"A Faithful Attempt" is designed to showcase a variety of K-12 art lessons, the work of my art students, as well as other art-related topics. Projects shown are my take on other art teacher's lessons, lessons found in books or else designed by myself.
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LAND ACKNOWLEDGEMENT I acknowledge, with deep respect, that I am gathered on Treaty 7 territory. I acknowledge the many First Nations, Métis and Inuit whose footsteps have marked these lands for generations. I respect the histories, languages and cultures all the Indigenous peoples of Canada, whose presence continues to enrich our community.

Monday, September 5, 2011

Costume Collage


This is a collage project in which students need to research the traditional folk costumes or fashions of a country or culture of their choice. After choosing an outfit, they translate it into a paper collage. I usually do this project with Grades 9 and higher. Here's how we made them:

I have a bunch of photocopies from an old vintage book showing traditional folk costumes and the fashions of different time periods that I let the kids look at. It's easier, though, to have students research for costumes on the internet and then print out a picture full size in black and white. Students can also choose to illustrate a time period (for example, Roman, Egyptian, or the Elizabethan period). I find maybe half the class chooses to do a costume from their own cultural background, and the other half chooses a culture they are simply interested in. But there's always a wide variety.

So here's my example- I show students step-by-step as the whole process is a bit finicky.
(at least the way I do it is! ha!)

So here's my photo that I'll refer to in order to create my collage- it's from an old calendar- 16th century Spanish formal dress.

On a white sheet of paper, re-draw the image in a very simplified manner, looking for the general shapes. I don't include super small details nor facial features. This is going to be my pattern or template, just like in sewing. Then I number each shape according to what type of paper I'm going to use. So, as you can see below, for example, there are two # 4 shapes- they will be the same paper. Once it's all numbered, I like to make a photcopy of everyone's plan, so they have a back-up sheet.

During this time, I lay out an assortment of papers for the students to rifle through for ideas.
I've used: painted paste papers, scrap colored paper, patterned origami paper, doilies (useful for lace), magazines, marbled papers, etc. This is a great project for using up all your saved paper scraps. Also have a few tones of skin colours.

paste paper, doilies

Ok- then you cut apart all the shapes, and use them as a template to trace over your chosen paper. This is the fiddly part, especially if you have really small pieces. I have to say, the kids always just seem to figure this out and learn by trial and error. Between classes, I have students save their pieces in a plastic page protector or manila envelope and paper clip pieces together if necessary. To assemble, well, it's rather like a jigsaw puzzle- re-assemble all the pieces onto a heavy sheet of colored paper.
Refer to the original plan sheet. Use a glue stick for adhesive.

don't lose any pieces!

Here's a couple more of of the template plans...

Here are some Grade 9/10 results:


Roman: this student hot glued on a small stone to match the pose of the original photo.



18th century France

Italy or Malta..

detail showing the various types of paper including paste paper, doily, and origami paper


Chesterbrook Academy Elementary said...

This is a unique project.
What a fantastic way to expose students to different cultures of the world.

Your students did a wonderful job assembling the different paper.

Miss said...

Thanks Chesterbrook!

Wendy said...

The children's book author, Steve Jenkins, uses a technique similar to this, but with more copies. He talks about the process in his "The Animal Book." You should check it out. Thanks for sharing this, we may have to do some Medieval costumes.

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