Monday, November 4, 2013

Poppy Art for Remembrance Day

It's been a very busy 6 weeks, 2 "artist in residencies" down, just started my third as well as presenting at the Early Childhood Conference on Friday.  I think I need 36 hr days!

I never get tired of creating Poppies for Remembrance Day.

I love how coffee filters make amazing petals.

The speckled background is quite nice as well.


- coffee filters
- disk tempera paint (red, white, black)
- white card stock
- black coloured paper
- white crayon
- glue
- black ink or black paint
- black beads
- scissors


Flatten out your filters.  You want to paint them red but you want some variation in the reds.  I add some orange red, purple red, burgundy, and pure bright red.

Let dry.

While the filters are drying you can work on the background.

This is a piece of white card stock that is painted with grey (a touch of black tempera into the white).

We want variation again, so we have patches of dark grey mixed with lighter grey.

I wanted some splatter/speckle in the background so I spray some diluted black ink on the paper.

When my filters are dry I add some black ink to the center.  I fold up the filter and then using an eye dropper add the ink.

If you don't have ink you can use watery black paint.

With the black paper I cut out a stem and a leaf and glue them to the background.

Using a white crayon I added some detail to the leaf.

To cut the petals I fold up the filter again and then cut the shape.  Round the corners to make it look less like a filter and more like a petal.

Glue the petals into place.

Glue some beads into the centre.

See you next time.


  1. i like a lot your idea .i find interesting the dradiations of red and everything.i ll try to fix in the school.THANKS ELLI

  2. Your projects are always lovely and the tutorials perfect! I have tried many projects for myself and with my grand children and friends. You are an amazing teacher. Am so glad that I found your blog. Thank you so much.
    Wishing you well and thanks for the creativity!

  3. Gail, I LOVE this project and it came just in time! I purchased coffee filters to make angels, but didn't like the look. I always look forward to your projects!! I do mixed media, as well. Your tutorials are very clear and I really appreciate that. Thank you for sharing.

  4. Love ur 3d poppy! Awesome that u made a tutorial. Thx.

  5. Hi. Colours are so vibrant. I like the paper poppies. Jane

  6. I'm the Editorial Assistant for Fun Family Crafts and I wanted to let you know that we have featured your poppy project! You can see it here:

    Thanks for another great project idea!

  7. Thanks for your wonderful projects! I have done several with my classes over the past few years-the rememrance day one, poopies in mixed media and now thia one. Have also done lighthouse project and nautical inchies. All have turned out well and I love the fact that each one is a process.

  8. How many coffee filters do you need to make a poppy? What size filters did you use?

    1. Hi Debra, You need 1-2 filters. You can get quite a few petals out of 1 if the kids are careful with the cutouts, alternating shapes.

  9. Hi Gail! Thank you so much for this tutorial! I am going to give it a try with my Grade 5's. As a first time art teacher, do you think I can pull this off by Friday???
    Also, can I use a photo of the finished piece to show my class in a slideshow? I will of course give you credit for your work :)

    1. Hi Janelle,
      Feel free to use the photo when teaching this lesson. You will need a painting class and then a short session to put it together once the coffee filter and background has dried.

  10. Would this be a project I could complete with Grade 5's by Friday?

  11. So many questions…my school does not have tempera. Would you recommend water colours or regular "school" paint watered down?

    1. You can use watercolour or regular school paint, (which I am thinking is liquid tempera or poster paint)

  12. Thank you so much! We gave it a go and will try putting it all together tomorrow. The kids enjoyed mixing the paints to create different reds. I think they will turn out great! Thanks again, I am so glad I found you :)

  13. I was thinking for people that may be stuck for paint... with the coffee filters, you could have the kids colour them with markers, and then spray the filter with water and let dry....

  14. Hi there
    Just wondering if you used 2 coffee filters to make one poppy? Cheers

    1. It was parts of 2 filters, I was trying to get some variation in the colours of the petals. One was a different red (more orange ).
      Students can also share filters to get more variation.
      Hope that helps.