Metepec Suns

Metepec Sun Collage by Betsey McLawhorn

Level: 1

Time Frame: 60 minutes


  • Metepec suns are typically made of clay, but to make the project available to more students, they will instead explore collage techniques using scrap paper and paper they design themselves.
  • Students will gain appreciation for art of another culture while they get inspiration from Metepec suns.
  • *Note: There are very few images of Metepec suns, and what I could find was mostly contemporary folk art designs. The key to creating Metepec suns is to use incredibly bright colors and expressive facial features.


  • Sketch Paper
  • 8 to 10 inch diameter circle template
  • Cardstock or construction paper
  • Collage paper, scrap paper, tissue paper
  • Craft acrylics, watercolors, crayons
  • Watercolor paper
  • Pencil
  • Scissors
  • Oil pastels
  • Markers

Teacher Preparation For Younger Students:

1. For your two – four year old students, precut scrap and painted paper shapes for facial features, and strips and triangles for rays. Pre-cut 8 inch diameter cardstock circles in bright colors. Separate facial features in a Ziploc or plastic container (one for eyes, one for nose, one for cheekc, etc) for younger students to sort through and pick out the pieces they want. Then they just have to glue the shapes to the face!


  1. Look at the images of the contemporary folk art suns. Sketch out an expressive sun face.
  2. Go through the bucket of collage and scrap paper to find bright colors to decorate you sun with.
  3. Use paint to create bright paper full of patterns (use crayons for wax resist if you like) that you can tear or cut up to add to your collage pieces.
  4. Cut the shapes you need from your painted and scrap paper to make the facial features (eyes, eyebrows, nose, lips/mouth, cheeks, chin, etc).
  5. Choose a color of cardstock as your background color (face). Trace the circle template. Cut out your circle.
  6. Begin gluing your facial features on to the face of the sun.
  7. Add details with oil pastels or markers.
  8. Decide on the type of sun rays you would like – do you want something fancy, simple triangles, or simple strips? Cut out your rays. Glue to the back of the sun face.

Tweak It!

  • Make a mask! Punch a hole on either side of your sun face and loop a string through. Be sure to punch eye holes too! You may want to make your sun smaller in diameter to fit your face better.
  • For older students or long term students: Use air dry clay and acrylic paint to create a more authentic Metepec Sun.
  • For older students or long term students: use paper-mache techniques to create a sun mask.
  • For students who want to paint more – bring out the tempera paints and paint the sun face first rather than using colored paper.

©2010 Arts For Life

Comments are closed.