Monday, August 1, 2011

Easy Murals

Last year there was a blog buzz of murals going around. I wanted to purchase a few, but just couldn't come to terms with buying YET ANOTHER thing for my classroom. I had to get creative and I found a way to make murals in a few easy steps using any image (I would however suggest something fairly large, such as wallpaper sized for reasons I will mention below). We made 5 murals last year, from second grade to fifth...all with outstanding results! Right, enough about me. Let's get to it!

1. Find an image that you would like to "muralize!" I suggest something will simple line work, and even better, with a limit color palette. This will make for less confusion with your younger grades. A great find for simplistic, yet beautiful images is Dover books (Pictorial Archive Series). They sell what I call image catalogues for just about every topic in the world and they come on a handy cd of all the images so you can pull them right from the disc.

2. Place the image into word, pages, or whatever program you have so that you can resize the image. Make it large enough to fill the page. This will be your visual reference for the kiddos. Print enough copies that you think your class will need in color. I shared one copy for every two students.

3. Go on over to Ignore the scary man with a hammer and follow the steps. Upload your picture, decide how many page you want it to be and whether you want letter sized, follow the prompts and download the PDF that comes up. This will be your mural. It will look pixelized, but since the kids are going to color over it, no one will even know.

4. Print! All you have to do is print in black and white. If you can print without a border your life will be much easier. I couldn't so I had to trim all of the borders off, then I got lazy with the following ones and left the white border in. I actually ended up really liking the segmented look.

5. Write a number order in the corner of each page. This will save you later.

6. Pass out the pages and the photo reference you made earlier and let the kids color away. I used oil pastels with stunning results. If some one finishes early, I usually have extras that they can work on.

7. Once you have compiled them, lay them out on a large piece of craft/butcher paper in order. I let the kids do this last time. Then I just hot glued them down and voila!  A beautiful mural without a lot of work.

I hope this is helpful and it give you the freedom to mural as you wish!

NOTE: You may be wondering how I got the gridded reference on page two of the reference document. If you are tech savvy you may have the ability to do an image capture with your computer. I used Snap and Drag for Mac to capture the poster preview on Blockposters. I then took the image and resized it in Pages (the mac equivalent for Word). I hope that isn't too terribly confusing.

Example: George Rodrigue's Blue Dog Series

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