DIY: Curlicue Art

Diamond Bar Sometimes when parenting, it is hard to see the whole forest when looking at the growing twig that is your kid. In other words, it is hard to step back and just enjoy the totality of that kid’s personality when there are everyday arguments that need to be fought (please eat food— any food!) and tendencies that need to be curbed (can we stop using a binkie yet?).

I am trying to do a better job of just enjoying my daughter; her creativity, her spirit and even her three-year-old inability to follow seemingly simple directions. How am I doing this? Though art projects. Here is one such project that allows you to appreciate the twig while the forest grows, artistically speaking.

You will need:

  • 4 pieces of construction paper (at least 3 colors total– I used 1 piece blue, 2 pieces green, 1 piece brown)
  • Scissors (child safe)
  • Glue
  • Pencil (or finger or small circular object)

Age level:  My daughter is 3, and the project was a success.


Photo Credit: Clare Masson

Photo Credit: Clare Masson

  1. Let your child rip the green piece into three pieces lengthwise.
  2. Take the bottom piece of green and place it on top of the bottom part of the blue paper (do not glue yet).
  3. Take the middle green piece and place it in the middle of the remaining blue (you should be able to see blue above and below). Child can glue this piece in place.
  4. Take brown paper, and cut multiple strips. These will be “trunks” and should fit underneath the bottom green piece and about 1/2 way up into the middle green piece. Allow child to find placements for each trunk. ┬áRemember, they can be at an angle, bunched together, evenly spaced, whatever the creative winds take you. Let your child glue down each trunk.
  5. Glue down bottom green piece.
  6. Take 2nd piece of green paper and cut in strips for width of paper (about 1/2 to 1 inch thick).
  7. Wrap the strips tightly around a pen (or your finger) and squeeze. As you let go, they should stay curly. Curl all strips of paper. (Note: My three-year-old thought it was easier to manipulate around my finger than around a pencil, and making the curls was a lot of fun).
  8. Place curlicues all over middle green section and glue in place.
  9. Celebrate together your completed art piece! Don’t forget to write the date of your piece on the back.


  • If doing the curlicues is too challenging, try folding small pieces of paper or crumpling tissue paper instead.
  • Instead of curlicues for leaves, you could do them on clouds or on animals.
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