On one sheet of cardboard, draw an octopus as large as you can with four legs. Cut it out of the cardboard with scissors
On another piece of cardboard, trace around the cut out octopus with a pencil, and cut out the next octopus shape.
Lay the octopus shapes with one head on top of the other. (The legs should be facing opposite ways so it looks like a spider). Hold the bodies together in this position and use scissors to cut a straight line, or slit, from the middle of one set of legs, just over halfway through the head. Do not cut all the way through the head.
Paint both octopus body’s front and back. Allow them to dry.
Dip a paintbrush in paint and flick the bristles with your fingers to make the paint spray onto the octopus bodies.
Draw lots of different types of fish onto the third piece of cardboard. Cut out all of the fish shapes you draw.
Cut out eight different lengths of thread. Tape the fish onto the thread. You can paint more than one fish on each thread.
Paint both sides of the fish with bright colors and let them dry. Think about patterns you’ve seen on fish. Do they have stripes? Dots? And, don’t forget scales! Make sure to paint over the tape. Then, use markers to add in facial features to the fish.
Tape one thread on each leg of the octopus tentacles.
Paint blue rings at the bottom edge of the octopus tentacles to create suckers.
After the paint is dry, slide one octopus shape into the other octopus shape. Draw a face on the octopus with markers.
Add a string to the octopus body and your underwater mural is ready to be hung!
Ellen Dean has worked as an art educator in Thailand since 2005, working with both children and adults. She has also been a professional artist working in painting, sculpture and photography since 1996.