Alejibres with DF – SCOPES-DF

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Sarah Wallace
Sarah Wallace
Fablab manager
I run the Cleveland Mobile Fab Lab of MC2 STEM High School.   I work with K-8 teachers in the Cleveland Metro School District to expose young learners to the wonders of Digital Fabrication through fun, artistic, STEM projects.    Previously,… Read More


Alebrijes are imaginative and colorful Mexican art sculptures that have transformed into mythical creatures of the culture that act as spirit guides. This lesson begins with students watching the Disney movie, Coco and continues to an art and history lesson before students use their imaginations to design their own Alebrije and using Digital Fabrication to bring it to life.

This lesson was inspired by and adapted from Fab Lat Kids

What You'll Need

Laser Cutter

1/8 inch wood

Acrylic or Tempera paint and brushes

Puffy Paint

Googly Eyes (optional)

Alebrije Corel Draw File  (available to download as a google file)

Alebrije Google Slides 

Create your own Alebrije worksheet  (google doc)

Coco Movie questions  (google doc)

The Instructions


Watch the movie Coco with your students. (currently available on netflix)

If you would like, you can have your students complete this question sheet while watching.   Also, here is a link to an additional Coco activity sheet for younger learners.

This is an adorable book for young students K-3rd grade that is available on amazon for less than $5!


Use the Alebrije Google Slides  to teach your students about the history and art of Alebrijes.  You can learn more about Alebrijes and their original artist, Pedro Lionares on line, or have your students research.  There is also the opportunity for to connect Alebrijes to mythical creatures such as the Sphinx and the Minotaur and their History and place in Language Arts.


Have your students fill out the Create your own Alebrije worksheet  The writing activity is currently designed for third grade learners.  Please, feel free to download the worksheet and make any changes your students may need.


Depending on your lab setting, you can use one of the following options to create the parts for the Alebrijes using the Alebrije Corel Draw File .  This file is designed for 1/8 inch wooden material.

Option 1:  pre-fab a large number of each animal part to cover your students needs.  You can then cut a few more when your students in the lab to show them how the laser works.

Option 2: as students complete the first two steps of the design worksheet they can come up to the laser and place their order for specific parts as the other students are working on the worksheet and writing their story.



Have your students construct their Alebrijes- you may want to use a little glue on the tails!

Students should pain the solid base colors of their creatures and allow them to dry for at least 15 minutes.  This is an excellent time for students to revisit their stories and refine their work. Then they can use the Puffy Paint to add the patterns.   Encourage your students to use bring colors and patterns similar to those used in the traditional Alebrije scultpures.


After all the Alebrijes have dried and students have completed their stories they should present their process, product and story to their peers and others.


Lesson Feedback

2 Reviews

  1. SCOPES-DF March 8, 2019
  2. Scott Beebe March 4, 2020
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