Monday, April 20, 2015


I have this wonderful mola in my classroom that I show students before we began this lesson.  I got it for $1 at a garage sale.  I don't think they really knew what it was, or the value of it.  I told students that the layers of colored fabric were all hand stitched by the Kuna Indians of the San Blas Islands off Panama.  We viewed a quick video which I found on you tube.  This is the one we watched; you can see it HERE.

Here is the beautiful mola in my art room.

Here are the steps for creating these molas.

9 x 12 black paper
9 x 12 white paper
Crayola woodless colored pencils (you could use any medium for the background)
embroidery thread/needles/needle threader/tape

1.  On the white 9 x 12 paper draw an image for your mola.  We viewed and talked about the images the Kuna Indians used, which come mostly from nature.  I let students pick any image they wanted for their molas and I got some interesting ideas.  Animals, flowers, small creatures, monsters, etc.
2.  Once drawn in pencil, students used markers to create the layers of color.
3.  These were then cut out and glued to the black paper.
4.  We used Crayola woodless colored pencils to add a repetitive background.
5.  I showed students a simple running stitch to stitch around the image.  This gave them an idea of how long it would have taken for a mola to be created.  I used a needle threader as students were not very good at threading.  I also showed them how to pre-punch their holes into the black paper so the stitching would be more even.  They really enjoyed the sewing part....even the boys!  Here is one student threading her needle. are some finished molas by my 5th graders.

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