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:
Note! Read about my ‘new & improved’ version of this lesson here and check out my detailed pdf packed with step-by-step photos and lots of helpful tips in my TpT store!


  • 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.


18 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!

  15. Dhyana May 5, 2016 at 10:24 am #

    This is super cool! The only thing I suggest is that you space out the older students symmetry and/or younger kids symmetry


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