Chalk Silhouettes

By John Bomhoff
Art Studio Manager, Children’s Museum of Phoenix

The  Children’s Museum of Phoenix shares how to make a beautiful chalk silhouette of your favorite outdoor scene.

Ages: preschool (with help) & up.

Materials: 6” X 9” piece of bright colored construction paper, 6” X 9” scrap pieces of paper, 6” X 9” piece of black construction paper, colored chalk, scissors, glue sticks or white glue and pencils.


Choose a piece of brightly colored construction paper.

Take a scrap of paper and tear off a skinny edge the length of the long side of the paper.

Rub a heavy line of chalk on the ripped edge of the scrap paper.

Place the scrap paper on top of the colored construction paper so that they fit together perfectly.

Holding down on the scrap paper, rub the chalk off the ripped edge onto the construction paper.  Remove the scrap paper and you have now created a serrated line of chalk on the construction paper.

Tear off another skinny edge off the scrap paper, rub chalk on the edge, hold it on the colored paper, and rub the chalk off the scrap paper onto the colored paper.

Repeat the process until you reach the bottom of the scrap paper.  Remove it and notice the beautiful rows of chalk lines you have created.

On the black paper draw a simple outdoors scene.

Cut out your black picture and glue it onto the colored construction paper creating a silhouette.


silhouette  (sil’ oo et) noun, a representation of the outline of an object, as a cutout or outline drawing, filled in with black

This is a wonderful opportunity to inform your child that we have borrowed words from other languages to create our English language.  Silhouette has its origins as a French word.  In the 18th century, before the invention of cameras, artists created a silhouette of a person by cutting their profile out of black paper and mounting it on white paper.


The mission of the Children’s Museum of Phoenix is to engage the minds, muscles and imaginations of children and the grown-ups who care about them. With hands-on, interactive exhibits designed for children ages birth to 10, the Museum focuses on learning through play, with emphasis on early childhood education and school-readiness.

The Children’s Museum of Phoenix is located at 215 N. 7th St. in downtown Phoenix, at the southeast corner of Seventh Street and Van Buren in the historic Monroe School Building.


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