Make a Tortoise Video


Hello everyone, and welcome to the Immigration Museum in Melbourne. My name is Alex, and today I will show you how to make a traditional West Africa felt collage. But before I’m going to tell you a story. I’m going to tell you the story of the tortoise and the lizard.

This story happened a very, very long time ago in the land of the animals in West Africa. One day the lizard was feeling very hungry, and as he was approaching the farm he saw a farmer going towards a very big rock. The farmer rolled the rock to the side to reveal the entrance of a cave. The farmer then walked inside the cave and came out a few minutes later with a handful of food. He then rolled the rock back onto its place and walked away.

Now the lizard realised that he had discovered a secret cave where the farmer was hiding his food, so what the lizard did is that every day early in the morning he would come back to the secret cave, roll the rock to the side, enter the cave, take a handful of food, put the rock back into its space, and then walk away. He did that for a couple of weeks until he met the tortoise. So he came across a tortoise, and the tortoise asked him, “Lizard, where did you get all this food?” The lizard answered, “Look tortoise, I will tell you where I found all this food on the condition that you do not tell anyone.” The tortoise agreed to that, and the next morning together they both went back to the secret cave. They rolled the rock to the side, entered the cave together, and then took some food. 

Now the lizard only took a handful of food and left the cave, but the tortoise stayed inside the cave and was still trying to get more food. But then the farmer arrived and he saw the tortoise inside the secret cave taking the food. So the farmer got very, very angry, and he grabbed the tortoise on the back and threw him against the wall. And this is how the tortoise shell broke into a thousand pieces.

The tortoise was lying there and she cried out for help, and she asked all the insects to help her put the pieces of her shell back together, and this is what we’re going to do today, we’re going to help put the pieces of the tortoise shell back together using recycled felt.

First, let us have a look at the materials that we will need today. You will need one tortoise template, you will need as well a tortoise stencil, and pair of scissors, some glue, you need a black pen, you need a green pen, and you will need a lot of recycled felt.

Step number 1: I’m going to use the tortoise template, lay it right in front of me, and then I’m going to take the tortoise stencil and align it with my template, making sure that all the edges here align together.  Then I’m going to use the black pen and just draw the shapes of the tortoise scale.

Step number 2: I’m going to use the same stencil to trace the contour of our shell onto the felt. Now remember the number of the stencil that you choose because this is really, really important. So I’m using the stencil, I’m going to lay it onto a piece of felt, I’m going to draw the outline of one piece of shell. Then I’m going to use my pair of scissors, there we go. All right, so I’ve got my first piece of shell that I need. Then I’m going to use my template, put a bit of glue onto my felt bit, and I’m going to gently glue that onto my template. There we go. Right, so we get the first piece of the shell is back onto the tortoise. Now what I do is I carry on doing this with different colours and different shapes until we’ve covered the entire shell, until we’ve put that all back together.

Step number 3: We’re going to use our green pen and we’re just going to start filling up the little white gaps that we’ve got in between our bits of shell here.

All right, and this is it. So this is my tortoise, this is my West African felt collage. Remember yours could be totally different, you can use different colours, different patterns, you can write on it if you like as well, you can cut your tortoise, just be creative and use your imagination. 

I hope you enjoyed the video. This is Alex from the Immigration Museum, thank you.

About this Video

Learn about the tortoise and its adventures. Make a traditional picture using coloured felt and help assemble its shell.
Length: 05:00