Art Education
Lesson Plan

Subject/Title: Huichol Indian Yarn Painting
Grade Level: Art Foundations

Objectives: To increase studentsí awareness of Mexican art forms while introducing an art technique using yarn.

Goals: Students will produce a yarn painting that is similar in design and technique to those produced by the Huichol Indians of Mexico.


Examples of Huichol Indian yarn paintings
Pencils, erasers, practice paper
8 x 10 pieces of cardboard (or 6 x 8 pieces)
Yarn in a variety of bright colors
Elmers glue
Popsicle sticks (optional) for positioning yarn


  1. Show examples of Huichol Indian yarn paintings. Explain that many of these had religious significance, and some depicted legends or told stories of village life. Yarn paintings were traditionally made by pressing yarn into warm beeswax that had been spread onto wooden boards. They were usually done by men. The boarder was made first, then the figure or figures were outlined, and then filled with yarn of a contrasting color. The yarn followed the inner contour of the figure. The background was applied last, using one long strand of yarn, if possible.
  2. Have students use their pencils and practice paper to make a design suitable for a yarn painting. Avoid small details.
  3. Encourage Huichol-style yarn application, and use white glue instead of wax.
  4. Continue applying yarn until all cardboard is covered.


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