Chinese New Year Snake Tutorial

Did you know Chinese New Year crafts can come from office supplies? They helped me make this project with about 400 first through fourth graders for about $45. For the advanced origami lover, my sample snake above was made with two long strips that had nine 11″ lengths glued together as shown in the photo. If you like the gradated color, this how it is achieved. This length though is rather long for little … Read More

Chinese New Year Mural 2018

My new dog mural will add some fun to Chinese New Year activities. Lots of simple red coloring to bring luck for the new year. The first day of the Chinese New Year is Friday, February 16th. This mural is drawn and colored with the look of ancient tradition of Chinese paper cutting. These works were commonly made of red paper, as red is associated with festivities and happiness in their culture. MATERIALS • … Read More

Black History Month Artist: Lois Mailou Jones

Black history month art projects are a great way to learn about some amazing people who had to forge their own way in the world. Lois Mailou Jones (1905 – 1998) had an impressive career, but do you know how she got started? She had been working as a textile designer and often sold her bold fabric creations to department stores. One day a decorator told her that a colored girl wasn’t capable of … Read More

Papel Picado Holiday Card

Try using colorful Post-its for this papel picado project. The squares come in very festive colors and can be found at your local office supply store. Papel picado is a Mexican folk art craft. It is the art of cutting paper into beautiful and elaborate designs for holidays and celebrations. What I liked about making this picado card with Post-its was that the built-in sticky side meant I could adjust the placement until the squares … Read More

Symmetrical Drawing

I actually ran out of drawing paper recently and tried out this food wrap (dry wax paper) that was left over from an old project. MATERIALS • Dry wax paper, 12″ x 12″ size • Black Sharpie, chisel tip • Gold tempera paint DIRECTIONS 1. Students fold their 12″ x 12″ food wrap paper in half and crease. With a pencil, they could draw half of a large vase, preferably using up as much … Read More

Japanese Fan Painting

If you need a Japanese-themed art project, this works well even for kinders. In fact, I love the “wobbly” lines of the young ones – it’s what make their art so charming.   MATERIALS • Watercolor paper • Circle template • Crayons • Liquid Watercolor paint   DIRECTIONS PREP:  These fans are all based on quarter circles, so you need to start with circle templates. Older students could cut their own from folded paper, younger may need … Read More

Japanese Carp Wind Sock

Carp windsocks decorate the landscape of Japan from April through early May, in honor of Children’s Day. I love these inexpensive precut fish made with paper that just soaks up color. They come flat with two sides to make them easy to paint. MATERIALS • Rolyco Japanese Carp Wind Sock • Liquid watercolor paint • Brush • Large piece of cardboard (to hold fish) • Waterbased markers • Glitter glue • Hot glue gun • Hole … Read More

How To Draw King Tut

Here’s a combo make in art heaven — gold tempera and a King Tut painting project. Works great for history lessons, or even an excuse to use the paint. It’s inexpensive and adds a bling that students all seem to love. MATERIALS Download King Tut Tutorial Multi media paper, 9″ x 12″ Black Sharpie makers with chisel tip Gold tempera paint Royal blue tempera paint DIRECTIONS PREP: Print or draw guide lines on drawing … Read More

Draw an Adobe Landscape

Diversity Day is approaching, so I’m trying to integrate each classroom’s chosen country into their art lessons. No small task, but for some reason I enjoy the challenge. A second grade class made this drawing today, which was an exercise in architecture and perspective.   MATERIALS • Drawing paper, gold • Black Sharpie marker • Pencil crayons   DIRECTIONS  1. I started with colored paper so that the houses could be colored a nice, … Read More

Elephant Drawing Tutorial

I like how this tutorial helps students fill their paper, and just focus drawing part of an elephant. MATERIALS • Multimedia or watercolor paper • Sharpie marker, black • Crayons • Liquid watercolor paint DIRECTIONS  1. Draw the beginning of a large letter “G” on the left half of the paper.  2. Add the straight back line. 3. Draw the rest of the trunk. 4. Add the cheek. The line should stop at an … Read More

