Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Easter Bonnet Portrait

Here is an Easter art project that combines a 3 dimensional element in the hat.

I am currently working on this with Grade 2 and will have some student work to show you shortly.

I was reading "Albert the Albatross" with my son Jeff and I started thinking about birds on hats. (Albert ends up on a ladies hat for awhile) With Easter coming up it seemed a good fit.


- large piece of watercolor or heavy paper (mine is 27x13)
- liquid tempera or poster paint in blue, brown, and flower colors
- 10 inch Chinette paper plates, (they don't necessarily have to be chinette but they need to be heavy like them)
- paper for ladies head and bird
- pencil crayons
- cardboard egg cartons 
- tacky glue
- glue gun
- Easter grass or tissue paper

Tape your heavy paper on to your art board and paint the entire thing blue.

Nice large brushes make this go faster.  I buy these from Lee Valley, cheap, and they have lasted for years!

Set your background aside to dry.

Take your egg cartons and cut 3 flowers.

Paint with the liquid tempera in nice Spring flower colors.

Set these aside to dry also.

Cut your paper plate like this.  Each plate gives you 2 hats.

You can click on the picture to see larger.

Paint your plate on both sides.  The tab will be hidden in the final composition so right now it makes a handy place to hold as you are painting.  The bottom of the plate will be the top side of the hat.

Set aside to dry.

Draw out your head. I used brown kraft paper but you can use white as well, whatever you have on hand.
I made up a template for the kids as scale is important for this step.  You want it to fill the bottom half of your page.  The head is cut off on the top as that is where the hat will go.

Now your eyes can look straight at you like I've done here or you could have them looking up like the lady has just noticed there is a bird on her hat.

Color in the face with pencil crayon.

Cut out.

Sketch out your bird.  I used regular printer paper here and made the drawing landscape or horizontal.

I made mine "albatross" looking but you can do any type of bird. Maybe a peacock or some exotic looking bird.  The kids have no restrictions as long as it is large enough to fill the top half of the background.

Add some color and cut out.

When your flowers are dry crumple up a small piece of tissue paper and glue into the center.

If you do not have any Easter grass you can make some by cutting strips of tissue paper.

Now let's put this portrait together.

Take your plate and fold the tab to the inside. 

Put some tacky glue on the tab and then place the head on top of the glue, centering it.

Have your background paper ready.  Remove the tape carefully.

Turn the head over to the back and put some glue all over the back.

Press into place on the background paper.

Now glue the bird into place.

Add some glue to the bottom of the bird as well as onto the plate a bit.

Stick in your Easter grass or tissue paper.

Now for the flowers I used the glue gun just to make sure they were really stuck.

While you have the gun out add a little glue to the sides of the plate to help it stay in place.

Glue the flowers on top of the Easter grass.

That's it!

I have a few more Easter projects in the works......I know a bit late but I was away. 

Just to remind you of a few past projects you can try.....





as well as MOSAIC CROSSES, CHICKS IN A NEST, and PYSANKY. So check them out.

Don't forget the book giveaway is still on.  Thanks everyone for your comments on the blog and thru email.  I'll print them all off and then draw a winner Friday morning.  Good luck!

See you next time.


  1. This easter portrait is the best!!!!!!!!!!
    I remember in kindergarten, making easter bonnets out of cottage cheese containers and paper plates!
    You brought back a fun memory!!

  2. This is awesome! I'd love to try this with my kids. Thanks for sharing.

  3. Well my shut mouth with that great big goose hat! Or albatross, really. Whatever that bird is, it's fab. Love it. Crazy jealous it's no hanging on my wall right now. You go girl!

  4. There is a wonderful book Called Miss Hunnicutt's Hat by Jeff Brumbeau for which this art lesson is perfect.

  5. Hi Gail,
    These are terrific! I'm wondering how many classes these took to complete with your grade 2s?

    1. If I remember correctly we spent one class doing all the painting, the background, the flowers, the hats. We then spent 1 class drawing our heads and started our birds. The third class we finished the birds and then glued it all together. Hope that helps.