In this Junior Artists at Home, learn how to create a drawing portfolio to hold all your sketches. First, we learn about the artwork Orchard Oriole by John James Audubon, who made beautiful drawings from what he saw in nature, especially birds. After you use materials you can find at home to make your portfolio, head outside to sketch what you see! Follow along with the video and download the art-making instructions or read them below. You can also watch this video and do this activity in Spanish!



You will need:

  • Small cardboard box
  • Scissors
  • Wide tape

Optional materials:

  • Paint
  • Glue
  • Magazine cutouts

Step 1

flattened cardboard box with arrows pointing to edges to cut
Flatten out your cardboard box and make cuts where the orange arrows point to above, at two folds of the box. Make sure to skip a fold so you leave one intact between your two cuts.

Step 2

using scissors to cut flaps off cardboard box
Cut off the smaller flaps at the folds, so you’re left with what looks like a book cover: two sides with a fold in the middle. Keep a couple pieces of leftover cardboard and recycle the rest.

Step 3

two sides of cardboard box laid out on table with three smaller trapezoid pieces positioned to the top, bottom and left of bigger piece
To create flaps on the front of your portfolio cover, first use the pencil to draw three trapezoid shapes as shown in the picture, then carefully cut out the shapes.

Step 4

using tape to attach trapezoid-shaped cardboard pieces to larger piece
Take a piece of thick tape about the length of your portfolio cover and place it sticky side up on your work surface. Place the cover and the bottom flap on the tape, leaving about half an inch between the pieces of cardboard. If you don’t have wide tape you can tape thinner strips of tape together.

Step 5

taping the trapezoid cardboard pieces on the inside joint
Tape the same fold together from the inside front cover, so your cover and bottom flap are taped together from both the inside and the outside. Tape the other flaps inside and outside so all your flaps are taped to the cover.

Step 6

using scissors to cut off excess tape from the attached flaps
Use your scissors to cut any excess tape off the flaps or corners.

Step 7

folding flaps to test how cardboard portfolio folds together
Pick up your portfolio! See how it looks open and closed.

Step 8

decorating portfolio with photographs and magazine cutouts
If you’d like, you can paint your portfolio, glue on magazine cutouts, or draw on it with your pencil—you can even keep decorating until it’s completely covered!


Arbella Insurance Foundation

Art Activity Instructions

Download and print out the instructions to follow along at home.