One of my all time favorite artists is John Chamberlain. His material exploration was like no other, managing to transorm discarded foam and metal destined for the junkyard into incredible works of art. Have yet to take this one off the car and onto the wall...but it will happen.

Activity Time: 10 minutes

Ages: 3+


Toy car*, foil, water based paint (we used Apple Barrel Acylic Paints)

*Helpful if it's of a substantial size. You could also use any other toy or object that you could easily cover in foil.


  • Cover the car or another object in foil. We left the tires exposed as we wanted to use a single sheet of foil - just be careful as anything not covered is exposed to the inevitable paintbrush slip.
  • Paint, paint, paint!



  • Chamberlain started out with small scale sculptures and collages using foil, cardboard, fabric samples, and other recycled parts. Look in the recycling and see what else you can transform with a bit of paint.
  • We used a single sheet of aluminum foil but what if you could use an entire roll? How big of a sculpture could you create?


  • Our plan is to remove this from the car, attach a binder clip and hang it on the wall. Really up to you on how to display - look at some of Chamerlain's work for additional inspiration!
  • Another idea is to crumple up foil and create a mini sculpture. You can paint over it and either leave it as is or uncrumple and see what patterns emerge from parts of the foil that got missed by paint.