DIY Canvas Art Projects for Kids
Are you looking for some tips on crafting with kids? Alisa Burke has great advice on this topic!
Canvases are an inexpensive, versatile, and readily available material that are perfect for kid art projects including painting and much more. Whether you are a stay at home mom looking for rainy day activities for toddlers and preschoolers or you are an art teacher looking for ideas that appeal to middle school students, there is something here that fits the bill. Happy crafting!
Typically initial art is promoted as something that adults can make to decorate their homes, but there is no reason that kids can't make many of these projects as well. You can let a kid decorate a canvas as he or she chooses and then finish it with a wood or foam letter or you can create a letter. Popular materials for making letters include buttons, pom poms, sequins, and crayons, but don't feel limited to these options.
The only supplies that you need to make melted crayon wall art are a canvas, glue, crayons, and a hair dryer or other heat source. While this is not an ideal project for little kids, it is perfect for older elementary and middle school age children. There are endless possibilities for color combinations and designs. I've included just a couple tutorial links here so that you can familiarize yourself with the basic concept. Search Pinterest or Google for further inspiration.
Hand Print / Footprint Ideas
Kids can use their hands and feet to make prints on canvas and then turn them into any number of different objects or animals. Family trees, Christmas trees, and of course turkeys are popular options. The post below from The Frugal Girls has ideas for butterflies, elephants, bees, fish, horses, and cows. You can also find inspiration online for peacocks, caterpillars, monkeys, and much more as well as how to use lots of prints to make shapes (i.e. hearts).
Mont Marte Joe's Hand Print Christmas Tree Lesson
Adhesive Letters for Phrases / Sayings
You can use adhesive letters to spell out the words, phrases, or sentences of your choosing. Simply apply the letters, paint over them, and then peel the letters off when the paint is dry. You'll be left with white letters that contrast beautifully with the painted design. Of course you can also keep it really easy and apply letters over a finished design as well.
There are numerous possibilities for abstract canvas art, but here are just a few to get you started.
- Apply paint with an eyedropper Jackson Pollock style. Grab a few eyedroppers and let kids go to town filling their canvases with tiny spots of different colors. It will keep them busy for quite a while and produce a beautiful effect. Read more about it Better Homes and Gardens.
- Squeeze paint blobs on canvas, and then smear them. I couldn't find an original source for this concept, but the idea is fairly self-explanatory and easy for kids to do independently.
- Create a multiple layers effect with painters tape. Rip strips of painters tape and apply them at random over the canvas. After the paint has dried, remove the tape. Kids can repeat this process as many times as they like to create a desired effect. Check out the full tutorial at Artchoo!.
Crafts for Kids : Easy Abstract Art
Artchoo! also has a fun abstract painting idea using shadows.
- Drawing With Kids: Abstract Shadow Drawings - Artchoo!
Shadow drawings are a fun way to spend some time being creative with your kids- all ages have fun with this drawing game!
Kacey of Stay at Home Artist has a neat concentric circles canvas art tutorial that stems from Russian abstract painter Wassily Kandinsky. Her tutorial is very colorful and very ordered. Most young kids are not going to have the patience to paint these type of concentric circles, which is fine. You can modify it as needed, which of course, includes switching up the colors as well as the instructions.
Gel glue is the perfect medium for creating a batik effect with paints on canvas or watercolor paper. Some people also opt to sprinkle salt on the paint before it dries. The salt soaks up some of the paint pigments, adding another dimension to the finished work. You can find many examples of this technique online. I've linked what appear to be the original resources for it below.
Batik Workshop • Fun with Paper and Fabric
Many kids will spend many happy hours punching and gluing paper butterflies on canvas. A butterfly punch makes the project easy, but of course you can trace and cut butterflies as well. Think about using different materials for the butterflies such as scrapbook paper, sheet music, and book pages. Children can also paint the paper of their choosing and then punch their butterflies from it.
More kid craft project ideas from the author.
- Craft Project for Kids: How to Make Coasters
Coasters are a fun handmade craft project that kids can make as gifts. There are tutorials using ceramic tiles, paint, cork, felt, and much more.
- Craft Ideas for Kids: 10 Homemade Gifts Kids Can Make
This article is about craft ideas that kids can make and give as gifts. It includes 10 ideas for homemade gifts. There are lots of links, pictures, and resources.
- Spring Crafts for Kids: Easy, Fun Ideas
This article is filled with spring crafts for kids. It has easy, fun ideas for a wide variety of spring topics including birds, flowers, insects, vases, wreaths, and more. There are lots of photos and resources.
© 2014 Rose Clearfield