Wayne Thiebaud Desserts

This third grade project is a favorite and features a shadowboxed design. Students began by learning about Pop Artist Wayne Thiebaud, in particular, his images of desserts.
Supplies: Images and information on artist Wayne Thiebaud, pencils, rulers, 9" X 12" white tagboard (2 sheets per student), packets with images of desserts, permanent black markers, scissors, watercolors, Scratch Art 3 D-O's.

To introduce the concept of symmetry, we made dishes for our desserts. (Photos to come)
1. Fold in half a piece of 7 1/2" X 5" construction paper.
2. Starting on the fold, draw half of a dish or cake plate, making sure it has a cool pedestal and a foot.
3. Keep the paper folded and cut out the dish.
This will be our pattern and will be traced on to our final papers.
Next, draw a 1" border around the edge of a 9" X 12" piece of tagboard using a ruler. The lines can criss-cross in the corners. Designs are added to the border.

The dish pattern is placed at the top edge of the bottom border and traced. The edges of the dish should extend past the side borders. This is important because students will be cutting out the areas around the dessert.

Packets of dessert ideas are distributed and students draw their designs, making sure that the dessert touches the top border. I tell the students that they may turn their dishes in to a plate (for cakes, cookies, pies, etc.) or a bowl (fruit, sundaes). I often demonstrate drawing the bottom edge of the dessert so that they see it should be curved.
Another piece of 9" X 12" piece of tagboard is used for the background design which will show through the windows of the first page. Students draw a line across the paper, horizontally, making sure it will show through the windows. The top half of this paper will be wallpaper and the bottom will become a tablecloth. We discuss vertical and horizontal before adding a vertical pattern on the wallpaper and a horizontal pattern on the tablecloth.

All of the pencil lines should now be traced in black permanent marker.
At this point, I have the students draw an X in the four areas that will be cut out- the negative spaces. Have students slightly bend the paper and make a cut in each of these areas. Then, insert scissors and cut these areas out to make windows.
Students use watercolors to paint their designs. I try to encourage them to use symmetry when painting also!

To make the shadowbox effect, use 3-D-O's to attach the top painting to the bottom.

More delicious desserts!


  1. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

  2. Love the 3-D effect of these and of course, the dessert theme ;)

  3. LOVE LOVE LOVE THIS IDEA! I've been trying to think of an interesting way to present Thiebaud and this is perfect! Thank you and thank you for sharing all your amazing ideas!


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