This is a lovely, colourful elephant-inspired craft that is perfect for Holi or perhaps while reading Elmer the Patchwork Elephant. Of course you could mix it up and try it with different animal colouring pages!
We recently downloaded a few of the elephant colouring pages to use as drawing pages (this elephant adult and this elephant baby colouring page) intending to try and copy the pictures ourselves. After we had done a few drawings I wanted to do something more with the elephants, but what? We have, in the past, used elephants for silhouette paintings; they were lovely, but we did not want to redo that idea, so we were a bit stuck ... until we came up with the idea of creating colourful elephants. We decided we wanted bright, multi-coloured elephants! Perfect for Holi!
We dug out our tissue paper, got a bottle of water and a paint brush and started "bleeding" our tissue paper onto the elephants.
For this I always prefer to print the images onto card because paper can get a bit bent and wavy when you add the water. As we already had some images on paper we decided we would experiment and try a few on paper and a few on card and then at the end compare them.
We added our colourful strips of tissue paper and, using a paint brush, we painted water over the strips.
Starting the colourful elephant craft
Adding tissue paper strips to our elephant print-out
Once you think the strips of tissue paper have dried you can remove them. Beware - if you remove the tissue paper while it is still wet the colour will bleed onto your hands! It does wash out but on a few occassions I have had stained hands for 2 days until I managed to get it all out.
Removing the tissue paper when it has dried
A friend recently mentioned that instead of painting the water over the tissue paper they gave their kids a spray bottle with water. That sounds like a lot of fun! Unfortunately we did not have a spray bottle on hand.
We did not worry about staying inside the lines because we knew we were going to cut them out.
Completed elephants, ready for cutting out
I really love this big elephant (and it is free to download).
Before and after cutting out the elephant
This is the elephant that we tried on paper. It turned out really well. There are two small sections where the paper did go a bit bumpy and slightly ripped when it got very wet but if you don’t have card it is possible to still get a very effective colourful elephant on paper.
Colourful elephant on paper - comparison with card
I love this craft. It is so easy to do and the result is cheerful, colourful elephants.
Lots of completed colourful elephants!
Thanks to Shelly for this colourful and very effective elephant painting idea!
Shelly is a home educating parent of two children aged 10 and 12. She blogs at ofamily learning together where she shares ideas on the different learning activities that they do including lots of hand-on maths, arts and crafts and anything else that is part of their home educating lifestyle.