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Crumpled Paper Art

The story, Ish, by Peter Reynolds, is about a little boy named Ramon who loves to draw. However, his confidence gets shaken when his older brother laughs at his artwork. He crumples his drawings and tosses them to the floor, ready to give up on art. His little sister though secretly gathers the crumpled drawings and displays them. She teaches Ramon that art isn’t about being perfect, but about thinking more -ishly!

Materials needed:


  1. Cut paper into quarters. You can easily find your guidelines for cutting by folding the paper in half one direction, then turning and folding in half the other direction.

  2. Take each piece of cut paper and crumple it up into a ball.

  3. Dampen your watercolors. Choose a color and paint all around the surface of one ball.

  4. Gently unfold it, and set aside.

  5. Repeat for the remaining balls of paper, choosing the same or different colors for each.

  6. Once you have given all 4 pieces of paper a first color, then you repeat the process by recrumpling each paper, trying to get as much of the white areas exposed as possible.

  7. Again, choose one new color for each ball and paint around it's surface.

  8. Gently unfold and let your papers dry.

Your finished papers are beautiful works on their own; or you can use them to make additional things like notes cards, bookmarks, or a framed piece of art. That's what I did!

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