Cursive Cut-outs

I posted this lesson awhile back as “Name Aliens”, but I’ve since figured out a better way to teach this, so I improved the directions. As soon as kids can write their names in cursive, they’re ready to create these whimsical creatures! To make “bugs”, just add six legs instead of two! (Adapted from the book, “Paper Designs” by Jerome C. Brown)
Can you guess what name this is?? See answer below!


  • 2 – 9×12 pieces of construction paper in contrasting colors
  • pencil and eraser
  • colored pencil or crayon
  • scissors
  • glue stick
  • black construction paper scraps
  • “Jiggle” eyes

1. First, choose which color you want for your background and set it aside.
2. Fold the other paper in half lengthwise (the “hot dog way”), then open it up and lay it flat.
3. Using a pencil, write your name on the fold in cursive. (You will want to check students’ work to confirm that they wrote their names on the fold!)
4. Next, use a crayon or colored pencil to outline all of your letters, including inside the loops of letters, such as the cursive “e”, “l”, “s”, etc.
5. Now, re-fold your paper, and with the upper half of your name on top, cut out your name on the fold along the outline you just drew with crayon. (You will be cutting right over any descenders that fall below the baseline of your name.) Be sure to cut out any inside shapes, too.
6. Then, open up your paper and glue it onto your background, with the crayon side down.
7. Finally, add arms, legs/feet, and antennae by cutting two pieces of black paper at the same time (not on the fold this time!) to get a matching set. Add “jiggle eyes” to complete the effect!

(Answer: The name pictured above is “Judy”!)


3 Responses to Cursive Cut-outs

  1. Becca Ruth August 19, 2010 at 6:33 pm #

    Thank you so much for this post! I've been looking for some more “Name” projects for the first weeks of school! I have done the “Name Aliens” many times and love them, but I really like this new twist!

  2. Phyl August 19, 2010 at 8:06 pm #

    Very nice way to start the year. Can you tell us what grade level made these?

  3. TeachKidsArt August 19, 2010 at 9:58 pm #

    I usually do these with third grade, but as soon as they can write their names in cursive, they're ready! (The boys LOVE this project!!)