Sunday, October 28, 2012

Spooky silhouettes on hand dyed paper - grade 5/6

This is a project I did last year that has actually become one of my most popular projects on this blog. I figured I would do it again towards the end of the year, as I did last year, but then I had the idea of using the same technique but with spooky Halloween silhouettes.

I gave my students about 20 minutes in the computer lab, where they had to compile together their ideas for their silhouette. Once we got back to class, they drew their ideas onto black paper. The one rule here was that they could not trace what they found online - even if they found the perfect image ready to go, they still had to draw it, rather than tracing it.

We used the exact same technique as last time to dye the paper, which I outlined in my last post. The only difference is that this time, they added sparkles after chalk pastel, to look like twinkly stars in the sky. These don't show up too much in the pictures, but they look great in person! After about an hour and a half, the papers were dry enough to glue the silhouettes onto. Then we mounted them onto black paper, and they were done!

Let me know if you try this technique and if you have any luck with it. We love it over in my class!


  1. I did this project last week, after seeing it on your blog (thank you so much!) It was a great hit!!
    The only change I made was to pre-crush the pastels into a container with a perforated lid, I have multi-age classes with kids from prep to year 7, and the littlies just couldn't manage scraping the pastels without dropping them into the water.
    I love the sparkles idea too!
    One question - I had a lot of air bubbles forming - they burst into fractal-like shapes (I really liked it actually) - do you have this problem? - how do you avoid it?

    1. I haven't had this problem..although maybe I'm not totally sure what you mean. If I have sections where the color didn't take, I just have them shave extra pastel onto them after they've removed them from the water.. the pastel tends to still cling onto the paper. Hope this helps!

  2. Love Love Love these! what a great way to use up extra pieces of chalk pastels too! Thanks so much for sharing!

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