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Activity: Make Your Own Milagro

Materials:

  • Scrap paper
  • Scissors
  • Pencils
  • Lightweight cardboard or heavy paper
  • Cardboard squares to use as the base for the milagro
  • White glue
  • Black tissue paper
  • Metallic crayons
  • Brayer or rolling pin (optional)
  • Wax paper (optional)
  • Ask your students to consider what they would like their milagros to represent. What symbol or symbols can they use? Have them sketch their designs on scrap paper. Explain that when they are ready to create their designs, they will not be drawing them. Instead, they will use scissors to cut a variety of shapes that will be overlapped to create the design in relief. However, sketching the design beforehand provides an opportunity to experiment with different ideas before they begin to cut out their shapes.
  • Have your students cut large, medium, and small shapes to form their symbols. Overlap them to create a relief surface. Explain that they will need at least three layers to create a successful relief.
  • Once they have determined how to assemble their shapes, glue them in place on top of the cardboard square.
  • When the reliefs are completely dry, have your students spread a thin layer of glue over the entire top surface. Next, they will pat a sheet of black tissue paper carefully down over the glue and roll gently with a brayer or rolling pin (or just use their fingers to very carefully press down) so that the relief surface shows through and the design is obvious. Then, they should turn the edges of the tissue paper to the back side of the cardboard and glue them in place.
  • Set the reliefs aside to dry, preferably under wax paper and a weight (such as a book) to insure the paper dries smoothly.
  • When the reliefs are completely dry, show your students how to rub the straight edge of a metallic crayon over the relief surface to highlight the design. Allow time for your students to complete their work.