Everyday Arts and Crafts for Middle School Students

In trying to add arts and crafts back into our day I've been trying to brainstorm ideas that we could all work on together.  Most of our old stand-by art activities aren't really enjoyed by my oldest anymore and so I thought we should try to compile a list of arts and crafts projects for middle school students; and especially for middle school boys.

Here's the arts and crafts ideas we came up with when we put our heads together:

 1.  Paracord bracelets-- We've never made them before but we thought it would be fun to try.

2.  Model Kits-- My son has put together several model kids so far and enjoys the more detailed kits that require painting and glue.

3.  Painting! -- My kids love to paint.  I find that typing "paint night" into a Pinterst search engine usually shows a lot of simplistic and easy pictures that my son can copy with a little guidance from me.

4.  Decorating a shirt- We've made many t-shirts over the years and the boys are always excited to make something they can wear.  This year we tried tie dying and it was lots of fun (you can read about how we did it here)!

5.  Pendulum painting-- I saw this on Pinterest and thought it looked like a fun way to combine art and science.  Just search pendulum painting and lots of search results will show up.  We liked this one from Martha Stewart.

Pendulum Painting

6.  Duct Tape Crafting-- We have a book of duct tape crafts and had so much fun making our own duct tape sleds last winter.  Duct tape it always fun.

7. Design Cad-- Ian used to play around on our Design Cad program frequently drawing up such neat vehicles and scenes.  I'd love to see him explore the program further.

8.  Doodling with simple lines-- We found so many neat drawing ideas on Pinterest that just start with simple lines.  I thought all the kids might enjoy simple line doodles since there's no right or wrong way to doodle.  We thought this Zentangle for kids book might be a good place to start.

9.  Art kits-- there are so many wonderful ones out there on the market.  My boys really enjoy the Aquarelle watercolor kits and sand art.

10.  Sharpie and Alcohol crafts-- we've made t-shirts this way (you can read about it here) and have plans to try out some coasters and plastic bookmarks.  The possibilities are endless and it's lots of fun.  Just be sure to keep the are you're working in well ventilated.

11. Scratch art-- We bought some scratch art kits and some scratch art paper because all of the boys enjoy it so much.

12.  Tissue paper art--  There's so many crafts we can do with tissue paper but Ian was particularly intrigued with using tissue paper to decorate canvas.  The Fiskars site used water to bleed the colors from the tissue paper onto the canvas (here).

13.  Chalk Pastel drawings- We have used the chalk pastels a few times (most recently to draw solar system) and there are so many wonderful programs online to follow that show how to use them to draw all sorts of wonderful things.  It's messy, but fun.

14.  Coloring books-- they make so many "grown up" ones know that coloring is not just for kids.  Ian really enjoys the extreme color by number series.  We also have Mystery Mosaics and Hidden Feather which are fun to use.

15.  How to Draw-- Ian has been having a great time copying some of the How to Draw websites.  He's learned a lot too.

16.  Oil Pastel drawings-- One thing I never really think to take out and use with the boys is our oil pastels and I bet that they would just love them!  I found this great link for some YouTube videos on landscapes with oil pastels that we'll probably try out.

Linking up with:



  1. These are some great ideas. I especially love the model car kits. My son recently built a solar-powered robot, and it was challenging, but I think he would enjoy building a model car. Thanks for the ideas, and thanks for linking up.

    1. I'm so glad you liked them. My son had a great time with model cars; the ones at Michael's craft store (and I'm assuming all other stores that sell them too) are numbered so we started with a simple snap together kit with stickers and gradually worked up to the harder ones as his skills improved.

  2. My girls all love crafts but I, too, am finding that those tastes are changing as they are getting older. My middle schooler enjoys the more detailed coloring books, painting and scratch art. We found a pad of scratch art cards (about 100) for few dollars at a museum a few months ago and the girls really like being able to do one of those to go along with a lesson. Thanks for all the ideas. - Lori

    1. You're welcome! Thanks for stopping by and checking them out.

  3. Wow ! Such awesome ideas. I love finding new art ideas to do and share with my girls. The Pendulum art looks like something pretty cool to look in to. I may "steal" your idea here and start a post on art ideas as well on my blog. Feel free to LINK UP with me over at http://publicschooldropouts.blogspot.com/p/our-curriculum-2015-2016.html

    1. I'm glad you enjoyed it and feel free to "Steal" my idea! I'd enjoy reading what you come up with too. We're always looking for new ideas.

  4. This is perfect! I have a son who is a middle-schooler and he doesn't enjoy the types of crafts I do with my daughter so this gives me some fun ideas to try with him. He has gotten into pastel chalk art and loves it. Thanks for this post!


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