Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Ode to Magicada: A Cicada Craft

We had so much fun observing the periodical cicadas that emerged in our area this spring that we just had to do something crafty about it to keep our memories alive.  So, we decorated a rectangular canvas to look like a tree trunk and glued on some cicada shapes carved from corks! It took us a month to make this... divided into many little bitty projects... finally on our wall.  It was worth it though. Just looking at it reminds us of the wonder these little enchanting creatures inspired.

Here's what we saw LOTS of: Cicadas!  Climbing up trees!  We partied while they molted then enjoyed hearing them sing for a month. 

I cut some wine corks in half and crudely carved them into cicada shapes.  I had painting helpers waiting, so I couldn't spend much time on perfection!  My painters mixed up a blackish brown body color, then I added dots of red fabric paint to make the 3D eyes.

The wings were cut from a clear plastic strawberry container. (If anyone wants a template, let me know).  I bent the wings a bit to give them a rounded look.  We then used gold paint pens to add wing veins. 

My boys protested at first that we were only making 2 wings (Mom, they have FOUR) but then they tired of wing decorating and thought two were fine...
I hot-glued the wings to the bodies.  Cute, but now what would we do with them?

We did some crayon rubbings of tree bark one morning.  At this point, the kids didn't know what I was up to.  ("We did this at preschool, Mom." But we still went through half a dozen sheets of paper!)  I brought the rubbings out when it came for the next step to help them visualize the project.

The canvas came from a craft store.  After looking at our crayon rubbings, the kids cut thin, wavy strips of black fabric and helped me arrange them on the canvas.  I glued them on as fast as they cut, until we had a zebra-looking tree trunk and the kids lost interest in cutting... falling on the floor in a wrestling match.   Boys!

The kids painted over the whole canvas in shades of black, brown and gray.  They enjoyed blending the colors and remembering who cut which stripe in the process...

Here is the final painted tree trunk.  The fabric gives a 3D bark-like texture.

Then, a little hot glue to add the crawling cicadas.... Ta da!  Our masterpiece!

I've crawled over here to link up:



Post a Comment