Spring is right around the corner, and those snowmen hanging on your classroom walls are probably starting to make you feel a little antsy to leave winter behind. This umbrella art project is the perfect way to freshen up your classroom as you welcome little rain drops and sprouting flowers to your school days.
I discovered this project on Pinterest a few years ago. Those pins simply link to digital student art portfolios from a classroom in Maryland, so I thought I’d take a moment to share the steps my students followed to recreate this spring favorite.
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Step 1: Design An Umbrella
On the first day of this two-day project, my students each design a unique umbrella using cardstock paper and tempera paint (affiliate link). Here are the steps students follow:
- Sketch an umbrella outline on an 8 1/2″ x 11″ piece of white cardstock paper.
- Use different shades of tempera paint to create your own unique umbrella design.
- Let the your umbrella design dry over night.
Step 2: Paint Your Background
On the second day of this project, my students create a rainy-day background and a person with a raincoat and rain boots. I recommend having them paint their background first so it can quickly dry while they cut their pieces for the coat and boots.
- Use cool shades of water color paint (affiliate link) to splatter rain drops onto a 12″x12″ piece of white construction paper.
- Use the water color paint to create a small puddle near the bottom of the page.
- Set the background aside to dry. The drying process usually only takes about ten minutes since there isn’t much paint on the page.
Step 3: Create Your Rain Coat and Boots
While the background dries, have students select different shades of construction paper to create their rain coat and boots.
- Select three shades of construction paper.
- Cut one color into a triangle shape, which will become the raincoat.
- Cut the second color into two short rectangles, which will become the legs.
- Fold the third color in half and draw a boot outline using pencil. Cut along the boot outline and separate your two rain boots.
Step 4: Assemble Your Project and Add Finishing Touches
Once the background has dried, have students gather a pair a scissors, a glue stick, and a thin felt tip pen so they can assemble their project, and add finishing touches.
- Cut out your umbrella.
- Lay your umbrella, boots, legs, and rain coat onto the background to ensure everything is carefully placed, and the feet are standing in the puddle before gluing.
- As you glue each layer, make sure not to press the bottom portion of the piece you are gluing down on the page. This will allow you to slide the next piece you need to glue underneath the previous layer so everything lays properly.
- Begin by gluing the umbrella to the page.
- Slide the raincoat underneath the umbrella layer as you glue it down.
- Slide each leg underneath the raincoat layer as you glue it down.
- Glue the rain boots to the bottom of each leg.
- Use a thin felt tip pen to draw an umbrella handle held by an arm and hand. You can also add rain coat features like pockets, buttons, or a zipper.
I hope you and your students enjoy this project as much as I do each year. If you’d like to see a video tutorial version of the steps written above, check out my Instagram story highlight here.
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