Friday, February 22, 2013

Create a Butterfly Yarn Picture

      Not only do yarn pictures have textures and colors that fascinate young and old students, these kinds of projects use up all the scraps of materials that you feel guilty about throwing away.  So why not put all of that stuff to a fun and creative use? 
      First you will need to give your students some newsprint so that they can practice cutting out butterflies. After they have made a stencil that they are happy with, have them trace it onto black paper or poster board with a white lead pencil. Every student will then need a bottle of white glue, scissors, and a pile of yarn plus odds and ends. I pasted chenille stems and pom-poms onto my butterfly yarn picture as well. Follow your butterfly outlines with a line of glue, pasting down the yarn in uniform lines a little at a time.
      Have fun experimenting. This project is best completed by students in 3rd grade and up. It can be done by younger ones but they may not have the patience to complete it. It takes quite a long time to finish a yarn picture so spread the activity out over several days. 
      If your students truely love the activity you may wish to give them sturdier wood boards to work on. Yarn paintings can become quite elaborate and decorative. There are several indigenous folk artist groups  that have mastered the art of yarn pictures. Exhibit a slide show of some of their work to inspire your students before starting the project. I will link to some of these folk artists below.

Left: My butterfly stencil, Right: I've traced around the butterfly stencil with a white lead pencil so that I can see my design on the dark background paper.
My finished butterfly yarn picture has many textures and colors. This project took me approximately three hours to complete. The project measures 8 x 11 inches.

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