This lovely bison art project for kids uses coffee grounds and unique painting techniques for a wonderful mixed media art lesson! | via barley and birch
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Make: Coffee Ground Bison Art for Kids

This lovely bison art uses an unexpected supply to create rich color and unique texture: coffee! In addition to a cultural introduction to the art of the Great Plains, this project is a fantastic way to experiment with the use of natural art supplies, mark-making, and lessons in landscapes.

To make your own coffee ground bison art you’ll need:

BASIC SUPPLIES:

  • Cardstock, watercolor or a similar heavy paper
  • Construction paper in different colors
  • Coffee Grounds
  • Acrylic or tempera paints and a paintbrush
  • Scissors
  • A glue stick or craft glue

OPTIONAL SUPPLIES:

Coffee Ground Bison Art Instructions:

  1. Print and cut out our bison template or draw your own

    Download, print and cut out a bison from our printable bison art template set. You can also draw your own bison!

  2. Paint your bison with coffee grounds

    Brush your bison with wet coffee grounds (add just enough water that it makes them wet – a little soupy, but not like actual coffee) until the template is completely covered. Set the back half of your bison aside, while you continue to add layers of brushed-on coffee grounds to the front half. Keep adding layers until there is a nice contrast between the two halves of your bison (this gives the front a nice thick, furry look!). Set your bison aside to dry.

    This lovely bison art project for kids uses coffee grounds and unique painting techniques for a wonderful mixed media art lesson! | via barley and birch
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  3. Use torn paper to create a landscape

    For the background landscape, I used one large piece of blue cardstock as the background, and 2 torn scraps of paper to create our landscape layers on top. This is a wonderful opportunity to discuss background, mid-ground and
    foreground. How do things look the further away we get from them? How do we create them in art? Which layers should include the most detail?

    To create a snow-covered mountain range, I dotted the blue background paper with a line of small white paint circles and then used an old plastic rewards card to scrape the paint. While dragging the card, I pushed it up and down as I crossed the paper, to create an uneven line of jagged mountain shapes.

    For the field of long green grass, I simply used a scrap of green paper that had been torn in half (horizontally).

    For the dry yellow grass in the foreground, I started with a scrap of torn yellow paper. I painted a thick layer of darker yellow-orange paint on, then used a painting technique called sgraffito to create the illusion of dry grass. Sgraffito is one of my favorite ways to create textures (especially if you’re trying to do grasses!). Simply scratch lines or patterns into the wet paint using the back of your paintbrush, a palette knife or similar tool.

    This lovely bison art project for kids uses coffee grounds and unique painting techniques for a wonderful mixed media art lesson! | via barley and birch
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  4. Glue your torn paper landscape layers down to create the background

    Once the paint on each of your layers has dried, glue them down on top of each other.

  5. Add your bison to the landscape

    Gently tap your buffalo to brush off any excess coffee grounds, then use a glue stick to add your bison.

    This lovely bison art project for kids uses coffee grounds and unique painting techniques for a wonderful mixed media art lesson! | via barley and birch
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  6. Add details

    You can finish this up by drawing a little tail on and adding other details (like the sun we included) to your landscape. We used charcoal to smudge in a couple of areas of dark shadows to our bison as well!

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This lovely bison art project for kids uses coffee grounds and unique painting techniques for a wonderful mixed media art lesson! | via barley and birch
  • Save

For more fun art & play activities using kitchen supplies take a peek at our kids constellation art project, or visit this BIG collection of our favorite hands-on kitchen tools and activities for little ones!

This lovely bison art project for kids uses coffee grounds and unique painting techniques for a wonderful mixed media art lesson! | via barley and birch
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About Amanda Eldridge

With a passion for cultivating imagination, Amanda aims to help families discover their creative potential and be inspired to make the world a better place through art, play, adventure, activism, conservancy, and community. When not playing with ideas, designs and projects for barley & birch, Amanda enjoys working as a modern art curator and managing her own small design business.

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