Monday, September 19, 2011

How to do a Rooster Wycinanki and Variations

So I've been trying to design a Rooster project.

Last year I gave you a brief introduction to Wycinanki or Polish paper friezes.  The rooster is a very traditional design.

In this post I'll give you directions and the templates for this design(probably Grade 4 and up). If you are teaching younger grades keep reading as I have some easy variations for you to try.

Now with wycinanki it is usually cut out of 1 piece of paper and all connected.  I cheat, cutting in sections, and then pasting together.  It's just easier for the kids this way, no need for Xacto blades.


- black paper
- colored paper or tissue
- white paper for mounting
- template #1
- template #2
- white pencil crayon
- scissors
- tacky glue


Fold your black paper in half and trace out the rooster design.  You can make up your own or follow the template. (template #1)  Make sure to place it on the fold.

A white pencil crayon works well.

Cut out 3 designs.  The main rooster, a top design , and something for the bottom.

Unfold and then glue your pieces onto a piece of white paper.  Now designs are usually circular so you could mount on a white circle and even add a black circular border.

Build up your design with bits of colored paper.  I included some of these shapes on template #2.  You can use tissue paper if you want.

Glue into place with tacky glue.  You can put a piece of wax paper on top and then place a heavy book on top of that to get it to dry really flat if you wish.


Now for younger kids you might want to do just a basic rooster.

I have the templates for this guy here;

 template #3, template #4, and template #5.

You can cut the main shape out of black paper and add the colored shapes just like the previous project.

Or you might want to try something like this.


- brown kraft paper or paper bags
- template #3
- oil pastels and colored pencils
- book pages, newspaper, maps, etc.
- paint
- glue
- scissors
- plastic wrap

For this rooster I wanted some interesting papers to create with so you start off by painting your book pages or newspaper, or map paper.

I also like to add another layer of interest so after the first coat of paint is dry I add another color (usually in the same family or an analogous color).  Use different objects to make a repeating print, splatter, sponge, dry brush, paint stripes, whatever catches your eye.

While your patterned papers are drying paint a background for your rooster. 

While the paint was still wet I smooshed in a piece of plastic wrap and left it to dry.  (don't remove that plastic wrap until it is dry)

Using the basic shape (template #3) trace it onto brown kraft paper or a piece of paper bag.

Using pastels add some color and outline your features with colored pencil.

Cut out your rooster.

Glue the rooster to your background when dry.

Using your patterned papers that you made cut out an assortment of tail feathers and glue onto your rooster.

Add some wing feathers too.

Give one of these roosters a try and I'll see you next time!


  1. Love THIS!!! I can't wait to try it w/ my students...not sure yet which grade will be the lucky ones to get to do it:)
    Thanks so much for sharing!!!

  2. Great project! It's crazy how many time it is posted on pinterest!

  3. I like this.Just amazing.Great project.

  4. I just discovered your blog..and I´m delighted.I work in schools in the artistic expression area.
    Your work is fantastic and will inspire me.
    Greetings from Portugal.

  5. Great project! I am linking this back to my blog as I did a variation for my second graders.

  6. Lovely project.. thank you for posting

  7. Thank you for your amazing idea! Excited to cut some paper art now.