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Paper Crafts | Canvas Art from Scrap Paper

Paper Crafts | Canvas Art from Scrap Paper
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Summer seems to be a time that craft projects take the back burner in New England.  Beaches, flea markets, baseball, camping and all the other summer traditions take center stage while the weather is prime.  But rainy summer days have been plentiful lately so I organized my craft items and came across a healthy supply of scrap paper.  I decided to experiment with the scrap paper and extra canvas boards I had on hand to create this canvas art.

Scrap Paper Canvas Art
Photo/Art by Bonnie Thomas
Scrap Paper Canvas Art


Materials needed:

  • 3 small flat canvas boards size 5″x 7″
  • Various colored scrap paper
  • Scissors
  • Pencil
  • All purpose glue
  • Dice (optional– it will help with folding the paper)
  • A circle paper punch or a small round object for tracing, about 1 1/4″ diameter across.  I do not have a circle paper punch so I traced the bottom of a spool of thread instead.
  • Optional– small objects such as buttons, sequins or paper images
  • Ribbon or string (to hang the canvas boards)


  • Decide which color paper scraps you would like to work with.  I had so many colors to choose from that I decided to do a rainbow theme, but you can create this project using one color or many.  Also, if you do not save your paper scraps like I do, you can go through magazines, scrapbook papers, and junk mail to make an instant collection.
  • Sort through your scrap papers and pull out the colors you need.
  • Cut circles from your papers.  Make sure they are all the same size.  Use your small round tracing object for this part of the project if you do not have a paper cutter.
  • Cut the circles out of the paper.

    Circles Cut from Scrap Paper
    Photo/Art by Bonnie Thomas
    Circles Cut from Scrap Paper
  • Lay your canvas boards out either horizontally or vertically next to each other.
  • Use your pencil to create a flowing line from one canvas to the next.  You can also choose to create a shape with these paper scraps if you like, such as a heart.
  • Create a general plan for how you will place your colors onto the canvas.  Will they go from darker to lighter? Will they go in a pattern, like the rainbow colors? Place your circles on the canvas and see what looks best.
  • Next, create the folded corners of your circles. Place your dice in the center of each paper circle and then fold the sides of the paper along the edges of the dice.  This will create a square shape in the center of your circle. If you do not have dice try to find something else small and square such as a Scrabble tile.  Otherwise, you can fold the paper circle edges on 4 sides to create a square shape in the center.
  • Start glueing the circles onto your canvas within the line or shape you drew with pencil. The squares within the circles can line up and fit snug next to each other.  It will create a pattern like this:

    Folded Paper Circles on the Canvas Folded Paper Circles on the Canvas
  • Allow the glue to dry.
  • If you like you can take the project another step further and add small images, buttons, sequins, or beads.  Simply glue them to the center of the squares.

    Items Glued to the Center of the Shapes
    Photo/Art by Bonnie Thomas
    Items Glued to the Center of the Shapes
  • The canvas boards are light enough to attach a ribbon or string to the back for hanging.  I glued mine into place.  After the glue dried I hung them on the wall.

Enjoy your rainy day crafting projects this summer!


Bonnie Thomas


Bonnie Thomas


Bonnie Thomas shares her ideas and instructions for simple Yankee crafts. Bonnie Thomas works full time as a child and family therapist in Southern Maine and is also an established artist and author. She has published two books via Jessica Kingsley Publishing, titled Creative Coping Skills for Children: Emotional Support Through Arts and Crafts Activities and Creative Expression Activities for Teens: Exploring Identity Through Art, Craft and Journaling. Don't miss her latest book, How to Get Kids Offline, Outdoors, and Connecting With Nature
Updated Monday, June 17th, 2013
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