Embossed Great Seal

The fifth graders and I are wrapping up our study of US history by looking at national symbols and icons. We examined money and noticed that the Great Seal appears on the reverse of a $1 bill. If you look carefully at the Seal, the number 13 is present over and over, representing the original 13 colonies. The eagle is clutching 13 arrows in his left talon and an olive branch with 13 leaves in his right. This eagle's head is turned toward the olive branch, showing that the US strongly prefers peace over war.

We made an embossed version of the Great Seal to take home.


Embossed Great Seal


  • scissors
  • printed copy of the Great Seal (4" diameter to fit the plates)
  • foam plate (we used 6" plates)
  • pencil or ballpoint pen
  • black paint
  • paper towel


1. Cut out the seal so that it fits in the center of the foam plate. 


2. Use the pen or pencil to trace over every part of the design. Press hard enough to leave a deep impression, but not so hard that you poke through the plate. 


3. Rub a small amount of black paint over the design, then wipe it away. The paint will stay in the embossed area, revealing the design. Add a solid coat of paint around the rim, or leave it plain. 


To see other patriotic crafts that are quick and easy to make, check out the May edition of Craft Lightning!


  1. Well, I just learned something, a lot of "somethings"... I didn't know all that about the Great Seal! I must have been absent that day in 5th grade, LOL!

  2. This is a great idea for kids! Thanks for joining!

  3. Wow!!! Those look FABULOUS! How fun!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  4. These are darling. Thanks for participating.


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