to add texture, and reason number two is that it makes it easier to ensure your child’s paintbrush doesn’t slip under the stencil. We used a circular sponge brush, but you could also use a cotton ball, a pom pom ball, or even a fat paintbrush.
- Carefully remove your stencil, and shake some glitter on top of you are feeling brave. I am not afraid of a little sparkle, but I know that some people cringe at the thought of glitter. I think it added a nice touch to our little clouds.
Once your paint dries, you are completely finished, and you can proudly display your adorable cloud art. I temporarily taped all four of my squares onto another piece of sturdy mixed media paper. I intend to frame them in the future.
The thing I like about this art project is how versatile it is. You can decide how you want to do it based on what you like, and what supplies you have available. If you like the way it looks after you peel off the contact paper, you can stop at that step. If you don’t have contact paper, that’s okay too, because if you are using acrylic paint, you could always skip the contact paper. Without the contact paper, all you would have to do is paint the entire background, wait until it dries, then use your stencil, and white acrylic paint to add your clouds. We kind of combined both ways of doing this project, and it’s a good thing we did because it let me show you two easy ways to complete this project with your young artist. In case you are wondering, my daughter is only 2.5, and she was able to fully participate in this project. With a little bit of creative preparation, your young artist can create fun artwork too! If you have any questions, feel free to drop us a comment. Happy painting!