Today, I made the example art project for kids inspired by Huichol Yarn Paintings. There's a great website about the history of the art form here.

The yarn paintings (Nierikas) typically recorded dreams, visions, and personal stories. Here are a few traditional examples:

The traditional method to create a piece was by applying mixed beeswax and pine resin onto a plank of wood, then layering the yarn. In projects for children inspired by these works I've seen white glue applied to cardboard and then the yarn attached. 

For the project I'll be doing with my boys this summer I switched out the white glue for contact paper. White glue has it's place but I wanted to avoid a few problems that I could see happening:

  • the yarn will stick to the kids fingers
  • the yarn will get stuck onto itself
  • the marker drawing will smear and then discolor the yarn 
  • because it will take time to dry the yarn could get displaced
  • since we're doing this at home, dry time doesn't matter but it would be an issue if I was doing this in a classroom and the kids needed to take them home

Above are the supplies I used. If I were doing this in a classroom I'd switch out the cork board for just a large sheet of poster board that they can draw their designs directly onto. Then I'd tape the corners of the contact paper down so the work surface wouldn't shift. 

This project might need to get paired with a trip to the National Museum of Mexican Art!