Friday, December 7, 2012

Mayan Calendar Craft

With the end of the world quickly approaching I decided there is no better time to create a project with my students. We created Mayan/Aztec Calendar styled pieces.

They are not reproductions of the calendar because that would be too difficult due to the intricacy of the design. 


Salt Dough
Acrylic Paint
Wax Paper
Paper Clips
Paint Brushes


1. Make salt dough - We made ours at home (another teacher made it) and brought it in for the class to use. You could also make it with the students. We decided to pre-make ours because it would speed up the creation time. Use Google and find a salt dough recipe online; there are many out there.

2. Distribute salt dough balls and wax paper to the students. Use the wax paper to cover the desk as well as to write their names on for storage. Have them flatten the balls into disks. The disks are about 6-8 inches in diameter.

3. Using a paperclip as a carving tool I had the students carve their designs into the salt dough disk. I found that using the rounded end to carve was better than unfolding it to a point. I had the students use the point to add accent dots to their designs.

4. Once they are completes you need to collect the calendars. Removing them from the wax paper will speed the drying time. You can let them air dry (this takes days) or you can bake them in an oven at 375 for about 20 minutes. I've found that using cookie cooling racks works well because the air can flow around the dough. Leave them for 3-4 days before attempting to paint. 

5. Have the students paint their calendars using acrylic paint. They can apply a lot of paint and then simply wipe away the excess to get darker lines or they can go multicolored. Either way, encourage the students to paint carefully and take their time. Some of the rushed calendars do not look as good as they could have. 

6. Lastly, you can use a hot glue gun and some ribbon to glue loops to the back of the calendar. They can use the loops to hang their calendars at home or at school.