Tuesday, June 19, 2018

Alebrije or Animalito Paper Craft for Elementary Students

Ever since I saw the Disney Pixar Movie Coco I have been wanting to do some kind of art lesson on Alebrijes.  I have always loved these imaginative animals with their bright bold colors and patterns, but the movie really inspired me to come up with a fun lesson for kids to make their own.
Alebrije are usually carved out of wood or made out of paper mâché.  I thought about trying clay or paper mâché, but in the end decided this was too time consuming and I didn't want to do a drawing or painting - I wanted some dimension so this is what I came up with.
Pedro Linares - Artist who invented Alebrije - this link tells his story.
He made creatures that were made of different animals combined.  I am going to tell his story and let my students decide if they want to change their animals paws to claws, give them wings, horns etc...
They can make a more realistic animal or be inspired to create their own unique Alebrije.
What you will need:
Colored cardstock
Gel pens
Glitter is optional

I found a pattern for a horse on Krokotac and changed it a little bit:
You can print this Jpeg directly onto card stock or trace it on the fold - see below.

I traced mine on a half sheet of card stock folded lengthwise.  I am going to have my students trace theirs and add their own details such as eyes, mane, mouth etc...  I think they will be able to do this on their own.
You may have to help them with the folding to make the head pop up.
 Fold the neck towards the body.
 Next fold the two angled folds on each side.

 Push the neck towards the back fold and then fold the horse in half.

Put a little bit of glue inside the head and the tail, but not the body so it will stand.
Now it's ready for decorating.  I used gel pens.

I'm going to show my students examples - if they want to make a donkey we can add bigger ears.  They can make any animal with hooves with this, zebra, cow, deer, goat, sheep, etc... I used a bamboo skewer with glue and glitter to make the unicorn horn for mine and just put it inside the head with a little glue.

For the Coyote I made my own pattern which needs to be cut on a diagonal fold.

Once you get the Coyote cut out and glue on the tail it will keep him together so you don't need to glue anywhere else.
I would wait until you have all the decoration on both pieces before glueing.

By changing the ears and the tail you can make this into a cat, wolf, jaguar, leopard, raccoon, etc...
I made some wings to add to mine like this:
 I cut them on a fold.

 Then I folded one side about 1/8 of an inch
 Turned it over and folded the other side to match
 Now it's ready to decorate and will glue onto the animal's back

I can't wait to see what my students come up with!  I'll post some pix after I teach it!

Thursday, June 7, 2018

Super Dad Father's Day Mason Jar Bank

This project will look great on Dad's desk or dresser to collect his loose change!

You will need:
Mason Jars or recycled jars such as jelly or pasta sauce
Tissue Paper
Red Cardstock
A Cricut or other type of cutting machine helps - but isn't mandatory.
I also laminated my card stock for the lids before I cut them out.
Mod Podge

I found these tissue squares at the Dollar Tree:

Begin by either printing out a Super Dad logo - or cutting one like this:

Then I laminated Red Card stock and cut the lids for pint jars using a deep point blade with this file:

I started by putting a coat of mod podge on the jar in the front where I wanted to put the logo.  Then I put 3 yellow squares of tissue on the jar to go under the logo and painted another coat of mod podge over the top.

Be careful not to brush over the tissue too much or it will break apart since it's so thin.
Now fill in the rest of the jar with blue.
Now you're ready to add the Super Dad to the front on top of the yellow.
Brush some more mod podge on the yellow or on the back of the Super Dad and place on the Jar.
Add one more coat of Mod Podge over the Super Dad.

You may have to hold the corners for a few seconds to get them to adhere on the curved surface of the jar.
Let it dry and then add the bank lid under the screw on ring.
You can also skip the bank lid and fill it with candy or use it as a pencil jar!

Monday, April 9, 2018

How to Create a Collaborative School Wide Collage Art Piece

I teach Art with Tere Charney at Bel Aire Park International Baccalaureate World School Communications and Media Magnet Elementary School in Napa, CA. We share the Art curriculum and worked on this collaborative project together this year.

As we were planning this lesson we couldn't find any information about doing a project similar to this so decided to share our process with you in case you might want to try it.

We teach at an International Baccalaureate World School so decided to create a project with a World theme. Our students are part of a global network of learners around the world who share common goals to become lifelong thinkers and inquirers. An essential element of our Learner Profile is to "Be Caring". That's how we chose the Hearts. We've Got The Whole World In Our Hearts! Mr. Van Housen, a parent at the school, created the beautiful wood panel - it's very large, 8 feet by 4 feet. He stained it for us and then we applied the continents.

Sharpie Colored Markers
Vellum paper
Poster Board
Glue sticks
Mod Podge Matte
Weld Bond glue

We began by having each student create at least one heart on a 1 1/2 inch square using pencil.  Then they colored in their hearts using the Sharpies.
We discussed using warm & cool colors, patterns, complimentary colors etc...
Using a photo of a very simple map of the world we projected the map onto the wood panel to get the scale correct.  Then we traced the outlines onto poster board.
Using the hearts the students made we collaged them onto the continents.  We used glue sticks to attach them and trimmed them as needed.

After we completed the continents we used WeldBond to glue them on the panel.
We brushed the WeldBond on the back of the continents sparingly then quickly put them where they belonged.
Next we added 2 layers of Mod Podge over the entire piece.  We let the first coat dry overnight before applying the final coat.
We are going to seal it with Acrylic Sealer once this has cured.

We hadn't done something of this scale before using these materials and were very relieved to have them dry flat without buckling from the application of the glue and Mod Podge.
The glue stick adhesive was completely dry before we applied any other glue. 
The stain on the wood was dry for at least a couple of weeks.

If you create a collage in this manner please send us a photo, we'd love to see it!

Alebrije or Animalito Paper Craft for Elementary Students

Ever since I saw the Disney Pixar Movie Coco I have been wanting to do some kind of art lesson on Alebrijes.  I have always loved these ...