La Boca Houses of Argentina

La Boca is a neighborhood, or barrio of the Argentine capital, Buenos Aires. It is a popular tourist destination because of its very colorful homes. Turn out that years ago, shipyard workers used left over metal and paint to create homes. There was never quite enough for an entire house, hence the amazing patchwork neighborhoods.    MATERIALS • Card stock paper • Fiskars Paper Crimper • Scissors • Black Sharpie • White glue • … Read More

Reader’s Year of the Rooster Mural

This just in, a finished “Chinese New Year of the Rooster” mural from Alison, a teacher. She opted to use an acrylic paint mixed with a soft gel medium to add some shine. I think this is a brilliant move as I can imagine that oil pastels would tend to smear onto the white. I opt for them most times because of their brilliant color, but they do get messy. Allison added that she … Read More

Chinese New Year Mural 2017

My new Chinese New Year Mural 2017 celebrates the Year of the Rooster. The first day of the New Year is on Saturday, January 28th. This mural is drawn and colored with the look of ancient tradition of Chinese paper cutting. These works were commonly made of red paper, as red is associated with festivities and happiness in their culture. You can purchase this new template, which is made of 25 pages, in my PDF … Read More

Day of the Dead Sharpie Art

To make some super Day of the Dead Sharpie art, try coloring on aluminum foil. Besides the fact that that colors just glide on, the foil adds a richness to the color which is totally in keeping with the mood of the holiday. Celebrated in Mexico as a day to honor those who have passed on, Day of the Dead festivities are all about beautiful and happy colors. I found this skull drawing coloring … Read More

Draw Russian Buildings

Russian buildings are so different from those children are used to drawing. The “ice cream” topped towers look like they are from a fairy tale. MATERIALS •  Russian Buildings PDF Tutorial • Drawing paper • Sharpie marker • Crayola crayons DIRECTIONS 1. Students follow tutorial to draw the buildings in pencil. 2. The art is traced with a marker. 3. The buildings are colored with crayon. For a pretty background sky, try using two … Read More

Symmetrical Watercolor Kimonos

Students used sandwich wrap paper to draw symmetrical kimono shapes, and then finished with liquid watercolor paint. The transparent tissue allowed for drawing one side and then tracing the other so they matched. The paper was also strong enough to handle the liquid watercolor paint, and looked a bit like rice paper when dry. A bonus? The sandwich paper is really cheap and lasts a LONG time. MATERIALS • Sandwich Wrap paper • Scrap … Read More

Oil Pastel Kimono

Studying the culture from other countries offers a a new perspective on common items such as clothing.   MATERIALS • Multimedia or drawing paper • Oil pastels   DIRECTIONS 1. Students start by drawing a large T shape that fills their paper. The sides of the kimono are added next, and then some details (see diagram). 2. Students look at sample photos of kimono fabric and and then draw their own. After it has … Read More

Air Dry Clay Totem Poles

Here’s a fun totem pole project I found recently over at Air dry clay formed into animals and stacked on a dowel. I like how it is based on American Indian animal symbols, and requires a bit of attention to physical balance too. MATERIALS • Air Dry Clay • Wooden Dowels • Acrylic paint DIRECTIONS 1. Students make a stand by placing the dowel in a ball of clay that is flattened so … Read More

Egyptian Jewelry

  A fun paper plate project – Egyptian collar jewelry. Add a few plastic rhinestones will make your plate look like a million bucks. MATERIALS Paper plates, the cheap white kind Scissors Liquid Gold watercolor paint Plastic rhinestones Craft glue   DIRECTIONS Students cut out the center of a paper plate. The plate is painted with Dick Blick gold watercolor. Let dry. Glue plastic rhinestones when dry.

Dutch Windmills

This amazing idea to paint a windmill on a paper plate comes from Dream, Draw, Create. The uncoated paper takes the paint really well! MATERIALS Paper plate, uncoated Black Sharpie marker Watercolor paint   DIRECTIONS Draw a windmill in the center of the plate with a pencil. Trace the drawing with a black permanent marker. Fill in the drawing with watercolor paint. Add a painted border.  

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