Friday, October 17, 2008

How to make an Owl - Art Project

Here is a very effective Owl Art Project you can do with your kids. It's somewhat halloweenish as his eyes seem to follow you around the room.

I was making breakfast one morning when I thought....someones looking at me, more specifically an owl is looking at me, inspiration strikes.

Materials Required:

-cardboard egg carton
-paint (orange,red,yellow,brown,white,black)
-stick from the garden
-feathers (optional)

My youngest went on strike...he'd rather play with his brother than do a sample for class so I'll have to post his work at a later time.

Cut out your eyes and beak from the egg carton in one piece. Try to get the little triangles above the eyes as well as this looks more owl like. Each carton will give you 5 sets. Last week a Mom at school gave me 20 egg cartons so..... Kindergarten is making Owls this week!!

Pull out your paints and start painting. Paint the back of the eyes first, I used brown. While that is drying paint your Owl body. I used a paper bag and splashed on some orange, brown, and yellow. Let dry.

Take some newspaper, paint a piece white and one piece a dark brown.

Let dry.

Now for some fun, splatter time. At school I use a big box. I've added height to the back of the box so I have less chance of a mess. At home I use whatever box I can find. Here my daughter is helping out as she loves to splatter.

Take your white and brown painted newspaper, which is now dry, place one sheet in the box, and using paint of the other color flick paint onto the paper.

Sometimes you can just tap the brush onto a stick or ruler to splatter but most kids want to use their fingers. You may have to make the paint a little more liquid than usual but don't over diluted it or it won't show up in the end.

Paint some accent feather paper. I usually collect the packaging from cookies. It's a wavy white cardboard type of paper. I also have a crimper and sometimes just crimp some cardstock for the same effect. Use it if you have it, otherwise plain old white paper will do. Paint some accent colors, reds, oranges, and yellows.

By now the back of your eyes will be dry, paint on the yellow/orange beak, as well as the whites of the eye. You can then either paint in the black eye
or glue in circles of black paper or felt. I'm going to have the kindergartener's glue in circles I think.

Take the paper you painted for the body, turn over and using your painted eyes as a guide draw an owl body.

Cut out and glue
to a black piece of paper for the background. When eyes are dry glue them into place as well.

Take your feather paper and start cutting out feather shapes, glue onto the body. You can also curl them a bit on the bottom so the stick out a bit from the body giving the piece added texture.

If you have some feathers glue them in place for wings. If not use your feather paper and cut out some wings. Find a good stick or branch from the backyard and stick on with the gluegun.

Ta da! One good looking Owl, kinda of reminds me of the Owl from Mr. Dressup.

Give it a try, when my youngest saw the finished project he got really excited and now can't wait to make one.

Take the time to make the feather paper. My whole philosophy of art with kids is to engage them with the PROCESS. This means making the materials to create from.
Much more satisfying than just purchasing them. It also teaches them patience. The results will be one of a kind and you will have taught your child techniques that can be applied to a multitude of projects.

Take care.

see you next time



  1. What a cute owl! The eyes and beak from an egg carton are really cool!
    Thanks for sharing.
    Love your blog.

  2. i am an owl lover and collector! i will love making this project with my daughter. i love your philosophy behind making all the materials by hand. thanks for sharing such fantastic, unique projects!

    i look forward to more...

  3. I love the owl and that is a very creative idea!!

  4. Thanks for the wonderful comments. I'm just happy to be able to share these projects with you and maybe encourage others to get creative with their children.

  5. Thanks so much for the wonderful owl project! I did this with several week long childrens's art camps this summer. Worked for both ALL ABOUT ANIMALS and RECYCLED ART themes. There are many beautiful owls hanging in homes in Orange County, California right now thanks to you.

  6. I love this project and all your others as well and plan to do them with my bird-loving son-thanks!

  7. Very nice project for bird lovers! I remember where I was in school, I'd do birds whatever the project was . . . when the project was lives of native American peoples, I would do the birds that native american peoples might have seen :) Ancient Egyptians? . . . I'd do the birds that lived in ancient egypt :))


  8. I've been looking for projects that use cardboard egg cartons! Thank you!

  9. Gail,

    I LOVE this post! My besty and I tried it with our daughters today and they LOVED it too! Thank you SO muck for posting all these amazing projects.

    Here's a link to my post/pictures on our attempt:


  10. Can you tell me what size paper you used for this project? Was it construction paper or? Thanks for your reply!