Art projects are for the young and the young at heart. Whether you're painting a mural or stringing a beaded necklace, making art is a stress reliever, and the final product is worth the effort. Some art projects even make good gifts for friends and family.
Art From Recycled Materials
Create art with recycled materials, including toilet tissue rolls, soup cans, newspapers, old buttons and beads, milk jugs and bottle caps. If this is for a school art class, send a letter home at the beginning of the year listing all the recycled materials the kids may need for the year. If not, ask your friends and family to start collecting materials for you.
An example of a recycled art project is a cardboard milk carton (1/2 gallon) bird feeder. Cover the carton with some brown shoe polish to give it a "barky" look, then cut a hole about an inch in diameter in the front and poke a couple drainage holes in the bottom. Decorate the carton with buttons or beads and hang the bird feeder with some twine. Close the top with some glue and poke a hole in the top of the milk carton to attach the twine to the feeder.
Using Play-Doh, you can make animal figures for the rain forest display, snakes for your pretend aquarium or just about anything you feel like making. Let your creation dry overnight, then shellac it the next day. Play-Doh is not the polymer clay that is usually used to make hardened clay art, but it will work. It does not require painting or baking in an oven, as polymer clay does.
Art From Nature
Natural materials make great springboards for art projects. Find mushrooms of different sizes, dip them into paint and "stamp" them onto paper to make a picture. You can do the same thing with rocks and acorns. You can also collect leaves and then lightly brush them with paint and make leaf prints. In addition, you can collect sticks and build a log cabin or a teepee, or collect large blades of grass and braid or twist them to make a necklace or bracelet.
- Melissa Amon; teacher; Glen Burnie, MD
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