A Valentine Mosaic

Here is a Valentine’s art project that I created for my 1st grade students.  I gave a lesson on the American pop artist, Jim Dine (b. 1935) and we then viewed one of his artworks, Hand Painting on the Mandala.  I explained that they are to recreate their own Dine-like art by making a colorful mosaic with similarities to his.

Jim Dine’s Hand Painting on the Mandala

I first had my students decide on 4 different background colors and one more for the heart.

They were given a piece of white card stock paper and drew a large heart in the center.

Then, they drew a straight vertical and a straight horizontal line through the center to divide the background into 4 squares.

The next step is to tear up the colored construction paper (the 5 colors they chose) into small pieces.  This part takes the longest. Be sure to keep each color separated into their own colors. Don’t mix them up.

Miss Misty’s Art Class: paint Mod Podge on surface to create a glossy finished look

 My job was to apply Mod Podge (glossy) to their paper with a paintbrush, one little bit at a time.  This glue dries extremely fast so they have to place one piece of torn paper at a time onto it quickly while it’s wet.

I have them glue their 4 squares first, and then finish it off with the heart on top.

Once they’ve glued together their entire mosaic, I applied more Mod Podge onto the entire surface of their paper.  The glue goes on white, but dries clear and shiny (using glossy, not matte).

Example mosaics from Miss Misty’s art students

Example mosaic from Miss Misty’s art student

This is one of my personal favorite art projects to create with my students.  It’s easy, they all come out looking different, and they all are so lovely and colorful.

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  1. Anoa Kenyatta says:

    Egg shells work well for this.
    Anoa K.

  2. I am wondering how to see the heart shape if they have glued over it. Does that make sense? They draw their vertical and horizontal lines, making four squares, then glue the paper on each square, but wouldn’t that cover up the heart that they drew? Maybe I am missing something…Thanks for the idea, and thanks for any help you can offer.

    • Hi Kelli, Thanks for taking the time to comment and in your interest in the project. That’s a great question, and ya know, I actually did this project SO LONG AGO with my classes (haven’t been teaching for a few years now) that I don’t remember exactly what I did. I know that one year, I had them mosaic the heart first and then added the 4 corners last, around it. That way, there was no overlapping. That’s definitely an option (I believe the last image on this post shows this). If you like the overlapping look, I think the easiest approach is to just create the 4 squares first, then mosaic them. Once the glue has dried, they can lightly draw their heart on top of their mosaic (with a pencil or even white chalk, which will wipe away when done). And then they should be able to see the heart’s outline just fine to fill it in. I think I followed the steps in the order that is described in the post, and the outline of the heart just kind of showed through the cracks of their 4 square mosaics. The pieces aren’t perfectly filling up the paper, leaving some white space scattered throughout. I would definitely make a sample first, yourself. See which method works best for you and for the age of children you’ll be working with. Feel free to ask any further questions if this is at all confusing. -Misty
      Misty recently posted…A Belated Merry Christmas! 2015My Profile

  3. Dinah Carolipio says:

    This is very beautiful. I’m inspired to try it with my daughter’s 1st grade class too. Do you think this is manageable for a class of 28 with parent volunteers? Thank you in advance.

    • Thanks! Hmm…It\’s definitely doable. In my art class, I pull about 8 students from their regular class at a time into my classroom, so I have the advantage of working with a small group. My advice would first be to cut down the size of the paper used before the artists begin. My projects are 8\”x10 1/2\”, so making them a bit smaller means tearing less paper and gluing less paper. Also, I\’d give each parent their own station, dividing up the class among them. That way, they can control how much glue/mod podge each student gets and they can easily continue to supply them with more as needed. Good luck! Please send photos if you end up giving this a try :)

      • Looks like we are on the road to doing this project. I was wondering for 1st grade, do have them draw out their pattern before gluing or is it like free form placement? The plan is to do the project on our Valentines class party. I’m hoping the kids will have a blast. :)

        • I have them draw a straight line down the center, followed by a straight line across the center (creating the 4 squares). Then if they need help drawing a heart, I just give them a \”starter dot\” in the top half of the paper on the center line where they\’ll start their heart, and another dot in the bottom half of the paper on the center line where they\’ll end their heart. I don\’t use a ruler and I don\’t emphasize a \”perfect\” heart. I draw all the steps, one at a time, on the board and they follow along with me so that I can make sure we\’re all following directions. I hope this helps. If you have any more questions, feel free to ask. Have fun :)

          • Dinah Carolipio says:

            Thank you so much! These instructions help a lot. I can’t wait to try it out with them. I will send photos when we are done. Thank you again. :)

          • Dinah Carolipio says:

            Hello! I wanted to let you know that the art project was a great success. We did it in stages over a couple of weeks before and it just added to the kids’ excitement. They were so happy and the final project turned out great. I wanted to send you a couple of photos so you can see how they turned out. I’m not sure how to post them here. If you would like, may you email me privately so I can send you the pics that way. Otherwise, please advise how I may share with you. Thank you so much and Room 12 thanks you too. :)

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