Category Archives: Sculpture

Art – Sugar Skull Masks


My two Wednesday art classes got to make their own masks.  That was a great fun!  From start to finish, it took about 1.5 hours, and then on the next class day, they were able to paint them.

The mask-making:

The masks all together:

Schooled in Love:  Sugar Skull Masks

All painted and finished:

Art – Greek Vases


Last year, my 5th/6th graders made Greek vases for their sculpture piece.  It’s a pretty involved project, and took several classes to complete.  However, I think they turned out pretty well!

Here are the example pieces I showed the kids.  I took these pictures in the Dallas Museum of Art when I went to visit over the Christmas holiday.

The students first attached a balloon to a bowl and covered it with paper mache.

Then, they rolled up newspaper to make handles and attached a cup to the top, then covered the entire thing with at least two layers of paper mache.

Finally, they painted the vase with copper and black acrylic.  They each picked a Greek myth they liked and used that as a reference to paint on the vases.

They looked great at our annual art show!

Art – Making Masks


If you’re an art teacher, and you haven’t heard about Art Room Aid from Dick Blick, you’re missing out!  It’s a great way to ask for what you need, because you just might be blessed by an angel willing to cover the cost of the supplies!  This is how we were able to make the masks in my high school class.  Thank you again, angel, whoever you are!

We did these at the end of last year, but between all the end-of-the-year stuff I normally have to do, the totally awesome art show, my daughter graduating high school, and packing up the entire school to move to a new building, by the time everything was said and done, I “checked out” for the summer, and all I did was create artist trading cards for the last month.  It was SO good for my soul!  Now, I’m getting back in the swing of things, as we’ve had to move into a new building (3 stories!), and that’s a LOT of steps!  I should have buns of steel by the end of the year, since I’m on the second floor.

Now, on to the masks!

The students paired up and decided who would go first to have the mask done to them.  Some people get nervous about their mouths being covered, and some people have more issues with their eyes, so I had the partners ask the models which made them more nervous, and they would cover that part last.  I also played music to help the models relax, and I used my son as a model to walk them through the steps.  The partner creating the mask then smeared a LOT of Vaseline all over their model’s face, making sure to add extra along the hairline, eyebrows, and eyelashes.  I pre-cut the bandages into workable pieces, which really helped a lot.  Once the petroleum jelly was thoroughly applied, they took two bandages, dipped them into water, and created an “X” between the models’ faces,  After that, they were to take bandage, wet them, and smooth them over the forehead, down the sides, and over the jawline.


Then, it was on to the rest of the face, making sure every bandage laid partially across another one to connect them.


Once we had their faces covered, we had a little fun taking selfies with them and such.  The models were instructed to just lay there and relax.


Once the masks were dried, even the models joined in on the fun!  They tried walking to each other, writing, and dancing.  It was really funny!


When they were finally done horsing around, it was time to remove the masks.  We allowed the models to remove their own masks, because no matter how much we tried to cover potential tender spots with Vaseline, some hair did get caught in the plaster.  I asked the models to smile and scrunch their faces and wiggle their jaws around to release the masks.  Some had a harder time than others, but all the masks were removed in good order.

Schooled in Love:  Making Masks

This one looked a bit like the joker!


We put the masks on cups to help support and keep the shape while we were gone over the weekend, and when they were good and dry, the students began decorating them.  Originally, my plan was to have them paint the masks, but I gave them an option to collage, and they liked that idea.  I had them cut out words from magazines that described them.  Some words were serious, and some were just plain silly (which completely works for these guys).  They used a homemade glue/water sealer to affix them, and they all turned out great!


To hang them in the art show, they punched holes where the temples would be, and tied string in the back.  Then we used pushpins to put them on the panels.  They looked like they were coming out of the wall!

A Mask of Me

A Mask of Me

Art – Bottle Birds


For this project with my high schoolers, we recycled wine bottles.  In order to get enough bottles, I just had to ask my co-op, and viola, they appeared.  Don’t judge!


They started out by filling the bottle with pea gravel to weigh down the bottoms.  Then, they stuck a long, heavy gauge wire into the neck, and all the way down to the gravel.  After that, they used newspaper and masking tape to make the neck, head, and beaks of the birds.  I told them they could design this bird any way they wished, and we had some very ingenious outcomes!  They were also allowed cardboard to make the wings or any other body parts they liked.

Schooled in Love:  Bottle Birds


Once they had the body, neck, head, beak, and wings formed, the students paper mached the entire sculpture to create the bird.

After layering it with paper mache, they let it dry, and then primed it.  I hate buying primer, so I make it by using a one-to-one ratio of white acrylic paint to white school glue.  Once the primer dried, it was time to paint the birds.  They turned out beautifully!  I am so proud of my high school girls!

