Sunday, November 6, 2016

Poppy Patterns

This year's Remembrance Day art project is the result of 2 main inspirations,  Project Runway's red palette challenge this week and last week's"Make it Artsy" segment on Rebekah Meier's circle mandalas.

If you haven't checked out "Make it Artsy" it is well worth your time.  I just watch the episode online as it's not carried by KSPS. I watch with my design journal right next to me as the ideas just start to pour out.


- basket coffee filters
- liquid tempera or acrylic paint in red, black and white
- glue
- circle shapes for tracing
- scissors
- printmaking materials like cardboard, pencils, skewers, little cups
- white and black pencil crayons
- buttons, beads, and/or poppy seeds, optional
- paper for background


The first step is to paint your coffee filters. I started out using disk tempera but the colour was very dull.  Liquid tempera and acrylic produced nice bright colour.

You need 1 bright red, 1 dark red, and 1 black painted coffee filter for each poppy.  From there you can mix and match.  Mix a tiny bit of black into your red to make the dark red.

If you want a background pattern on your poppy add it before we start cutting.

Here I am using a cup and making circle shapes.  Stay in our limited colour palette of red (light and dark), black, and white.

When the coffee filters are dry you want to cut different ring shapes from them to construct your poppy.

Use circle shapes from around the classroom as templates.

I folded mine for easier cutting.

You can also cut your rings to have a more natural petal shape.

Now you can add more patterns to the parts of your poppy.

Here I use a piece of cardboard to make lines.

Here I added dots using the end of a pencil and a skewer.

I had not cut this one in rings but later I needed to.  It was a lot harder to cut the ring after I put the pattern on.  Note to self : have students cut rings first.

You can use pencil crayon to add details.

Mix and match your ring shapes.

Use the black coffee filter as the base.  Glue your rings on top letting some of the black filter exposed.

You can embellish them with some buttons, poppy seeds, beads, whatever you have on hand.

You can add extra details if needed.

For the background I painted the paper grey with black and white disk tempera.

Glue poppies on background.

That's it.

Hope you give this one a try.



  1. Gail, These are beautiful! and I thank you for always giving such great detailed instructions! I'd definitely like to try the project! I could also see it being used in a lesson on artist Pacita Abad!

  2. Love your Poppy ideas, would love to try them using fabric instead of paper...not to sell but to possibly put into a gift auction at my local American Legion. I am an Auxiliary member. Okay?
    Thanks for your inspiration, Mary Jane

    1. That will be fine pozcat. Good luck with your auction.

  3. These look amazing! Im going to have my class do these while they wit for glue and then paint to dry doing the project you posted this month. I LOVE your ideas. How do you do it?