Family Activity Inspired by Henri Matisse

Do you like to dress up but never have anything to wear? Well then this is the craft for you! Join us as we take inspiration from artist Henri Matisse and celebrate the art of paper collage.

In this activity we will walk you through how to take regular paper and transform it into a fancy crown that is sure to impress everyone in your house! This craft is popular with children, but, really, who couldn’t use a crown?

Henri Matisse (French, 1869–1954). Le lagon (The Lagoon) from "Jazz," 1947. Pochoir print, edition 212/250, 16 1/2 x 25 5/8 inches (41.9 x 65.1 cm). Collection Albright-Knox Art Gallery, Buffalo, New York; Room of Contemporary Art Fund, 1948 (RCA1948:11.1.18). © Succession H. Matisse / Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York

Getting Started

  • What shapes do you want to put on your crown?
  • How many different types of lines can you think of (zigzag, wavy, etc.)?
  • Where would you like to wear your crown?


  • Large sheets of paper (construction paper in different colors works best, but any paper will do—even newspaper or old mail)
  • Glue (a glue stick works best)
  • Tape (scotch or masking tape works best)
  • Scissors
  • Ruler (optional)
  • Two-inch-wide strip of cardboard that fits around your head (optional, for extra strength/durability)
  • Markers

1. Cut a strip of paper that’s long enough to wrap around your head. The strip should be about four or five inches wide. (If you don’t have a piece long enough, you can tape two pieces together.)

2. Ask someone to help you wrap the strip of paper around your head so it fits (not too snuggly), then cut it to the right size.

3. When your strip of paper is the right size, choose one side that will be the top. Then, choose lines that you think are interesting and cut them along this side. These could be zigzag, wavy, anything you like! (You might want to look at some of Henri Matisse’s work for inspiration.)

4. Next, you can cut some different thin lines to attach to the outside of your crown.

5. Then cut out different shapes and attach them all over your crown, or in a pattern you like.

6. If you want to add more details using markers or other coloring tools, go for it!

7. Use tape to secure the ends together so the paper makes a circle. Now you have a crown! Parade around triumphantly!

Optional: Share your creation on Twitter or Instagram with #AlbrightKnox and #MuseumFromHome!


Collage: a piece of art made by sticking different materials such as photographs, pieces of paper, or fabric onto a backing