As part of our homeschooling journey, my five year old daughter takes part in art projects throughout the week. My husband and I bought her a Melissa & Doug easel for her birthday, and it has been perfect for painted paper projects.
So what is painted paper? The name is just what it sounds like. The artist takes a large sheet of white paper and paints ALL OVER it. The only rule is to leave no white space behind–easy peasy. You can use watercolor or tempura paints, brushes, sponges, or even fingers (if you want to get really messy). You can paint patterns on the paper, shapes, rainbows, words…the possibilities are endless. Once the paper is COMPLETELY covered in paint, set it out to dry before proceeding to the next step. (We like to dry the paper quickly by setting it out on our cement sidewalk on a sunny day).
For this project, we used glitter tempura paint and sponge brushes. I set out a large paper plate with six separate pools of the glitter tempura and six separate sponge brushes. I tied my daughter’s very long hair back, put her art smock on her to protect her clothing, and told her to get to work. She had SO much fun, that she ended up asking to do a second painted paper piece. (Even the rest of the family got in on the fun with the sponge brushes)!
To complete the butterfly project, I cut out pieces for a butterfly template out of hard card stock. (I made my own templates, but you can certainly find some online if you prefer). You will need an oblong shape for the body, one large upper wing, and one smaller lower wing. Trace the oblong body once and each upper and lower wing twice on the back of the painted paper. (*Make sure you flip each wing when you trace it the second time to get a different perspective). Cut out with scissors. Assemble and glue to a piece of colored construction paper. And that’s it! You now have a beautiful glittery painted paper butterfly!