November 08, 2011

Abstract Mural - Our Contemporary Painted Quilt Blocks {tutorial}


Yes, this took me forever to post, due to... maybe just lack of time! This was such a fun collaborative art project to do with all the 3rd graders at my kids' school. The 3rd graders were studying quilts and patterns, so we collaborated on a modern day quilt with 140 pieces in 42 blocks... out of paper instead of material and then into a mural for display at their school.

Here's a short tutorial:

Prep: Measure and pre-cut your masonite plywood(1/8" or 1/4" thick) to fit the number of squares or rectangles you want. Layout your shapes, pencil (free-hand works great) your lines in, number them so you can put them back together,  and then cut.

Pre-drill holes into masonite board, frame with 1"x 2"s and fasten with screws (nails eventually poke out) flush with board. Add corner braces/support (triangles).  Spackle front of board, dry and lightly sand.

 Paint: First draw with pencil, then paint (acrylic works best, not poster paint). There were enough cut shapes for each child to paint 2-3 shapes.


Collect: Look at all of those shapes on my table! I sorted them by number to each numbered rectangle, and joined the quilt blocks together with small pieces of tape to create each row. The entire masonite board was painted with black acrylic.

Adhere: I adhered each row by brushing Mod Podge on to the back of the paper, then pressing/flattening onto the masonite board. Lay plastic wrap on top of artwork, and then lay books on top with additional weight if needed. I adhered the taped-together rows, row by row to make sure they'd all fit.

Patterns & A Modern Quilt: To help create a quilt look, I left a 2" black edge, creating a "binding".  After it was all adhered, I applied 3 light layers of Mod Podge for a protective coat.

This turned out really well... the kids were sooooooooooooooo proud to present this! They sang me a little "thank you" song at the end. (I'm standing in the back with an orange sweater holding onto my daughter.) Had a wonderful time!

Let me know if you make one, I'd love to see, whether great or small!

I do NOT SPAM! You won't be sorry when you get the SUPER SECRETE SALES & SNEAK PEEKS!

Thank you for stopping by 


  1. This is awesome! I love it - so pretty and bright!

  2. This turned out great and will add good color to the school wall.

  3. Thanks you two! I love the combination of all of the patterns and colors!