Article Type Making Art Together Making Art Together Categories At Home Art Studio Drawing

Texture and Shape Scavenger Hunt

Meg Nicoll
This week, we invite the At Home Art Studio community to join us on texture and shape scavenger hunts within our homes! 

We had lots of fun looking for shapes and textures, and encountered surprises along the way. By recording what we found with paper and available drawing tools such as pens, pencils, or crayons, we started noticing interesting patterns. These textures can also lead to lots of other projects, from doodle games to a collage paper collection. Below are the results of our team’s shape and texture scavenger hunts. 

Texture Scavenger Hunt: 

When facilitating programs at The Carle, we often talk about texture and how everything has a different feel to it like soft yarn, bumpy corrugated cardboard, and scratchy twine. There are so many things around your home that have unique textures! With adult supervision, take a trip around your home and see how many different types you can find. You might find that once you start to look, everyday objects provide all sorts of textured options! 

Once you find these textures, try transferring them to paper using a technique called texture rubbings. 

Using the side of a crayon and notebook paper, Sara placed the paper over an object, then ran the crayon across the paper to reveal a texture underneath. (Supervising adults can help by holding down the objects and/or paper while the artist rubs the crayon across the paper.) Sara decided to make densely textured papers by layering colors within the same color family (warm, cool, and neutral) together. She plans on using these papers for future collage projects and perhaps to wrap a book cover. 
Four papers with different texture rubbings including red diamonds and orange chevrons.

Siobhán has a lot of plants in her house so she used the pots for several of the patterns. She also used the bricks on her fireplace and a candle lid. She didn’t have crayons so she used colored pencils which meant that she had to be more careful to get an even texture and not poke through the paper. 

Multi-colored texture rubbings with a defined circle pattern

Ryan didn’t have to go far to find some interesting textures in his home, even using his living room wall! This rubbing was made using a cooling tray he found in the kitchen. 

A line-up of four wicker baskets with papers laid in front of them. Each paper was a different rubbing made from the baskets.

Janet used a variety of wicker baskets to create textures.

Megan look around for interesting textures, and decided to experiment with layering multiple colors with the same texture. She made textures (seen left to right above) from a wooden table top pattern, a textured coaster rotated in different directions, and the same wall using different colors. 

Shape Scavenger Hunt: 

Another At Home Art Studio scavenger hunt you can try is to look for shapes around your home. In the Art Studio, we like to explore how different shapes can be combined to create patterns or become a collage creature. Just like in the texture scavenger hunt, you can take a trip around your home and find shapes to trace or freehand draw onto your paper.  

Tracings made on a blank piece of paper from everyday objects filled in with colored pencil.

Meg made a paper where she traced and colored in as many different shapes as she could find in one room. Some of the objects were easier to trace than others, the rubber band was most difficult! 

Tracings from rectangle and square objects, on brown paper where some sections are filled in with pen marks.

Meg then decided to look for square and rectangular objects. She traced them over and over again with ball point pens and colored pencils onto part of a paper bag and a piece of notebook paper. She found the patterns and additional shapes created by this process really interesting.

A colorful drawing with outlines of shapes overlapping repeatedly over the page.

Megan also experimented with tracing different shapes of objects, and decided to use one color for each shape. Blue for circles, purple for triangles, and magenta for rectangles. 

A magazine paper covered in drawn circles and shaded colors.

Meg repeated the process with circles, this time trying it on a page from a magazine. The circles she found and traced included jar lids, coins, and rolls of tape.  

More Ideas to Explore: 

The shapes and textures we found, and the colorful papers we created, continue to inspire us. Here are some ideas we were interested to try: 

Three cards, with texture patterns on them, sitting on a porch rail outside.
  • Turn the papers into a card to send to someone. After Siobhán collected a few textures, she took the ones she liked and folded them into notes for friends.  
  • Use a shape or texture you find as the start of a drawing. What can you turn that shape into? What could that texture become? If you have others in your household with you, turn this a collaborative doodle game! Draw or trace a shape/texture onto a paper, then challenge someone to transform it into something else using drawing tools.  
  • Add these textured, patterned papers to your At Home Art Studio collage collection to use in future projects! We have been very inspired to add our papers to our growing collection of collage papers, just as we do in the museum Art Studio.  

We look forward to seeing the results of your texture and shape scavenger hunts! Share your images and videos by tagging @carlemuseum on social media, and stay tuned for next week’s art exploration!


Meg smiling in the Art Studio.

Meg Nicoll

Art Educator at The Eric Carle Museum of Picture Book Art from 2016 to 2023, Meg enjoys working with artists, educators, and people of all ages to create opportunities for art-making.
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