In our Play Date with Art program this month, we imagined what we’d be wearing in the future, and then we used found materials to bring our vision to life. You can do the same at home, using materials from around your house! Your designs can be anything you want. Think of future styles, or think of a special occasion you’d like to dress up for.
This at-home project was inspired by wearable art in the Museum’s Collection, including Alice H. Klein’s Calculation. The jeweler used a variety of gems and other materials to create her unique piece. What other object does this necklace remind you of?
Though we will be using simpler materials for this activity, we encourage you to think outside the box, just as Klein did. Your new fashions do not have to look like anything you have in your closet.
Here are some tips for making your own fashions at home.
- Go on a hunt for materials! With an adult, look around your home for objects and supplies you can use to build and decorate your pieces. Sturdy objects, such as cardboard boxes or tubes, make great bases. More flexible items, such as grocery bags, newspaper, gift wrap, plastic utensils, napkins, and plastic bags, can be layered on top. You can also decorate with markers, stickers, and ribbon, if you have them. Don’t forget that you need a way to attach your materials to one another. Look for tape, string, a stapler, rubber bands, or even twist ties from bread bags. Use your imagination, and make sure you’re allowed to use the objects and materials you choose. (Your pet can join the fun, but they might prefer to just watch.)
2. Start building. A grocery bag can be worn like a vest if you turn it upside down and cut holes for your head and arms and an opening down the front. You can bunch up newspaper, junk mail, or tissue paper to make flowers (I held this one together with a rubber band).
3. Continue experimenting! To connect a tube to a flat surface, cut slits around one end and fan the tabs out like octopus legs so you can tape it down securely. Accordion fold a napkin and tie it in the middle with string to create a big bow. Cut open a box, turn it inside out, and decorate it with markers and gift wrap to make an arm cuff. Braid plastic bags together. Mine are held together with a binder clip on one end and a rubber band on the other—try connecting a few braids to make a belt or crown!
4. You can make so many things with everyday materials from around your home. Share your creations on social media with #MAMStudioAtHome, and click on the hashtag to see what other kids like you are making. Hopefully whatever you come up with goes over better than this hat I made for my cat.
Studio at Home activities are designed to be enjoyed with the whole family, regardless of age. Families can work together to learn new techniques and materials, and to explore creativity. As with all new things, provide your child the support and supervision that they need for their developmental level, practicing safe use of tools and materials. You know your kids best!
Dianne Choie is the Youth & Family Programs Coordinator. She is responsible for the Museum’s ArtPack Station, runs the monthly Play Date with Art program for children to age 5, and teaches Studio Tour Workshops, Youth Studio Classes, and Summer Art Camps. She does not feed paper flowers to her cats no matter how tasty those flowers might seem.