Article Type Making Art Together Making Art Together Categories Nature Sculpture

Mixed Up Animal Sculptures

Diana MacKenzie

One of Eric Carle’s classic picture books, The Mixed-Up Chameleon is a story about a little chameleon who is bored with his limited abilities to only change color, so he wishes to be turned into his favorite animals instead.

His wishes come true and he ends up becoming a mixed-up version of all the animals at once! We took inspiration from this silly tale for The Art Studio’s Every Day Art Project, Mixed Up Sculptures. For found materials projects we offer a variety of collected plastic, paper, metal and fabric materials on the tables for guests to work with. Some of our go-to favorites are colorful recycled bottle caps and lids, cupcake papers, coffee filters, chenille stems, colorful masking tape, paper cups, colorful drinking straws, coffee stirrers, and fabric scraps.

My favorite new material for this project is corrugated cardboard, generally used as packing material, but when cut into strips and rectangles it offers a wide range of construction possibilities.  I borrowed the idea for the cardboard from the MOMA Art Lab at Museum of Modern Art in New York City. When I visited recently they were offering a 3D art project for their guests called “Places and Spaces” using similar paper 3d materials to build with in their art-making space.

Here are just a few mixed-up animals created by guests!

Making Art with Children is generously sponsored by the Massachusetts Educational Financing Authority.


Diana, smiling wearing an orange scarf and brown shirt.

Diana MacKenzie

Public Art Program Educator from 2007-2016, Diana has a BFA in Printmaking from Syracuse University and creates mixed-media works inspired by her travels, combining her interests in printmaking and sculpture. She received her M.A.T. from Mount Holyoke College in June 2017, and continues teaching visual arts to children and adults.