I love this weeks theme, Ancient Empires!  It is fun to put the spotlight on people and cultures from a long time ago.  For me a long time ago is 100 years ago.  Things have changed so much in 100 years that it can seem like it things were soooooo different from today.  This week we are going way back, past 100 years, to the ancient Mayan Civilization that flourished 1500 years ago.  Yes, that’s right, one-thousand five-hundred years ago!

Today’s project is inspired by colorful Mayan art.  You choose what you want to decorate and embellish with colorful designs.  Make a simple poster, decorate doll clothing and anything and everything in-between!

I made a fashion purse with a colorful bird.

It is the Quetzal bird, sacred to the Mayan’s.

I used a bowl with colorful Mayan art as inspiration.

The Maya are known as great artists of Mesoamerica.  This bowl is a modern spin on the ancient themes that decorate the carvings and ceramics of the ancient Mayan civilization.

I saw some of the ancient Mayan sites in April when I traveled to the Yucatan Peninsula in Mexico.  A-maz-ing art carvings cover their buildings and structures!

This fun and colorful Quetzal bird bowl came home with me and we are using it as inspiration for today’s project!

The cool thing about art is that there is inspiration all around us.  You can take that inspiration and transform it into something unique and fun!

Part of the fun is deciding what you want to create the design on!  Yes, it can be as simple as a piece paper and markers for a poster.  Be creative and decide on what you want to decorate with Mayan art!

I made up a simple doll purse with white fabric on the outside, a fun print on the inside and a ribbon handle.  I’m using a fabric marker to decorate it.

The purse is small and I am taking the design to the edges, but you can use any part of the design of the Quetzal bowl that inspires you. Or maybe you have another favorite animal from nature that will be your inspiration.

To make a Quetzal bird, draw a simple bird head and body.

Draw the eye and a curved beak on the head.  Add scalloped feathers next to one side of the body and then stripes for the wing feathers.

Draw the yellow flower center in the empty bottom corner.  Surround the center with round flower petals.

Add more texture and design, fill in the empty spaces with patterns.  I used a spray of stripes around the flower and colored the bird in.

I decided I wanted my design to have even more texture and added rows of scalloped feathers to the body.

If you are drawing a different animal, use the lines, dashes and scallops as ideas for adding texture to your animal.

Saige is loving her purse inspired by Mayan art!

It is fun, colorful and unique!

I hope you are inspired to create something fun for dolls using Mayan art as inspiration!

Just in case you are interested, here is more about today’s post.

  • Doll-Saige is American Girl GOTY 2013
  • Outfit– Shirt made by Anna
  • Scene-Fabric

Add your own spin on ancient art! 🙂