Any loving parent enjoys seeing the fruits of their child’s creative endeavors. From painting, to collages, to sculpture, we all want to see kids experience as many art forms and creative outlets as they can. If you sometimes feel overwhelmed with the amount of artwork your kid produces (and sometimes feel guilty when you worry whether it’ll go with your existing decor scheme), we’ve rounded up six fun arts and crafts projects that you and your children can do together and that you’ll not only want to display proudly in any room, it’ll have guests asking where you got the new art!
Why stick to only two-dimensional art? Origami, that ancient Japanese art of folding paper, is a fun, educational and relatively mess-free activity for both grown-ups and kids of many ages. Tons of books on the subject are available for purchase, as well as available through your public library, and don’t forget about online sources (we like Origami Resource Center and Origami Fun). So what can you do with these origami masterpieces once they’ve been created? Clear off a tabletop, mantle or windowsill and create a fun and colorful arrangement. Add string and hang a bunch of origami pieces from the ceiling for an impromptu mobile and art installation. Even promote recycling with your kids by using old paper for the project!
A most traditional and darling craft, this is a fun way to show off all the members of your family without just using photos. We love how customizable this idea is: there are several different methods of creating the silhouettes (like cutting out photos or tracing shadows) but you can also use all sorts of different materials (fabric, cardboard, construction paper, wrapping paper, old magazines) to feature any pattern, color or texture you want! Check out this Apartment Therapy post for a good how-to. Framing your silhouettes in vintage frames makes for the perfect wall composition in a family room, entryway, staircase and more.
Nature print paper
In what is perhaps the easiest craft to do, just purchase a package of this neat Nature Print Paper and watch while the magic of the sun helps create gorgeous nature-inspired art! Go out in your backyard, or plan a trip to a park or beach to gather “art supplies” with your child (just remember to only gather from areas that aren’t environmentally sensitive!). Leaves, feathers, rocks, stones, anything can become a part of this art composition. Once completed, these prints would look practically professional matted, framed and hung on a wall in a composition. Do this a few times a year and have a rotating gallery as the seasons change!
Abstract canvas art
Do you remember that episode of Jon and Kate Plus 8 where she took the kids to an arts education center to create large-scale abstract canvas art pieces? Kate was able to pick out colors of acrylic paint that went with her home’s color scheme, and the kids were given a whole manner of instruments of which to use the paint with, from brushes, to tin foil, to sponges, to tissue paper and more. Only your imagination is your limit- let the kids go crazy and you’ll have abstract art in your home’s colors that would rival those of a modern art museum! Tip: the larger the canvas, the more like a real piece of art it will feel! Though the canvases will be your largest investment, keep your eye out for sales, and start collecting the painting implements now! Or look for similar organizations that run programs like the one in the episode and have them clean up the mess! Along with local art stores, there are places online to find deals on art supplies (we like Utrecht Art Supplies).
Fabric embroidery hoops
As the kids get older, they may grow out of their old tee-shirts, pajamas and other clothes. While most will either go to thrift stores or younger siblings, there may be a few that are too damaged or too beloved to part with. Rather than take up a space in a drawer, grab a bunch of embroidery hoops from your local craft store in a number of sizes, and create fun and colorful fabric circles! Great for highlighting color and pattern, these fabric circles could be hung in a kid’s room, but they’re hip enough to create a graphic and “pop art” statement. Let the kids get in on the decisions of what articles of clothing to choose, what graphics/designs to frame and how to arrange them on the wall!
All the rage for modern decor lovers, why spend tons of money on them when you and your kids can produce them for fun? Creating stamps is a time-honored kids craft project, and there’s no reason why this art form can’t be transformed into a hip project that you’ll love to see on your walls. There are tons of different and easy ways to make your own stamps (we love the sophisticated ideas in this Apartment Therapy post and the classic potato stamp idea on ehow.com). Let kids choose the colors and placements for art that’s fun, and feel free to suggest a few compositional changes for art that will look like a professional print by a graphic designer.