by Brenna Toman
Magazines, scissors, glue, and a toothpick. That is all you (or your kid!) need to make surprisingly upscale looking paper beads out of any old magazine page. In the past few weeks, I have helped over 150 3rd and 4th graders from Barre City Elementary to create unique presents out of discarded materials.
The Barre City art program is no stranger to using found and repurposed materials in its art projects. You can’t miss the bright spiraling bottle cap art posted up on the hallways or the cascading, water-colored plastic bottle chandelier hanging from the stage in the auditorium. Nevertheless, the students were awestruck at the transformation of strips of paper to hard, glossy beads.
The impact goes further than repurposing one magazine page before it gets recycled. Handmade gifts require no money, enabling all students to participate at home. Rethinking trash lengthens its lifespan. Using found objects to create useful and meaningful objects is both an art and a habit. Students who can master this will be well equipped in a future tight on resources.
Want to give it a try? Make your own by following these directions.
Cassandra Hemenway, CVSWMD Outreach Manager, Charlotte Low, Outreach Coordinator, Cara Stapleford CVSWMD Eco-Americorps Service Member and Jan Lloyd, Zero Waste Events Coordinator all contribute to this blog.