Collage Paper Bag City

Collage Paper Bag City

Have you ever wanted to become an architect? Stretch your creative muscles to design & create a unique city using the collage process. Buildings within the collaged city can include schools, pet shops, hospitals, gyms, artist studios, toy stores, and more. What kind of city will you design? Work as a team to grow your city quickly!


  • Pencil
  • Cling Wrap
  • Paper Bag
  • Scissors
  • Found Papers and Scraps
  • Glue Stick or Craft Glue 
  • Assorted Collage Materials

Step 1: Open up a paper bag and fold the top to get a sense of where the roofline will be.

Step 2: Use a pencil to sketch the elements of your building directly on the bag. 

Step 3: Cut out windows and/or doors.

Step 4: Use collage elements, such as patterned paper to decorate the building. 

Step 5: Measure all the cut paper pieces and then secure them with glue. 

Step 6: Cut a piece of cling wrap large enough to cover the windows. Secure the cling wrap to the inside of the bag using tape. 

Step 7: Repeat the collage process on the back of the bag.

Step 8: Add a paper roof to the top of the bag to close the opening. 

Step 9: Make many more to create a large city! 

Ideas to take your collage city to the next level:

  • Create holiday-themed cities! Use additional collage elements to create holiday decorations.
  • Think about all the types of structures that people live in and build. Create a very different city from the place in which you live. Perhaps a city of caves! 

Learning and Discussion Questions:

1. Paul Klee was a German artist who rose to prominence as part of the avant-garde expressionist group, The Blue Rider. One of his noteworthy works is Cold City, 1921. It is a watercolor painting mounted on maroon paper, mounted on cardboard. Take a moment to view the work and then read the reflection questions: 

  • Why do you think Klee titled this work Cold City
  • How does the painting make you feel? Why does it make you feel that way?
  • Focus on the colors he used in this painting. How do they make you feel? What do they tell you about the city?
  • If you wanted to change the mood of the painting, which colors would you use? What mood would you create? 
  • Recreate Cold City using collage elements and perhaps new colors to create a unique mood. 

2. Throughout history, humans have built a variety of dwellings. View this short film, created by The Atlantic, that shows a visual history of houses.

Thank you to our sponsor, PNC Arts Alive!, for helping to make this video possible!

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