Kaleidoscope Lettering Design

Upper grade “Alli­son” , col­ored in warm col­ors with col­ored pen­cilsLower grade “Alli­son”, col­ored in cool col­ors with mark­ers (the same let­ter­ing, but traced only four times instead of eight!)
Kids love to cre­ate inter­est­ing designs with their names… a fun project to start off a new school year and a great way to cre­ate moti­va­tion and make each project per­sonal! Here are two options for adapt­ing this les­son to dif­fer­ent abil­ity lev­els:


  • 2 square pieces of paper the same size (copy paper usu­ally works well)
  • Pen­cil and eraser
  • Scis­sors
  • Black “F” Sharpie
  • Col­ored pen­cils or markers
Direc­tions for lower grades:
1. First, fold both of your papers in half diag­o­nally, then in half again. Unfold both of them and set one aside.
2. Cut out one of the tri­an­gles cre­ated by your fold lines on just one of the papers.
3. With the flat edge along the bot­tom and the point fac­ing up, write your name with large stick let­ters so that it fills the entire tri­an­gle.
4. Now, draw an out­line around your stick let­ters to make nice, thick let­ters that touch all three sides of your tri­an­gle. Trace over your pen­cil lines with Sharpie.
5. Next, place the tri­an­gle with your name on it under one of the cor­re­spond­ing tri­an­gles on the other paper. Trace your out­line let­ters with pen­cil onto the new paper. (It can be help­ful to use a light box or even tape your papers to a win­dow for trac­ing. You could also try using a more translu­cent paper if it’s dif­fi­cult to see your lines.… cheap copy paper works great for me.)
6. Con­tinue trac­ing your name onto each sec­tion, flip­ping your name over each time you trace it to achieve a “mir­ror image”. (Flip­ping your name over each time you trace it is essen­tial to achiev­ing a mir­ror image, so don’t for­get this impor­tant step!!)
7. Then, trace over all your pen­cil lines with Sharpie.
8. Color with mark­ers or col­ored pencils.
Direc­tions for upper grades:
1. Fol­low the same direc­tions that you would for the lower grades, but fold your paper one more time in step 1, so that you have 8 tri­an­gles instead of 4 when you unfold your paper.
2. Then line up your tri­an­gles for trac­ing so that each cor­ner is made up of a mir­ror image of your name.
3. Out­line with Sharpie and color.


16 Responses to Kaleidoscope Lettering Design

  1. Ginger Snaps August 4, 2010 at 7:43 pm #

    I love this! So cute!

  2. shar August 4, 2010 at 10:26 pm #

    I love it! We make Ran­goli pat­terns for Diwali each year and I can see that this would make a really inter­est­ing twist for some of the older stu­dents. Thank you :D

  3. Mrs. Hahn August 5, 2010 at 6:15 am #

    Looks like a win­ner! I will be try­ing this one, maybe as a review at the begin­ning of the year. Thanks for sharing!!!

  4. Janie B August 5, 2010 at 12:41 pm #

    This is a good one! I’ll be using it for sure. Thanks!

  5. Wendi August 5, 2010 at 7:03 pm #

    We did this today! The kids are lov­ing their kalidescope so it was per­fect. Thanks!

  6. Rachel@oneprettything.com August 17, 2010 at 2:21 pm #

    Great project! Col­or­ing with a marker is so sat­is­fy­ing. Thanks so much, I’ll be linking.

  7. Nathan Toft September 24, 2010 at 5:13 am #

    Thanks for shar­ing this les­son. It was the per­fect thing to start the year of with my Grade 5 and 6s.

    You can see a video of the results at:


  8. TeachKidsArt September 24, 2010 at 1:11 pm #

    Thanks for shar­ing that cool video, Nathan! I’m going to try that on my class­room web­site! Thanks!! :)

  9. Anonymous April 25, 2011 at 8:23 pm #

    Hi my name is Alyssa and I am a sev­enth grader. In my Art class we foleded to 8 tri­an­gles but didn’t use sis­sors. For the trac­ing we used car­bon paper. Then it showed up on the back. (It looks really cool when you look at it while some­one is draw­ing). I think that that’s how it should be done. Email me if you have any ques­tions.

  10. Alyssa April 25, 2011 at 8:29 pm #

    Sorry for this. Its Alyssa again and wanted to say also that these look really good. I like the Warms col­ors you picked. (NO JOKE). I don’t like the col­ors I choose for mine. All my favorite col­ors don’t go well together. Wait then again I really like how the blue col­ors went together. Your a really good artist. Of I were you I would make a lot more things and hang them up in my house. I loe your work and your name!

  11. aly mw January 18, 2012 at 1:38 pm #

    I did this project with my class today!
    Just wanted to show it of to you:)


    I’d love to be linked on your blog if pos­si­ble, and I could return the favor (not that my 16 fol­low­ers would gen­er­ate much traf­fic, but I would still be happy to!)

  12. Snippety Gibbet January 18, 2012 at 4:47 pm #

    Hi.….…The kind com­menter above sent me a link to this les­son on both your blog and her blog, as a pos­si­ble entry as a sub les­son. I hope you don’t mind that I linked your lesson.



  13. Michelle September 30, 2012 at 3:17 pm #

    Used this art idea this week with my grade 8’s. They loved it and every­one was suc­cess­ful! Thanks so much for sharing!

  14. Jennifer January 1, 2014 at 10:45 pm #

    Please start mak­ing Youtube tutorials!


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