Make a Mint Box Miniature!

In almost all of my work with students, I search for “low-floor and high-ceiling” tools, meaning they are easy to use from the start yet have tremendous potential for growth in the learning process. However, I often take on new tools that have a steeper learning curve in my own learning, hoping to utilize my prior knowledge and skills to help me get over the bumps.

Adobe Illustrator is one of those tools that doesn’t start with a low floor. Numerous icons, menus, panels, and palettes can initially be overwhelming to the learner. So, it was with slight trepidation that I introduced Illustrator to my 7th graders. I realized after the first class that I bit off more than they could chew. I regrouped after that lesson and retooled my approach.

The result is a series of lessons that takes students through the initial setup of the Illustrator environment and moves them gradually over the essential tools on the way to creating a mint box miniature. I have broken down all of the learning into short conceptual chunks, each building upon the previous lesson.

Below is a video playlist organized in the same format as my lessons. If you have access to Illustrator and a laser cutter, you can use this playlist to create your own mint box miniature:

The video series takes you up to the point of laser cutting your art pieces. To learn how to assemble your mint box miniature, see these two previous posts:

Mint Box Miniature Landscapes

Mint Box Project v2

When my students complete their projects, I will post some of the artwork here. In the meantime, I would love to have feedback on these video tutorials. If you decide to take on this project, please let me know how it goes.

Below are all of the downloadable resources mentioned in the videos:

Basic Shapes

Curvature Tool

Mint Box Template

Mint Box Frame (for front cover)

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