Thursday, April 4, 2013

Easy-Peasy Pizza Sculptures!

I'm always looking for a better way to do projects. I had done pizza sculptures a la Claes Oldenburg before (see here) and I thought that my Modern Art kiddos would like them too. I had originally had students create the pizza form from two pieces of newsprint stapled and stuffed with crumpled up newspapers ad then paint the sauce and toppings. While that worked out OK, the pizzas got a bit muddy with all of those toppings being painted over one another before they were dry. So, I got to thinkin'...
YUM! Bacon, sausage and pepperoni pizza!

I bought some red and kraft-colored wrapping paper at IKEA this past Christmas and thought the weight and color of them would be nice for the sculptures. I thought the children could cut a brown triangle for the bottom crust part and a top triangle from red for the sauce part...however, I used all of the red wrapping paper at Christmastime. Oops! But I had a plan...

I had the children cut both triangles for the pizza from the kraft paper, staple & stuff and then paint the sauce on with red tempera. While they were drying, the children created their toppings from construction paper scraps. This worked out great for timing and they came out great--love the bright red sauce!

The toppings are a study in size, shape and color! I had some take-out menus from pizza places and we made a huge list of toppings the children could use on their pizzas. I also made my "at least three" rule with the toppings: the children had to create at least three different toppings for their pizza (not including the cheese). Most of them were happy to oblige!

So have a no-calorie pizza party for your class or family and have fun using up all of those paper scraps you've been hanging onto!

Easy-Peasy Pizza Sculptures

Supplies Needed:

  • Medium weight paper (large sheets or a roll of paper)
  • Triangle templates cut from poster board (bottom crust template should be about 5" longer than the top crust so you can roll the triangle up and make the crust of the pizza)
  • Pencil
  • Scissors
  • Ruler
  • Newspaper or paper scraps to stuff the form
  • Stapler with staples
  • Red tempera paint (or white if you like a white sauce)
  • Paint brushes
  • Water bucket, paper towels
  • Paper scraps for pizza toppings
  • Elmer's glue

1. Cut two triangles from kraft paper for the top and the bottom of the pizza slice. As I said above, the bottom crust triangle should be about 5" longer than the top crust so you can roll the triangle up and make the crust of the pizza.

2. Layer the two triangles on top of one another and staple along the two pointy, side edges or the pizza, through both layers. Leave the crust edge open, creating a pocket.

3. Crumple up newspaper, lightly, and stuff the pizza slightly, to give the pizza slice some dimension. 

4. Roll the open edge of the pizza slice inward a couple inches to create the pizza crust and secure with a couple of staples. You now have a giant slice of pizza!

5. Use tempera paints to paint the sauce on your slice of pizza. 

6. While it dries, you can use paper scraps to create toppings. To create the toppings you can rip, or cut the paper, or even use different punches as you see fit. To create multiple shapes (for mushrooms or other unique veggies), fold the paper multiple times and then cut through all the layers--you'll make a number of uniform shapes at once. Much better (and faster) than cutting out individual mushrooms!

6. When the paint is dry, attach the toppings to your pizza slice with glue. I had the children dribble the Elmer's glue in a zigzag motion over the sauce and then sprinkle the toppings on. Lightly press the toppings into the glue (the glue will dry clear).

YUM! Let's eat!


  1. So easy and adorable!! I'm pinning this idea!

  2. Love this idea! I'm new to your blog so I'm looking forward to getting to know it better. I will be sure to put you in my blog roll...

  3. Thank you all! So nice to have teachers whose work I admire stop by and feel that my projects are "PIN-nable." So affirming and encouraging to this newbie! Thank you so much for stopping by (and commenting). Mrs. P

  4. Replies
    1. Hi there! I've taught this project to mixed-aged groups, but the students are usually 2nd-7th. I think it may be hard to teach a large bunch of first graders single-handedly, but you could do it if you broke it into a couple lessons, had extra grown-up helpers, or if you cut and stapled the triangle "crusts" and then had them stuff and decorate them.

    2. ARGH! My keyboard is giving me trouble...let's try this, I think you could do it with 1st graders with some modification and patience. Good luck & let me know how they turn out. Thank you for stopping by, Mrs. P

  5. I just tried this lesson with my third graders and we had so much fun! I am new to blogging and just started one of my own. Thanks for posting this, your blog is wonderful!

  6. Hi Rachel! So glad you and your students liked this project! It really is easy and fun! Thanks for the kudos on the blog--I'm learning as I go along! Good luck with your blog--let me know what the URL is, I'd love to follow it! Mrs. P

  7. Love this and used some of the info to write a lesson plan, thank you. I hope that is okay.

    1. Hi Kenna! Glad you found the information useful! This is one of my favorite lessons to teach--the students have a blast with these HUGE pizza slices! Thanks for stopping by! Mrs. P


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