|The Finished Piece: Orion|
What you'll need:
Scrapbook paper (multiple sheets - for 20 crafters, I used 14 sheets)
Card stock (one for each crafter) - I used the white cardboard/card stock that comes with comic books and keeps them from bending, but you can use whatever you have on hand, as long as it's sturdy enough to frame the scrapbook squares
Note: This project is very low cost; I only spent $3.40. The only thing I needed to purchase that our library didn't have on hand was the scrapbook paper, and that I got on sale. That being said, this project takes a lot of time, effort, and prep! I used 14 sheets of scrapbook paper to have enough for the 20 teens who signed up for this program, and it took me and two interns several hours to cut all the squares, in addition to the hours it took me to draw the grids. This project is a lot of fun, it's creative without being too difficult for those of us who are artistically challenged (moi!), and very inexpensive, but you have to put in the time to get it done!
Ok, first things first: selecting your scrapbook paper. For this project, I wanted different yellows and blues to signify the stars and the night sky. I then limited my selections by price (you can get as fancy as you'd like with the scrapbook paper, but when I saw the big section of "4 for a $1.00" sheets, I jumped on it. I initially purchased 12 sheets; 4 yellows, 4 lighter blues, and 4 darker blues. I later went back and grabbed another lighter blue and darker blue sheet, just to make sure I had plenty of the blues, since that's what we'll be using the most. One thing I discovered, though, was that the swirlier the paper, the better the squares blended in the mosaic; solid colors and defined graphics stood out too much.
|A lighter blue page and a darker blue page, both with good color variation.|
|1/2" x 1/2" grid|
Next: Cutting the squares. I used a paper cutter to cut the scrapbook paper into strips, then followed up with scissors to complete the squares.
|Using the big gun.|
|FYI - This part takes forever. Get out some tunes and prepare to work.|
Once all the squares are cut (8064 of them!!!), you've completed the prep work and are ready work on the mosaic. Create your 1/2"x1/2" grid on the back of the card stock if you haven't already. Decide which constellation you want to use (I chose Orion) and map out where you want the stars on your grid.
|Orion's head and shoulders - or are those arms?|
Rather than do a single yellow square for each point of the constellation, I beefed it up by adding one or two extra yellow squares. Once you have all of your yellow squares where you want them, coat their backs with the glue stick and paste them to the card stock.
I surrounded each star cluster with the lighter blue squares to make it feel like the stars were lighting up the sky, and then I surrounded those with the darker squares.
I worked my way across the page, building out from each star cluster and trying to keep a good variety of color and pattern as I went along.
The glue dries quickly, so by the time I finished sticking on my last square, my mosaic was good to go!
The mosaics look pretty cool up close, but you get the full effect of the star placement when you look at it from a distance. To finish up, I went the extra step and purchased a cheap frame from Michael's for $1.50 and got a sheet of super-sparkly scrapbook paper for $2, and framed my mosaic. I didn't have the card stock dimensions on me when I was shopping, so the frame isn't exactly perfect for the mosaic, but I'm happy with it all the same. For a not-terribly-artistic person, I'm really proud of this project and how it turned out!