3 Easy and Fun Edgar Degas Art Projects
If you are looking for completely unique, easy, and fun ways to teach your students about Edgar Degas – these Edgar Degas art projects will do the trick!
In this post, I’m going to explain 3 Edgar Degas art projects you can do in your classroom or at home with your own children. Whether you are an art teacher, classroom teacher, homeschooling family or parent looking to make art with their children, there is something in here for you!
I’ll show you how to make your own monochromatic paper and then use templates (they are free) that I created for you to make your own Degas dancers. I’ll also share with you how you can make Degas dancer collaboration posters with your classes and where you can find the templates for those. Finally I’ll share a way you can actually sew your own Degas dancer dolls.
So, let’s get started…
1. Edgar Degas Art Projects: Monochromatic Degas Dancers
The great thing about this project is… okay, well there are SEVERAL great things!
First off, I’ve produced a complete teaching video for this lesson that takes you through everything step-by-step (it’s linked below). The next great thing is that I’ve created templates for you to use.
…and best of all it’s all FREE in my Teachers Pay Teachers store! Check it out HERE, or click on the image below.
You can do this project in several ways. In the video, I demonstrate how you can make your own monochromatic paper with students using acrylic paint and then use the templates I provide to create Degas dancers out of that paper.
However, you can also use the templates and copy them onto paper that is already in a value scale. The third option is to transfer the template shapes onto construction paper (in the colors of your choice) using a graphite transfer method. These options are all explained in the video.
…and of course feel free to modify and adapt this lesson to make it work with your students.
Supplies: For this project you will need paper in various sizes (explained in the free video), acrylic paint, palettes, paintbrushes, scissors, pencils and the FREE TEMPLATES in the supporting document (be sure to download those from the video HERE).
Steps: The steps (and variations) are explained in detail in the video. However, simply explained your students will make monochromatic paper (with paint), cut out the templates, trace the templates onto the paper and then cut out their monochromatic colors to build the dancer. The final display will be stunning…
2. Edgar Degas Art Projects: Sew Your Own Degas Dancer Dolls
This is a fun project to do with your kids that allows you to work a little art history into your hands-on creations! Rather than buy a cookie-cutter doll at the store, you can involve your kids in making their own, unique toy–that they will cherish.
Before starting this project, I like to read Degas and the Little Dancer to my kids so they have a little inspiration for the project. It tells the story of a little girl who wanted to be the most famous ballerina in the world. She achieved her goal, but not quite in the way she planned…
For this project you’ll need fabric markers, canvas (or heavy fabric), sewing thread, sewing needle (or sewing machine) and stuffing.
First, you’ll want to plan what your dancer will look like. Then you’ll draw that dancer directly onto the canvas using fabric markers. I created these with my 4 year old and her friend – they had a blast!
Cut out the design and leave a little edge to sew on.
Then you’ll need a back. Place your dancer design onto another piece of fabric and trace around it and cut it out. You’ll then pin those pieces together with the drawing portion of the dancer on the inside – after you sew you’ll turn it inside out (like sewing a pillow).
Sew around the dancer, leaving a small space to stuff the doll.
Start adding the stuffing into the doll – if it’s really long use something like a stick or pencil to push the stuffing toward the bottom and work up to the top. Keep feeling the doll to get the amount of stuffing you’d like to have in the doll.
Once it’s full, close up the opening, either with your sewing machine or by hand.
If you have some tulle then you can take a needle and thread and sew on a tutu!
3. Edgar Degas Art Projects: Monochromatic Degas Dancer Collaboration Posters
Monochromatic Edgar Degas Dancer collaboration posters are great for art teachers and classroom teachers alike! This project looks complicated (that is the wow factor in it) but it’s very simple – I’ve done everything possible to make it that way. Students will simply color, cut and assemble their pieces of the Edgar Degas poster.
There are so many options included in this resource. You will be able to choose the colors you want to use, the size of the posters and also the background. You can see a preview of this resource in the video below.
This resource is available in my Teachers Pay Teachers store and comes with so much! In this resource I’ve included a Degas facts handout that should be useful to you in introducing Degas to your students. I’ve also created a complete Degas video you can show your students. This video introduces students to Edgar Degas. It also explains to them what “monochromatic” means. Then it quickly goes through the steps of this project. I recommend you let your students watch it all the way through once and then pause along the way as they create their posters.
There are two poster sizes included. Each piece of the poster fits on regular 8.5” x 11” paper. The small poster has 3 pieces. The large poster has 10 pieces. There are instruction included so your dancers can have a white background, no background, or a color of your choice!
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Back in 2006, I got to travel to Paris and actually see Degas’ famous little dancer sculpture in person – what a joy that was! So, I’ll leave you with a goofy picture of me from back then…
Thanks for reading and making art with kids!