Thursday, July 16, 2015

Designing Furniture

"What are we doing today?" my students ask me as they come into the art studio. I tell them they are going to be furniture designers. After they get settled in their seats I give them each a piece of white card stock. I instruct the kids to place their paper in front of them in the landscape position (horizontally), then carefully fold their paper into a trifold (making each fold as even as possible). Open up the trifold. Next, still holding the paper in a horizontal position, make a hot dog fold (fold bottom to top). Open up the paper again. There should be six boxes in total (three on the top and three on the bottom). Have your scissors ready to make two small cuts next. Cut along the fold separating the top right box from the bottom right box, but stop before you get to the middle boxes. Cut along the fold separating the top left box from the bottom left box, but stop before you get to the middle boxes. 

  • The bottom left and right boxes are the legs of the chair. Fold down. 
  • The bottom middle box is the seat of the chair. 
  • The top left and right boxes are the arms of the chair. Fold forward.
  • The top middle box is the back of the chair. 

I put a piece of tape to connect the arms and the legs of the chair on both sides so the chair is more stable. I also make feet on the legs of my chair by folding the bottom of the paper into an L position. This will also help make the chair stay upright.

Finally, the fun begins! Decorate your chair using anything and everything you have in your art studio. I put out markers, feathers, fabric, glitter, colored tape, duct tape, colored tissue paper, and colored foam shapes. 

I demonstrate and assist my students throughout the folding and cutting process. However, the designing process I encourage my students to work independently. I see their personalities shining through in their chair designs. This project is good for older children who like to make things and have a finished project to bring home.