Blossoming “Popcorn Trees”

Spring has sprung, and to cel­e­brate, our Kinders painted trees blos­som­ing with flow­ers made of pop­corn!  This les­son rein­forces the color mix­ing skills we’ve been work­ing on all year, as well as teaches a basic tech­nique for drawing/painting trees.  Adding pop­corn also gives the oppor­tu­nity to talk about the con­cept of “mixed media”.  And who doesn’t love popcorn??!


  • 9x12 white con­struc­tion paper
  • tem­pera paint: red, yel­low, blue (we use turquoise) and white
  • paper plates for palette and for glue (I cut glue plates into quarters.)
  • #8–10 water­color brush
  • water
  • “Aleen’s Tacky Glue” (You can use Elmer’s, but Aleene’s is thicker and makes a stronger, faster dry­ing bond.)

1.  First, I showed stu­dents pho­tos I had taken of trees near our school, with new leaves sprout­ing and fluffy blos­soms that looked like pop­corn!  I told them to be sure to look for these trees on their way home from school and to point them out to their fam­i­lies and friends!

2.  Next, we mixed the pri­maries (red, yel­low and blue) to make brown, and we painted a tall “Y” in the mid­dle of our paper to form the trunk and first two branches.

3.  Then, we added a “V” to the end of each branch, and kept repeat­ing that pat­tern til we went off the top and sides of the paper (we call this “crop­ping”).

4.  From there, we mixed blue and yel­low to make green and painted small leaves sprout­ing from the branches.  We also painted some grass across the bot­tom of the paper.

5.  Then we mixed white with a tiny bit of red to paint a pink blos­som on each clus­ter of leaves.  

6.  Never want­ing to use a color straight from the bot­tle, we mixed our blue with a lit­tle white to paint the sky in each of our neg­a­tive spaces (another con­cept you can teach with this project!).

7.  Finally, you can pro­claim your paint­ing fin­ished, or go on to add a piece of pop­corn on each blos­som.  To add pop­corn, I gave each stu­dent a small hand­ful of pop­corn and a lit­tle glue on a   paper plate.  (Stu­dents were told that they could have their very own cup of pop­corn when they were fin­ished if they didn’t eat any while they were work­ing.)  Sim­ply dip the pop­corn, one piece at a time, in the glue and place on your paper.  Make sure the paint­ings stay flat til they have a chance to dry!  Then, wash your hands and enjoy your pop­corn treat — delayed grat­i­fi­ca­tion!

I think these paint­ings are lovely with or with­out the pop­corn, but my guess is that the kids will votes for adding the popcorn!

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6 Responses to Blossoming “Popcorn Trees”

  1. Hannah- Art.Paper.Scissors.Glue! March 13, 2012 at 5:44 pm #

    These kinders did a beau­ti­ful job!!

  2. Joelle March 14, 2012 at 2:19 pm #

    That’s just beau­ti­ful! I sup­pose that some must have had a furi­ous envy to eat some pop corn ;-)

  3. Miss March 17, 2012 at 11:53 am #

    Sooo cute! I do an obser­va­tional draw­ing les­son with my high school­ers using pop­corn– now I know what to do with the pop­corn after­wards instead of throw­ing it out! Thanks for shar­ing such detailed steps.

  4. TeachKidsArt March 18, 2012 at 5:29 pm #

    I used to do that pop­corn draw­ing les­son when I taught high school, too. Another fun one is a crum­pled up sheet of paper… great for teach­ing value and shading!

  5. Cindy deRosier February 27, 2013 at 9:55 am #

    I’m the Edi­to­r­ial Assis­tant for Fun Fam­ily Crafts and I wanted to let you know that we have fea­tured your project! You can see it here:

    If you have other kid friendly crafts, we’d love it if you would sub­mit them. If you would like to dis­play a fea­tured but­ton on your site, you can grab one from the right side bar of your post above. Thanks for a won­der­ful project idea!
    Cindy deRosier recently posted..Hand­print OwlMy Profile


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