Peruvian Arpillera Art

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Arpilleras are intricately detailed hand sewn textile pictures. Each piece illustrates some aspect of daily life for the women of the Andes. The arpillera, in an array of colors, tells the story of the country markets where locals come to buy vegetables, clothing and wool for weaving.

After watching a PowerPoint presentation showing pictures of the arpillera, we used construction paper to imitate the textile pictures. We talked about how important it is to cut and paste the pieces that are the furthest away first and then work our way forward. Also, to keep the picture in perspective, that we make a note of how much space the different objects take on the picture. For instance, the mountains are “how close to the top of the picture” and “extend “how far down on the picture.” Notice that the closer the objects are on the picture, the larger they appear. Make sure you have enough space for the closer objects.

To do this project, each student was given a copy of an arpillera textile picture to use as a guide. This project takes two class periods to complete.


  • Peruvian Arpilleras (PowerPoint)
  • Arpillera textile art (Pictures)
  • Colored construction paper for background
  • Colored scrap pieces
  • Scissors
  • Glue stick


  1. View the Arpillera PowerPoint presentation.
  2. Each student is given a copy of an arpillera textile picture.
  3. Choose a background according to the color in the picture.
  4. Working from the objects furthest from away, cut and paste the pieces on the background.

4th Grade Projects Gallery:


4 Responses to Peruvian Arpillera Art

  1. GlitterQueen says:

    Thank you for your nice comment. I’m happy that the project works for you and your students.

  2. disneyalea says:

    Thank you so much! I have seen this art done and have always wanted to make one. Someday, someday! But I was researching for a craft to have my students create while I taught them about South America and I had so much trouble finding one that would be easy, but take them some time to complete so that I have a chance to talk about the continent. This was perfect! Thank you!

  3. GlitterQueen says:

    Fourth grade students, who would be about 10 years old, did the arpillera art. Younger or older students could also do this project.

  4. Sookie says:

    How old were the students who worked on this project? Thanks!

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