Pippi from Australia writes. . .

Dear Art Expert:  I am a primary school teacher in Australia and 
DESPERATELY need an art activity to include as part of a whole school four week unit.  Got any
good ideas for small groups that are exciting, different, and 
reasonably inexpensive?????

THANKS for your request.  I will try to help and if you send your school's address to me via 
e-mail, I will send you a copy of common Native American symbols to
use with the projects below. . .

Native American Faux Leather Projects

Basic Faux Leather Recipe

Material Needed:

Large Brown Shopping Bags or Brown Postal Paper
Wet Sponge


Children should first wipe the shopping/grocery bag with a wet sponge to soften paper.
Very little water should be used.  Next, ask the children to crumple the shopping bag into a
large ball.  The crumpling process softens the paper and creates the 
appearance of faux leather.  The process is lots of fun for children
and takes about 5-7 minutes.  Children should be cautioned to fold or crumple the paper some-
what gently since the paper has a tendancy to tear if handled too
roughly when wet.  The end result will be a textural surface similar to suede or softened rawhide.

The following projects can be made from the Faux Leather.

#1-Buffalo Storytelling Cloth

The early Native Americans used Buffalo Hides to tell stories of their
hunting adventure.  This project encourages children to use their
imaginations to create narrative art works that utilize Native
American symobols.

First, tear an irregular shape of Faux Leather from your supply of
2.  Punch Holes with a One Hole Puncher on the sides of the "Buffalo
Hide," and insert dangling suede leather laces or use paper bag strips to
create leather-like strips.
3.  Create a story about your adventures and illustrate this adventure using only 
pictographs, and colors-symbolically.
4.  Share the stories that you have created with other members of 
your class.

#2-Arrow (Pencil) Canister

Every Brave needs a place to store important papers and this Native
American carry along is a fun and easy project.  You will need a 
paper towel cardboard holder for this project.

1.  Cut or tear a piece of faux leather from your supply.
2. Wrap a piece of Faux Leather around an empty paper towel roll,
leaving a long enough piece at one end to fold and staple closed.  
The Faux Leather piece should be long enough that  it extends
at least two inches from the top of the empty paper towel roll after
you have wrapped it.  This excess will be cut in strips after you
glue the initial piece to the empty paper towel roll.
Cut this excess into Faux Leather fringe.
3.  Punch a hole into both ends and string a piece of jute long
enough to create a handle for your canister.
4.  Glue feathers or leaves to canister, paint or color with Native 
American pictographs.
5.  Now you've got a place to store pencils.

#3-Native American Beads are fun and easy to create. 
Use old magazines for this project.  

1.  Cut strips of magazines into 2" x 6" strips.
2.  Fold the strips into circular motion using a popsicle stick
or wooden dowel as a base for creating a circular bead.
3.  Glue strips at the ends.
4.  String "bead" using yarn or jute.

#4-Native American Vest

This is the most popular of the Native American Projects

1.  Using a grocery bag with the large flap in front, cut the center 
straight up until you reach the large flap.
2.  Cut a round half circle through the flap area to form a collar for your
3.  Next open up the sides of the paper bag and cut two arm holes one on 
each side of the bag.
4.  Turn the paper vest "inside-out," and crumple the vest until it looks
like leather.
5.  Use beads, feathers, leaves, and pictographs to embellish the vest.
6.  Cut holes in the front of the vest with the paper hole punch
and tightly tie pieces of jute from hole openings.  Let the pieces
of jute dangle from the vest.

#5-Native American Sand Paintings

A no mess unique Native American sand "painting."

1.  Using crayons "paint" Native American symbols and stories onto
4" x 4" pieces of sandpaper.
2.  Cut specific symbols into small square and attach a magnet to the
back for refrigerator magnets.
3.  Share your story with your classmates.


Visit Art Teacher on the Net now for more free project ideas.:
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area of the world.  Share your favorite holiday ideas, or 
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