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These gloomy days really help the colors of spring pop don’t they? In my neighborhood we can see the bright yellows and pinks jumping out against the green backgrounds. They seem so much brighter and bring a little color to the dreariness.

This week my girls and I are inspired to create something different. We want something colorful and expressive. Like everyone else these days I ran to Pinterest for inspiration.

I know what you’re thinking. What on earth is this woman going to make with tin foil, paper plates and a handful of colored markers? Well, keep reading to find out!

mayan supplies


First,  I pull out enough tin foil to cover my dessert sized paper plate. (You can use any size plate you have on hand). Next, I fold the edges of the foil inward (on the side of the plate you would normally eat). After the plates are wrapped, I flip them  over to use the bottom side for our drawings.

mayan materials 2

mayan plates


Before we start drawing with our pencils, I Google some images of Mayan Tin Art. The girls are inspired by the colors and the use of shapes and designs.  It is hard to duplicate the fullness of the colors used in the original art with just markers, but what else do your parents let you color with when you are 5?  We learn that many Mayan Art pieces were commissioned by Kings to commemorate a moment in their lives; and artists created large masks as portraits of the gods or kings. Of course now we need to make some masks!

Once we have our designs in mind we use our pencils to very lightly imprint the drawing into the tin foil. Then, we use the tip of the marker to fill in the lines with color.

mayan drawing


Here are our finished creations. My favorite part of this project (besides the low cost) is how invested the kids were in creating their designs. This is such a different project than our usual water colors and pastels. It was fun to watch them really put thought into making these. Plus, we learned a whole lot about Maya art history.

When we were done with our tin foil creations we decide to just draw on the paper plates. Why not? This was such a cool project and I love the color they bring to our little art gallery!

mayan tin art.jpg

These are so super easy to make and  I’ll bet you have all of the supplies you need for this project already. So give it a go to pass the time away with your kiddos on this rainy day!

Do you have a unique art project representing different cultures? We’d love to see some pics!


The Whatever Mom is a full-time wife and twin mama living on coffee and wine. She enjoys the pure rush of cleaning the BIG potty between loads of laundry. It is her dream that moms everywhere accept and embrace the Whatever Mom philosophy which can be found here. You can also find her musings and popular shares on Facebook and Twitter.

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