This post may contain affiliate links. We may earn a small commission from purchases made through them, at no additional cost to you.
Looking for an easy arts and crafts project to keep yourself (or the kids) busy? Look no further! We have some easy art ideas that will reignite your creative spark and uplift your creative potential. The future of arts and crafts is no longer reserved for a kids-only hobby. In a post-pandemic era, it has become increasingly essential to seek out alternative ways to destress. You may on the other hand feel as though art can only be made by professionally trained artists and that the product of your creative attempt must be perfect to be accepted. Rest assured, nothing born from creativity goes to waste. Just as the great 20th-century French artist Henri Matisse claimed, “Creativity takes courage”.
Table of Contents
- 1 What Are the Benefits of Unleashing Your Artistic Expression?
- 2 Cool Art Projects
- 2.1 Working With Mother Nature
- 2.2 Simple Art Projects for Kids and Teens
- 2.3 Easy Art Ideas for Adults
- 3 Frequently Asked Questions
What Are the Benefits of Unleashing Your Artistic Expression?
You may want to re-adjust your schedule to fit in some form of creative endeavor. Aside from serving as a quick release from the daily pressures of academic life, social anxieties, economic fluctuations, and strict routines, adopting a creative pursuit is proven to deliver a multitude of benefits. These include a positive impact on human cognition, social interaction, and career success. The BBC presents an insightful article highlighting the hidden benefits of creativity and draws attention to a creativity study conducted by talent development professor, Dr. Jonathan Pucker, whose research on 1700 CEOs found that 60% of professionals in leadership positions considered creativity as a crucial skill to their position and leadership success.
Creativity not only inspires innovative thinking but also fuels creative problem-solving. Issue resolution, for both children and adults, is a skill that can continuously be developed, so why not start now?
Cool Art Projects
You may have encountered various art project ideas that either sound too similar, are too messy, or are not enough to keep you engaged in the project. These cool art ideas are guaranteed to not only put a smile on your face but also keep your pockets happy! From art ideas involving nature to art projects involving the whole family, we have enough ideas to keep you on your toes.
Working With Mother Nature
Reuse. Reduce. Recycle. Your artwork ideas do not have to be expensive, especially if you are looking for some simple art projects to help your little ones get into the creative headspace. Sometimes the easiest source of inspiration is the one in your backyard! Besides, spending time with mother nature, let alone collaborating with the Earth’s available resources, makes for a sustainable art project. Below are a few easy artwork ideas that will keep the kids entertained and leave you with colorful treasures to cherish.
You could also choose to take on these simple art projects as part of your personal goal to embrace your inner child!
Discovering new ideas for art can also involve active participation in acquiring the materials needed for your creative venture. Whether you are looking for a cool art project for your kid or yourself, you can channel your inner child by going on an adventure to the nearest forest and picking up some small branches to build your own 3D sculpture. There is much fun to be had in creating a sculpture as it becomes one more step off the canvas and into real-world dimension. Nature is the best source to begin venturing beyond just paint and paper as it also introduces you to a variety of tactile experiences.
After gathering all your twigs, stick them into mounds of air-drying clay and decorate the twigs by piling on colorful beads or using soft wire with threaded beads to wrap around the thicker branches and twigs. This way, you have the option of building a sculpture of any size!
Whether it be twigs and sand or even rocks, you can still have an adventure. Simply grab a rock, acrylic paint, and a paintbrush, and start flexing your sense of vibrancy. This way, you can turn grays and browns into eye-catching bursts of color for décor or for use as vegetable markers in your precious garden. In fact, one of the first forms of art created by humans was of a piece of ochre based in South Africa.
Over centuries, rocks have carried the history of those who interact with them – why not leave behind your own?
Simple Art Projects for Kids and Teens
If not for yourself, consider these simple art activities to get the kids focused on creative expression and pique their interest in the crafts. Below are just a few easy art ideas that require a little more material than mother nature can offer.
Puffy Painting: DIY Paint
Shaving cream, food coloring, and white glue all come together to create the perfect fluffy paint which the little ones are sure to find interest in. The puffy texture of the shaving cream makes for a fun exploration of texture and depth while the food coloring adds an extra element of play for the kids to experiment with.
Other variations of making your own paint at home can include sand from the backyard coupled with glue, paint, or water as a way to kickstart experimentation and incite imaginative thinking.