Art: Letter Sculptures


This was a huge project (as most paper mache projects are), and it took f o r e v e r because of all our snow days!  that being said, the kids loved how they turned out.  If they’re proud of the finished project, that’s what matters, right?

Let’s get down to business:

First I gave each student two panels of cardboard that I cut from a box.  They also used a paper cup, a ruler, a pencil, and a marker.  They measured the widest part of the cup (the rim), and it was 3″.  Then, they drew their first name initial to the size of the cardboard.  With a ruler, they made the letter block-styled, keeping the width at least three inches.  Once they had the letter drawn out, I had them run the cup all through the letter just to make sure.  Finally, they used the marker to trace the line, and then cut it out.

Schooled in Love:  Letter Sculptures

For the next step, they were instructed to trace the letter onto the second cardboard panel and cut it out.  Then, I gave them a stack of cups and they glued them to the surface of the one of the letters, alternating the cups going up and down.  When they finished, they put glue (tricky!) on the tops of the cups, and laid the other letter on top.  It’s a good idea to lay something heavy on them, to keep the glue in contact with the cardboard until it dries.

Schooled in Love:  Letter Sculptures

The third step was to paper mache the dried letters.  This was described as fun, messy, gross, warm, and cold (depending on how fresh the paste was).  The best way I know how to make paste is to put all-purpose flour in a bowl, add some very hot water, and using an electric mixer, stir and keep adding water until you get the consistency of pancake batter.  Once it’s done, mix in about a tablespoon of bleach.  This way, if you need to keep it for the next day, it won’t mold.  I told the kids to criss-cross their strips of paper to build strength.

Once the letters were covered with paper mache, and they were good and dried, the kids added primer.  Now, I don’t like to buy primer paint, because I have so many kids, and it’s friggin’ expensive, so I make my own by mixing 1 part white acrylic paint to 1 part white glue.

At last the letters were ready to paint!  The students used acrylic, and if you’ve never tried the cheap paints vs. the good ones (more expensive), then you haven’t lived…  You totally get what you pay for!

Here are the finished letters!  Some students chose to paint it a solid color, and some chose to paint a pattern or a picture.  They all turned out great!

History: Quetzalcoatl Scupltures


We had a special project for Chapter 32: The American Kingdoms.  I went out to Art in History and ordered 16 of the Aztec Quetzalcoatl sculptures.  The kids had a GREAT time painting these, and if you’re a homeschooler, or even if you have a classroom environment, like we do, I HIGHLY recommend this company!  Each sculpture comes with everything you need:  the sculpture, Styrofoam plates (for palettes), a NICE brush, a sponge, paint, and a great box to store it in.  Yes, even the packaging is nice!

I’d like to give a special shout-out to Brian Card.  He’s the regional manager, and he held my hand through the entire process.  I was even sent a free sample to try out before buying the 16 sculptures!  He’s the bomb-diggety.

The entire process took three class periods.  It’s important to emphasize that while the sculptures need two coats of paint, the paint dries fairly quickly.  However, you’ll still want to allow for enough time when painting them.

Here’s our process:

And here are the finished results!

Level 1 Art – Junkbots


Schooled in Love:  JunkbotsWhat a great idea to help all the hoarding homeschoolers!  Who knew they had all this junk?!

I put all the usable stuff in (some-what) sorted buckets on a table.  This created a “Junk Store.”  On their initial visit to the store, they could collect up to 10 items.  This was to make sure everyone had a fair opportunity to get the stuff they wanted.  After everyone went once, the students were allowed to go up as many times as they liked.

For our Junkbots, I gave the kids rules:

1.  Each Junkbot had to have a head and a body.

2.  It had to have eyes or some sort of visual aid.

3.  The students were allowed to have up to 4 items kept in their “natural” state.  (Stuff that wasn’t going to be spray painted silver).

4.  Each Junkbot had to have a name.


We used E6000 to glue the pieces, but that didn’t go as well as planned.  If some students were STILL having trouble, after trying to do it themselves, I would help them out with Gorilla Crazy Glue.

This was our Junkbot Store.  Notice the large selection of... junk.

This was our Junkbot Store. Notice the large selection of… junk.

The Junkbots are built:

Time to spray paint all the Junkbots silver.  I did this myself to save time and resources, but the kids LOVED them once they were done.  I guess they seemed more “legit.”

Line 'em up, and spray 'em down!

Line ’em up, and spray ’em down!


Once they were dry, the kids put up to 4 things on the robot that were left in their “natural” state.

Not too shabby for “junk!”