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Crafts Around the World Series North America: Mexico Huichol Picture Yarn Art


May 27, 2021 - <>

Enjoy learning how to make simple crafts from six of the seven continents: Africa, Europe, Asia, Australia, North America, and South America.


Introduce youth to some simple cultural traditional crafts from around the world. Journey around the continents, learning how to make simple crafts and having fun creating.


  • Learn the cultural history and origins of the craft.
  • Inspire global
  • Develop fine motor skills in drawing and gluing.
  • Increase cultural awareness and creativity.

Education Standards:

  • Understand the visual arts in relation to history and culture.
  • Apply geometric methods to solve design problems.

Experiential Learning:

  • Create a design using yarn.

Encourage thought and discussion with these questions:

What happened? What’s important? So what? Now what?

Audience: Grades K–12


North America is the third largest of the world's continents. It is home to 23 countries and nine dependent territories with Canada being the largest.


Mexico is bordered on the west by the Pacific Ocean, on the east by the Gulf of Mexico and the Caribbean Sea, on the north by the United States, and on the southeast by Guatemala and Belize. Two mountain ranges cross Mexico: the Sierra Madre Oriental and the Sierra Madre Occidental.

In 2017, the University of California agriculture and natural resources vice president Glenda Humiston and Baja California secretary of agriculture Manuel Vallodolid Seamanduras signed a memorandum of understanding to offer 4-H expertise to children in Mexacali, Mexico (Warnert, 2017).


The Huichol (pronounced Wee-chol) live in the Sierra Madre Mountains of Mexico. Huichol paintings are made with beeswax spread on wood, then left to warm in the sun. The artist then scratches his design into the wax with a sharpened stick. The lines of the drawing are then filled in by patiently twisting and coiling colored yarns (National 4-H, n.d.).

TIME: 30-45 minutes or multiple days depending upon the interest to learn more


  • White cardboard, wooden thin board, or back of a cereal box
  • Craft glue
  • Yarn of various colors
  • Scissors
  • Pens or pencils with erasers
  • Marker (optional)
  • Craft stick or toothpicks
  • Sample and design ideas (optional)


View this instructional video to guide you in creating your yarn art:



PROCEDURE: How to make yarn art

  1. With a pen or pencil, trace or draw a simple design or shape onto a piece of cardboard, back of a cereal box, or thin wooden board. You can also trace over the drawing with a marker to make it easier to follow.
  2. Spread a thin layer of glue across the entire design or put it only where you will be gluing your yarn on the design.
  3. Starting on the outside of the design, lay the yarn down on the glue. Follow the outline of the design and press yarn into the glue. You can use craft sticks or toothpicks to guide you in moving the yarn.
  4. When the entire outline is covered with yarn, put another line of yarn inside the first one. Experiment with different colors.
  5. Continue until the entire object is covered.

You can hang the Huichol art as a picture or cut it out to use as a decorative ornament.


Art and Science – Experiment with different types of yarn or string, try different bases, different designs, and different techniques. Ask questions and make discoveries!

The Huichol also use beads placed in beeswax to make designs. Try making another picture using small beads in place of yarn.


Reflection Questions: What surprised you and why? When were you the most creative, and why do you think that is? What made you curious today? What can you do with what you learned today?



National 4-H. (n. d.). Que rico! La cultura (National 4-H Curriculum, 4HCCS BU-08180).

Warnert, J. (2017, January 25). UC helps launch 4-H program in Mexico. University of California.



The activity was developed by Michigan State University Extension Educator Janis Brinn in 2020. It is adapted from the National 4-H curriculum Que Rico! La Cultura (4HCCS BU-08180), pgs. 92–95. It was updated in 2021.





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