This easy go-to art project involves everything you could probably find in your cupboard. All you need to engage in the art of papier mâché is paper strips (this can also be newsprint), water, flour, and a balloon or two. The flour and water combined serve as the binding agent so that your paper sculpture solidifies, and you are left with a solid piece of work. The process involves cutting your paper into strips (to the size of your choice), soaking the paper in the flour-water (1:2) mixture, and layering the pieces onto the curved side of your blown-up balloon.
Once dried out in the sun for a few hours, you can get even more creative by decorating your new papier mâché bowl using paint, glitter, stickers, or even beads.
Did you know that papier-mâché, meaning mashed or pulped paper, originated in China and was initially utilized for mask-making in 202 BC? The art form has since traveled internationally and continues to be a source of artistic expression for many artists such as Roberto Benavidez and Li Hongbo.
DIY Scratch Art Paper
Originally coined as scraperboard in 19th century France and Britain, scraperboard became established as a popular form of reproduction that replaced other engraving materials such as linoleum and wood. In this century, you can identify this as scratch art. From tots to adults, scratch art easily tops the list of easy art ideas to try out, but how can you add an extra level of fun? Easy. Do it yourself! Grab your dishwashing liquid, some black acrylic paint, some cardstock or thick paper, crayons, a paintbrush, and a skewer, and you are ready to make your own scratch art! Go crazy with the crayons while preparing your colored background.
To prepare the overcoat, mix the black paint with dishwashing liquid (2:1) and stir slowly so that you avoid bubbles. Be sure to apply even coats of the mixture over the colored paper and let it dry for around two or three hours. Finally – scratch away to reveal the color. During the 1930s and 1950s, scraperboard was useful for product illustrations and progressed into scratchboard art, as featured by artists such as Virgil Finlay (1914-1971).
Pulled String Art
Do not be afraid to get messy! You may have come across pulled string art on the For You Page of your TikTok account. A trendy, orchestrated method with a dynamic, unpredictable result – Pulled string art offers all the fun of flexing your talent for selecting colors that will liven up the atmosphere and introduce you to an alternative painting technique that is not only super easy but also visually pleasing.
Using only string or yarn, acrylic or watercolor paint, and paper of your choice, you are able to create numerous variations of abstract artwork.
This can be done on canvas or swapped out with larger materials such as rope. This is definitely worth considering as part of your creative routine since it is not only low effort and time, but it also allows for the creative freedom to play with color, movement, and positioning of string.
It Takes Two to Tango – Trading Paintings
Most cool art projects involve an additional level of creativity. Out of the many trends circulating on the internet, an interesting art project to take on with a partner or friend involves trading paintings every three minutes or less for 30 minutes. This method allows for a more process-based approach, where the parameters of making are set but the flexibility in building on paintings together makes for a stimulating experience and opportunity to connect different art styles.
Easy Art Ideas for Adults
Age has nothing to do with who can make art. From tots to teens and adults, you have options too! Below are some easy art project ideas that should be no problem integrating into your busy routine. Say goodbye to that artistic block and hello to these easy art project ideas!
The more, the merrier! Making room for collaborative art can be loads more fun as a way to enhance your art projects. Even some of the greatest painters of the Renaissance produced some of the world’s finest artworks through collaboration and help from fellow studio artists. You can easily involve your family, staff members, friends, or students in creating a record of thumbprints and turning the prints into mini characters, each with their respective personality and representative of the printer. You can use colored ink for the thumbprints and a black marker to draw on smaller features.
Once finished, you can choose to frame up the work and hang it in your hallway for a memorable, personalized artwork. A perfect art project for any individual, without the mess of traditional mediums.
Plastic Bottle Cap Upcycling
Easy art ideas also include upcycling bottle caps of any shape and size. Bottle caps not only serve as a great medium to fuel an art project, but they can also contribute to waste reduction. It is estimated that around 22 billion bottles end up on the dumping ground per year. By collecting bottle caps, you can help reduce global plastic waste and unnecessary pollution by upcycling and incorporating bottle caps into your art project. You can either use a strong backing board or a piece of fabric to which you can attach the bottle caps to form a bottlecap tapestry or decorative artwork for your home.
A glue gun is also useful as an easy method of attachment for any art project. In addition to contributing towards minimizing plastic wastage, you can also draw inspiration from highly acclaimed Ghanian artist, El Anatsui, whose magnificent large-scale bottle cap sculptures are sure to bolster your imagination in generating art inspiration ideas.
For a super easy art idea, make use of your old journals, magazines, or books by delving into your poetic personality. Blackout poetry arises out of the use of preexisting written content whereby the poet or artist redacts the text and leaves only the wording that makes up a poem or message. This leaves much to the imagination and does not require many materials, except a black marker.
