Bark Paintings

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Bark Paintings
Total Time 1 to 2 hours Ages school-age

Celebrate Cinco de Mayo by making a version of a Mexican papel amate (bark paper) painting. The "canvas" used in this folk art is made by boiling bark and pounding it flat; for our no-sweat substitute, we used a section of a brown paper bag.

What you'll need

  • Scissors
  • Brown paper grocery bag
  • Water
  • Iron
  • Wide-tipped black marker
  • Acrylic, tempera, or craft paint

How to make it

  1. Bark Paintings - Step 1

    Cut a large rectangle from a grocery bag, wet it with water, and crumple it up. Squeeze out the extra water, then flatten out the paper. Use an iron set on low to dry the paper and to smooth it further.

  2. Draw the outline of your design using a wide-tipped black marker, then fill in the spaces with colorful acrylic, tempera, or craft paint. To make your paint colors brighter against the brown paper background, mix in a bit of white paint.

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