At the beginning of the school year, I decided to make art study and art history a priority in our homeschool. We started with a six week unit study on one of my favorite artists, Mary Cassatt.

Silhouettes, Fancy Hats, & Mary Cassatt

As I was scrolling through Pinterest looking for art projects, I came across a Mary Cassatt inspired art project by Homeschooling in the Rose Garden. I loved how she focused on the “fancy hats” that were popular during Cassatt’s time and a feature in many of her paintings. We decided to do a similar project


  1. First we took some time to study some of Mary Cassatt’s paintings that featured “fancy hats”. You can find many, but here are a few to get you started.

The Boating Party

A Woman and a Girl Driving

In the Loge

Children Playing at the Beach

Portrait of the Artist

2. I created silhouettes of each of the kids. This turned out to be more simple than I imagined it would be! We went to a semi-dark room and one at a time I sat them on the floor next to the wall. I taped a white sheet of paper onto the wall next to their head, while one of my older kids shined a flashlight (we just used my phone) toward them, creating a silhouette on the white sheet of paper. I quickly traced their silhouette onto the paper using a pencil.

3. After creating the silhouette, we carefully cut them out and glued them onto construction paper. The kids then created “fancy hats” by cutting them out of scrapbook paper and layered them over the silhouettes.

The results were really cute!

To learn more about teaching kids about Mary Cassatt and other artists, including FREE 6 week unit studies, be sure to check out my Project Masterpiece post.

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