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C R E A T E: Cityscape Collages

April 23, 2018 | By Annie Rogers

AccordionCityscapeMaterials2.jpgAt Arts For Life, we go through a LOT of paper — drawing paper, construction paper, cardstock, scrapbooking paper, origami paper, magazine paper — you name it, we go through it. And we’re always trying to figure out ways to teach our young artists to use paper in new and unexpected ways.

We especially love using paper as a sculptural material, as we do in this lesson, because it allows the artist to use simple engineering to bring collage into the 3rd dimension…no cranes or steel beams required!  The secret to this city skyline is the accordion fold, which allows the whole thing to stand up on its own. Genius!

To learn about texture, color, and layering (or overlapping) in collage
To learn a technique for creating 3D artwork
To practice bringing multiple textures & materials into a cohesive artwork

an artwork created by sticking a collection of various materials onto a backing to create a picture or design.
Accordion fold: To fold back-and-forth, to create pleats (zig-zag form) in your paper
Texture: the surface quality: either actual, or perceived
Overlapping: to extend over so as to cover partly.AccordionCityscapeMaterials

Cardstock (we used Black)
Cityscape template
Glue stick
Collage Materials: colored construction paper, scrapbooking paper, magazine paper, foil, buttons, ribbon, etc.


  1. Line up the edges of the cityscape template as noted with the cardstock. Trace around the template with a pencil.Kendra_5_JoJo_7_VolSuzanne_ArtTable_DUR2018.jpg
  2. Cut along the lines with scissors.
  3. Cut different shapes of colored/patterned paper or foil for the windows, doors and roofs of the buildings in your cityscape.
  4. Use a glue stick to attach the shapes and materials to your cityscape, in whatever arrangements you like best. Be sure to make each building unique!
  5. Fold the left side of your cityscape toward you, about three inches from the edge. At the six inch mark, fold your cityscape in half away from you. At the 9 inch mark, fold it toward you again. This “accordion fold” will create a zigzag effect that will allow the paper to stand on its edge.

by Jojo, age 7

To Simplify: Use the prepared collage materials to glue onto a flat piece of paper.

 To take it One Step Further:

  • Collage both sides of your cityscape!
  • Attach the standing cityscape to a base so that you can elements you would find on the street – sidewalks, cars, roads, people…
  • Use the patterned scissors to create more elements to collage.
  • Use metallic drawing materials to add even more detail.