mexican folk art floral pattern designs art projects for kids

Mexican Folk Art: Symmetrical Floral Designs using Markers




Inspired by the beautiful symmetrical floral designs found in Mexican Folk Art, this lesson uses the simplest of materials, but the end result is anything but simple!

The secret ingredient to this lesson is using a folding and tracing technique for creating symmetrical balance that is simple to teach and your students will love. Top that off with some bright, punchy colors and you have a lesson that is sure to delight your students while also reinforcing the concept of symmetrical balance.

Watch a quick video tutorial here to follow along…

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– 12″ x 12″ white sulphite paper

– Black waterproof marker

– Light source (window or lightbox)

– Colored markers

– Mexican Folk Art handouts


Download the accompanying handouts to this lesson and print them out. You can use either the bird of the roosters as a source image. We’ll use the floral designs later on, so hold onto that handout as well.

Fold both the source image and your drawing paper in half.

Make sure that the folds on both the source image and drawing paper are aligned on the same side. This is an important step, so do a double check! Sometimes opening up the open ends like a book can be an easier way for students to visualize this.

mexican folk art floral pattern designs for kids


Starting with the center of your image, use a waterproof black marker, like a Sharpie to draw the parts of the image that touch the fold first. For my example, I drew the head and body of my bird first. The following steps will only be successful if you have nice, dark lines so don’t be tempted to use a pencil.

When you’re drawing with a Sharpie marker, don’t worry too much about making mistakes. You can cover up all sorts of mistakes just by adding some extra designs later on.

Once you have the center drawn, draw the rest of the visible half of your design. Add floral designs around your main image. Think about adding stems and leaves as well. This is where the floral design handout will come in handy!

mexican folk art floral pattern designs for kids


Here comes the fun part! Flip your drawing paper over to the blank side. Place your drawing over a lightbox or hold it up against a window. The light will enable you to see your original marker lines through the paper.

Don’t worry of you don’t have a lightbox; a plain window works wonders! If you are using a window though, it can be helpful to use a small piece of tape to tape the paper to the window to hold it still. Just make sure the black side is facing you.

Begin tracing the lines that you see through the paper.

The only tricky part to this step is the head of the bird. Because you’ve already drawn the face and beak on the side, you’ll only need the back of the head on the other side, so draw a simple half circle. If you trace exactly what you see, you’ll end up with a bird with two heads!

Continue to trace all of your lines.

mexican folk art floral pattern designs for kids


Open up your paper. You can expect excited gasps from your students as they see their symmetrical design come to life!

Use your Sharpie to add more symmetrical designs to your paper if there are any areas that look empty. You can also add other details like stripes inside your bird.

mexican folk art floral pattern designs for kids


Add color to your design with colored markers. Markers are a great choice to use when coloring in lots of little shapes inside your design.

While you color, still keep in mind that the goal is symmetrical balance, so whichever colors you choose on one half of the design, you will need to replicate on the other half.

If you don’t have colored markers, or prefer a different medium, you can use anything you’d like: crayons, watercolor, colored pencils, the sky is the limit to your choices!

mexican folk art floral pattern designs for kids

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mexican folk art floral pattern designs for kids

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