In pursuing blackout poetry, it will also be useful to explore Dadaism since blackout art can closely be associated with cut-up writing and the likes of the above-mentioned anti-art movement against nationalism and modern capitalist art aesthetics.
Scribble and Design
A simple art idea to consider may be going back to the basics – a doodle. Or perhaps a scribble, in this case? Another way to jumpstart your creative juices is to grab a piece of paper and scribble away! The scribble is a great stress reliever, but the best part comes from transforming the scribble into a work of art! After manically producing your scribble, fill in the blank spaces in-between with different designs. This is guaranteed to put that scribble to use, and you might even adopt this method for larger artworks.
DIY Essential Oil Candles
Are you concerned about the potential toxicity of unnatural candle scents? An easy solution and art project for those of you who want to take on an adult-centered art project can try DIY candle-making using 100% natural essential oils. This is also a superb activity for the environmentally conscious-minded individual seeking to reduce exposure to toxic chemicals.
All you need to begin this project is a few containers or jars, your selection of essential oils, a wick centering tool, stickers, candle wicks, soy wax, a tool to stir your wax, and a large glass measuring jug.
The first step to creating your own homemade essential oil scented candle is to center your wick using the wick centering tool and attach it to the bottom of the jar with either a sticker or a glue dot. Depending on the size of your jar, you would melt wax accordingly using your microwave at 30-second intervals until completely melted. Following this step, you may add in your essential oil (do not be afraid to be generous! It is recommended that you add just over 40 drops of essential oil for the scent to come through). And finally, you are free to fill up your jar and leave it out overnight to dry.
Once dry, trim the wick and enjoy your self-made aromatherapy session! A simple and quick assembly art project that makes for a functional item to use around the house.
Wine Cork Board
If you are a wine lover, this home art project will complement your personality and add a touch of you to your kitchen. You will need a frame with a wooden board backing, a hot glue gun, and as many corks as you can collect! As soon as you have collected all your corks and your glue gun is set up, you can glue down the corks in various arrangements or in an orderly fashion with the stamp markings facing up. Use your imagination and play!
This is the perfect opportunity to show off your arrangement skills and who knows – you may just prefer to build a cork sculpture.
Allocating time for exploring your creativity can be a difficult task, which is all the more reason to try your luck at making a yarn garland! These are so simple to integrate into your routine and can be done while you watch tv. It is a monotonous process of tying up smaller equal-sized pieces of yarn onto a longer piece of yarn until you are satisfied with the garland. Since there is a vast array of yarn colors available at any arts and crafts store, you can have the freedom of playing with color, size, and length when it comes to this ridiculously easy art project. Yarn garlands make for a bold splash of color or easy décor for any happy occasion.
These art inspiration ideas are sure to kickstart your creative spirits and ensure you have fun in the process. Great art is not born in a day! The pros of embracing your creativity far outweigh the cons and can even set you (or your kids) up for success. The ideas for art projects are countless so if these do not pique your interest, feel free to explore other sources for creative inspiration such as TikTok, YouTube, Pinterest, or Instagram.
Frequently Asked Questions
What is the Difference Between Arts and Crafts?
While definitions of each version of arts and crafts are contested, the arts refer to objects and artworks categorized under the fine arts as a form of creative self-expression, whereas crafts are socially associated with informal art and can fall within the realm of artisanal products that are designed to serve specific functions. Crafts are more accessible and easily available than would be said for artwork located in museums and art galleries. There is much of a gray area surrounding the combination of arts and crafts, however, it is useful to consider the numerous factors that define the arts and crafts.
What Paper Should You Use for Pulled String Art?
Since pulled string art relies on the liquidity of the paint and the string, it is advised you use a higher grammage white paper since watercolor requires more water and the bleed would make thinner paper soggier and more prone to tearing. If you are using a thin page, make sure to use acrylic paint with thin string.
Are Scribbles Considered Art?
The idea of what constitutes art is always changing and adapting. While a scribble can be considered art, it is dependent on context. If an anomaly occurs where an animal or subject, taken outside of its original context, produces a scribble, which normally would be seen as a human action, it can then be considered a unique artwork. If produced by a human child, it is more common and therefore considered a general action performed by most children when learning the idea of making art. In the context of art movements such as Abstract Expressionism it is not the scribble itself, but the physical and mental actions of the artist that produced the scribble that is the focus when interpreting the artwork.