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Image: Southfield Christian School

Level: Elementary, Junior
Grades: K - 5 | Age: 5 - 11 yrs | Written by: Michelle Strawser and Debi London [Michelle is an art educator from Petersburg Elementary in Petersburg, WV and Debi is an elementary art teacher in Pembroke Pines, Florida.]

Students will make art using the impressions made by the soles of their shoes.

What You Need:
What You Do:

  1. Begin with a short discussion on texture. (what is texture?)
  2. Students will make a texture rubbing of the bottom of their shoe.
  3. Next, add details to the rubbing to create a monster. (add eyes, arms, legs, teeth, horns, etc...)
  4. Cut out the monsters, being careful not to cut off details that were added.
  5. Divide class into at least two groups. Student's will now create an environment for their monsters.
  6. Glue monsters to large piece of craft paper.
  7. Use oil crayons to complete the monsters' world. (regular crayons can be substituted)

I displayed these murals in the hallways. My students and I really enjoyed this project.

One Step Further: (From Debi London)

I added a Multi Cultural twist to this project for African American Heritage Month and had children create prints, (using multicultural tempera paints).

  1. Paint the soles of the shoes and print on white paper.
  2. Cut the shoe prints out and glue on to white paper in an action scene.
  3. The children could paint or color a background scene depending upon how much time is available.
  4. Perhaps the children could be rollerblading, walking to school, etc...

Research the African-American inventor, Jan Matzeliger - who invented the shoe-lasting machine. The "shoe-lasting" machine would automatically stitch the leather of the shoe to the sole. This invention was very important because it lowered the cost to both the manufacturer and the customer.

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