Native American Buffalo Hides

NAME OF PROJECT:  Native American Brown Paper Buffalo Hides

BASED ON ARTWORK BY:  Nampeyo (Hopi) and Kicking Bear (Sioux)

MAIN ARTWORK USED: Hopi Bowls by Nampeyo and Battle of Little Big Horn by Kicking Bear

SUBMITTED BY:  Luisa Dugas



Brown Paper bags (free at the Super market)

Acrylic Paint in red, turquoise, black, white and orange

Pencils and Black Sharpie


STEP 1:  Scrunch up your brown paper bag, open and smooth it flat. Repeat. Then, tear brown paper bag to resemble the shape of a buffalo hide. Show example.

STEP 2: With black sharpie make a border around your whole hide. It is a good idea to create a repeating pattern. Show examples. If children want, they may draw it in pencil first, but it takes a lot of time.

STEP 3: Draw in pencil your Native American inspired designs. Make sure your designs are big and fill your hide. Designs should not have a lot of detail.

STEP 4: Use ONLY 3 of the 5 colors and color your designs. Set aside to dry.

STEP 5: When dry, edge all designs with black sharpie to make them stand out.



Based on: Northwest Native North American Tribes

Artwork Used: Personal copies of totems copied from online researched articles (4/5 curriculum covers a multicultural curriculum every other year)

Submitted by: Dawn Forsberg

Grade Level: 4/5


  • 2 coconuts per person
  • Assortment of seeds, berries, acorns, sticks
  • Acrylic paints (red, blue, black, yellow)
  • Assorted paint brushes
  • Glue gun and/or tacky glue


  • STEP 1:Following the North American totem design tradition, students are instructed as follows: the top layer of the coconut should be designed to represent an animal that is meaningful to the student.  The bottom layer of the coconut totem should be designed to represent an important event or important people in the students’ life.STEP 2:Students write their names on the bottom of the coconut totem. Students first paint the two layers of the totem with the acrylic paint following the guidelines from step 1.STEP 3: (Optional): Students then glue the natural materials (seeds, sticks, acorns, etc) to add further detail to their individual totems. The glue gun works better for the heavier materials.

Starry Night

Based on: Starry Night by Vincent Van Gogh

Submitted by: Jennifer Nordyke

Grade Level: Pre-K, but can be adapted to older children


  • Black Construction Paper
  • White Card Stock
  • Blue Paint
  • Yellow Glitter Glue
  • Plastic Combs or Forks
  • Sponge Brush


  • STEP 1: Print the attached coloring page and copy it onto black construction paper.  For younger children, cut out the town scene with the flaming “tree”.
  • STEP 2: Using a sponge brush, cover the card stock with blue paint.  Instruct the children to make swirls in the paint using the combs or forks.
  • STEP 3: Help the children glue the black town scene into the bottom of the page.
  • STEP 4: Instruct the children to make swirls with the glitter glue in the sky.

Wild West Horse Collage

Based on: Wild West Art of Frederic Remington

Submitted by: Luisa Dugas

Grade Level: 2/3


  • Acrylic paint in tan, brown and light blue (watered down)
  • Sponges cut in small pieces
  • 12 X 18  white cardstock
  • 12 X 18 black cardstock
  • Scissors
  • Pencil


  • Step 1: Have the  students draw a horse in action using the black cardstock.
  • Step 2: Paint parts of the horse with brown paint using the sponges. Set aside to dry.
  • Step 3: On the white cardstock have the students paint the top- light blue for the sky and the bottom- tan for the sand of the desert. The sponges will create texture. Set aside to dry.
  • Step 4: Using scissors cut out the horse.
  • Step 5: Glue the horse on the background.