I was looking for a simple Fall sunflower craft to do with elementary students. I decided on this coffee filter craft as it's pretty straightforward and uses very inexpensive materials. I found the lesson on the Family Corner website and modified it into a painting project. The coffee filters (basket style-pack of 100) were bought at the Dollar store. Each students needs just 2 filters.
Start off by showing the kids a slideshow of Van Gogh's famous Sunflower series. He did a few different versions of sunflowers; his most famous ones being painted in Arles, when he lived in the South of France. They are some of his most famous and iconic works and one sold at auction in the 80's for almost $40 million dollars!!
|Vincent Van Gogh, "Sunflowers", 1889|
Using watered down tempera paint, students paint the filters in various shades of yellows and light oranges. Let dry.
While the filters are drying (doesn't take too long), have the students create the centers. We use plastic lids to trace- they are a perfect size, or you could free-hand draw the circles. We use the back of old cereal boxes, although any heavy paper will do.
Paint them with tempera in shades of browns and yellows- whatever you want, really. If you make the edges darker, it looks quite realistic. We use round brushes and stipple the paint in an up-and-down motion to create some texture. Instead of paint, you could also collage on brown paper or glue on seeds, beads, etc.
Ok- once the filters are dry, stack two together.
Fold in half once. Then again in half.
Draw some long petals.
Cut out and unfold.
Layer one flower on top of the other, making sure to stagger the petals to allow the underneath ones to show. Glue together just in the center with white glue.
Then add some more white glue in the middle and glue on the painted cardboard center.
Once these are all completed, you could make a class version of Van Gogh's sunflowers in a big paper vase and hang them on the wall for a colourful display. Or students could attach green pipe cleaners (chenille stems) to them. We simply mounted ours on blue paper for contrast and to represent the brilliant blue Provençal sky.