O-riginal Art Activities: Soft Sculptures/Esculturas Suaves Inspired by Margarita Cabrera

The O-riginal Art Activity takes a close look at the experiences of immigrants through Margarita Cabrera’s esculturas suaves (soft sculptures).

Use paper to create a soft sculpture inspired by a long journey.

Download Activity

Margarita Cabrera, Backpack (Blue), 2006, Vinyl thread and various items

Margarita Cabrera focuses on social-political community issues including cultural identity, migration, violence, inclusivity, labor and empowerment, Cabrera creates sculptures made out of materials ranging from steel, copper, wood, ceramics and fabric. Combining contemporary art practices, indigenous Mexican folk art and craft traditions, Cabrera places emphasis on creating social consciousness through her work and generating solutions to the creation of just working conditions and the protection of immigrant rights.

Supplies List:

Paper, Scissors, Markers, Staplers, Color Pencils


Step 1: Imagine that you are going on a long journey or moving to another country. What objects would you take with you?

Step 2: Use markers to draw the objects in the backpack. Color and decorate your backpack.

Step 3: Layer a blank sheet of paper under the backpack. Use scissors to cut out the backpack by following the outermost line. Be sure to cut the blank sheet too.

Step 4: Keeping the blank sheet under the backpack, use a stapler to staple around the edge. Leave one side open.

Step 5: Crumple up the paper scraps. Put them inside the backpack sculpture to give it body. Staple it closed.