"A Faithful Attempt" is designed to showcase a variety of K-12 art lessons, the work of my art students, as well as other art-related topics. Projects shown are my take on other art teacher's lessons, lessons found in books or else designed by myself.
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Thursday, September 22, 2011

Owls from Cardboard Tubes

This is a cute and relatively easy owl craft that would be perfect for Halloween.  Have your students each make one and you'll have some lovely classroom decorations for October. This is a paint and collage project and I was inspired by the post here on the Matsutake blog.

In the upcoming weeks I'll be posting other Halloween versions of this craft
including a cat, vampire, and a bat. Update: project link for these here.

I think this project would suit Grades 3 and up.

So start off with a toilet tube, paper towel tube or any thin cardboard tube you have. I don't know about you, but as an Art teacher I get TONS of donations of toilet tubes, and rarely know what to do with them as I want a project that's going to look effective and not 'toilet tube-y'.  This one fits the bill in my opinion.

Paint your tube any colour you want your owl. Let dry.

Push and/or fold down one half of the top, then the other half.  This will create pointy ears.

For the collage feather part, I just used old magazines- use any type of paper you have (scrap, construction, scrap paper, etc) I used the same tones and the body colour, but you could use any colours or patterns you want. Medium to heavier paper works best, I found.

We're going to be cutting out a bunch of circles for the feathers, so in order to save time, I always show students how to fold the paper a bunch of times and to create many circles at once.

Freehand draw an appropriate sized circle for the feather size you want or use a lid to trace. 
I found a large glue stick lid was the perfect size. Trace and cut out.

I found I needed about 12 circles.

So work from the bottom up. Add a thin line of white glue along the bottom of the tube. Layer on four or so circles. Continue going up, making sure to layer and stagger your circles to create a stylized feather pattern. You'll need to hold the feathers in place for a bit for them to really stick to the round form. 
Older kids could use a hot glue gun to speed up the process.

So here's the owl's feathers in place.

Draw and cut out two wings. Go as fancy or realistic as you want. I went with simple teardrop shapes. Glue these on the side of the body.

I layered different sizes and colours for my eyes. I wanted really spooky Halloween-type realistic yellow owl's eyes. I just freehand drew but you could also trace circles. You could also use googly eyes for the younger kids. Glue these on. Then add a triangle for a beak.

Ta da!

They're nice because they stand on their own. 
Have your class make a bunch and you'll have a parliament of owls!


Chesterbrook Academy Elementary said...

These owls are adorable.
Thanks for the tutorial.

Katie said...

Never can have enough ideas for tube creatures:) I have been collecting tube donations but am still preparing ideas.. Your post has lead me in such great directions, thanks!

Miss said...

Thanks all! There are endless options for this project- basically anything that has 'pointy' ears will work!

TC said...

I found this via Pinterest and love it. Have just made one with my little girl, with a few adaptations and it looks great. Thank you!

Miss said...

TC- thanks! I love it when I hear about parents being creative with their kids. I used to LOVE colouring in colouring books with my Dad when I was a kid.

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