Storytime & Artmaking: Henri’s Scissors

Take inspiration from Jeanette Winter's book Henri’s Scissors to create paper cut-outs of flowers in a vase. (While this activity is inspired by a book, you do not need to read the book to do the activity.)

About the Book

In a small weaving town in France, a young boy named Henri-Emile Matisse drew pictures everywhere, and when he grew up, he moved to Paris and became a famous artist who created paintings that were adored around the world. But late in life a serious illness confined him to a wheelchair, and amazingly, it was from there that he created among his most beloved works—enormous and breathtaking paper cutouts.

Getting Started

  • What kinds of shapes do you think we’ll need to create our picture?
  • What colors will you use in your flower arrangement?
  • A vase of flowers can brighten up any room. Where will you display yours?


  • Construction paper (or other types of colored paper) in five different colors
  • Two markers
  • Scissors
  • Glue stick (or tape)

Artmaking Activity

1. Draw the outline of a vase shape on a piece of paper, about the size of your marker pen, and cut it out.

2. Next, pick a brightly colored paper to make your flowers. First, make a stick drawing with three lines. Then, take a different colored marker and draw a line around the edges of your stick drawing. Repeat to make another three flower shapes, four in total.

3. Use the outline as your cutting line and cut the shapes out.

4. Now pick a color for your leaves. Make a stick drawing. Take a colored marker and draw around the edges. Make another drawing for a total of two leaves. Cut out your shapes.

5. Assemble the cut-out shapes on your background color.

6. Add a small shape to make the center of your flower.

7. Cut some small strips of paper to decorate your vase.

8. Stick everything down with your glue stick.

Optional: Share your creations on social media with #AlbrightKnox and #MuseumFromHome!


Cut outs: the art of making designs with shapes cut out from pieces of paper, cardboard, or other materials

Collage: a piece of art made by sticking different materials such as pieces of paper or fabric onto a backing