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Sharpie Drawings on Tin Foil

I did learned this technique from my co-worker Jayne, who taught it during summer school last year. I think drawing on tin foil is a unique experience for kids that can be done using a variety of themes!

My third and fourth graders had a great time making these abstract drawings using Sharpie markers on tin foil. To prepare the surface, pull out a sheet of tin foil and carefully flatten it on to a piece of cardboard or matboard. Tape the sheet on using washi tape along the edges. Use the side of your fingernail to smooth any bumps and wrinkles.

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Using a black Sharpie marker, carefully doodle a loopy line around your paper, overlapping and swirling it around the page. Do not scribble, but make a controlled meandering doodle-y line. We discovered that if your Sharpie is really pointy and you try to draw fast, you may poke a hole in the tin foil. Feel free to add flowers or other doodle-y designs.

After the black marker dries, use colorful Sharpie (or other permanent) markers to color in sections.

At the very end, you can add puffy paint patterns and lines for a finishing touch. We used Tulip fabric paints and glitter glue in little bottles.

One thing I’ve been thinking about a lot lately… social media! Instagram and Facebook are a double edged sword. On one hand, they give me so many ideas for projects to teach students and inspiration for contemporary artists and a chance to connect with other creative people. I spend time looking at other artist’s colorful artwork and many times it gives me the motivation to make my own stuff. On the other hand, sometimes after being on Instagram it leaves me vaguely (or more directly) dissatisfied with myself. My artwork is not as good as hers so why bother?, why do they get an award for xyz and I have none, I’m not as good as so and so because they got a book deal or are leading another workshop, there they go on yet another amazing vacation, their student’s artworks are amazing and how do they have so much time to make these incredible bulletin board displays, I will never look as good as her in that rainbow art teacher outfit, etc etc. Look. I follow some pretty amazing people, with many talents. That’s why I follow them, to get inspired. On the other hand, I am getting better at recognizing how I feel when looking at everyone else’s photos. If I start to feel a twinge of envy or comparison, social media goes off. Sometimes I am on Instagram and Facebook for 2 minutes in a day and I realize it is stealing my joy. It’s okay to disconnect. It is more important for YOU to do YOU and to not worry what everyone else is doing in their life. 

From my Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/art.is.basic/

The reason I started writing my blog was to make other art teachers’ lives easier. I hope to give you a spark of an idea for something you can easily do in your classroom.

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About Marcia Beckett

Marcia is an elementary art teacher and loves painting, drawing, sculpture, art journaling and clay. Her blog, Art is Basic, features many exciting art projects for kids.

12 Responses to Sharpie Drawings on Tin Foil

  1. Kara Sabatella says:

    Marcia, these are gorgeous !!! I remember 20 yrs ago when I first became an art teacher by accident and discovered this technique in a book (no awesome internet blogs like Art is Basic to look at back then 🙂 ) You gave me a new found love for this… will be doing very soon in my current summer camp job.

    Many art teachers/creative instructors will very much understand your feelings about social media. I was mentoring a new art teacher last year and specifically wanted her to stay away from certain sites because I did not want her in any way trying to keep up with with what seems an ABSOLUTELY impossible pace. My husband will often remind me when I am feeling inadequate that social media pics are not a complete story of the heart and soul of what we art teachers are all about… they are only a snippet, a presentation. I only visit a handful of art teaching web sites ; ones that just feel more comfortable and inspiring… like Art is Basic :):):)

    • Thanks so much! I love this technique too. The kids really like to draw on a different surface! It is soooo hard to compare yourself to everyone else and you see all these great ideas out there, but there is no way to do it all!

  2. leslie says:

    Thank you! I have wondered what kind of time and energy I would have to put in to keep up with some of the blog I have seen of art teachers. I love your blog because you offer creative, exciting, lessons my students can feel successful about. I teach a large population of special ed- and bd students and they LOVE your projects.

  3. Astina Devi Naidu says:

    Hi Marcia, this is a wonderful idea on foil art. I shall use it for my school holiday workshops. Thank you for sharing. I 100% agree with your thought on why we should not be comparing ourselves with social media which sometimes i do get hooked to it and start comparing my art work with others. That’s actually kind of depressing especially when my art work does not turn out as theirs. Everyone is creative in their own way. Its our thoughts and feelings that comes out in the form of colours.

  4. Tonya Jones says:

    I am reminded often that it is the process that goes into art, not the finished project along. Keep creating! God Bless

  5. Carrie says:

    This made me smile today. Back when i was 8 i was introduced to this. We also gluded string on cardboard and covered with foil making 3d loops to doodle in. I was just reflecting on this today and your image appeared. Thanks

  6. Pingback: At Home Kids Arts & Crafts Projects | Orlando Parents Family Fun Magazine

  7. CDB says:

    Tin foil? Does aluminum foil work as well?

  8. Jeanine Bilsland says:

    I am going to try this- I think my kids will love it. Thank you for the inspiration.

  9. Pingback: At Home Kids Arts & Crafts Projects | Orlando Family Fun Magazine

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