Resources for Families, Artists of All Ages, + More!
Looking for creative projects to do at home with your family? Give these creative ideas a try and share your creations with us using the hashtag #YourArtYourWay. We can’t wait to see what you make!
Click the links below to go directly to each section:
Art Projects for Everyone
Combining balloons with an ordinary plastic cup, we’ll be showing you how to create your very own balloon shooter sure to send anything flying across your lawn. Whether you’re looking to test your aim with friends or going for distance, this craft is sure to be a bullseye for any weekend boredom! Make sure you share online, tag the Art Center, and use #YourArtYourWay.
- Step 1: Gather your materials: Balloons, Scissors, A Plastic Cup, Tape, Things to Shoot
- Step 2: Cut off the bottom of the cup! If the cut edge is sharp cover with tape.
- Step 3: Tie off the balloon with out any air in it. Once tied, cut off the bottom part of the balloon. Wei'll be using the side of the balloon with the knot.
- Step 4: Hold your balloon and stretch it so it fits around the top part of the cup.
- Step 5: Hold your shooter with the balloon side on the bottom. After loading your shooter and stretching the balloon, let go and watch as your object flies!
- Step 6: Have fun with you new balloon shooter! We would love to see! Make sure you share online, tag the Art Center, and use #YourArtYourWay.
- Step 1: Gather your materials: 1 Cup Epsom Salt, 1 Cup Boiling Water, Egg Shells, Elmer's Glue, Food Coloring, Paintbrush
- Step 2: Apply a good coat of glue inside the eggshell. Be sure to cover the whole surface using an old paintbrush.
- Step 3: Sprinkle the Epsom salt into the egg shell and dust off any extra that doesn't stick to the glue.
- Step 4: Boil 3/4 cup of water and remove from heat. Add 1/2 cup of Epsom salt to the boiled water and stir till salt is fully dissolved.
- Step 5: Spoon this saturated salt mixture into your prepared eggs, fill to the top and add desired amount of food coloring.
- Step 6: Check your eggs daily as water will evaporate leaving behind crystals.
- Step 5: Enjoy your new egg geodes! Put them on your desk, on your window sill, in your planters...put them everywhere! We would love to see! Make sure you share online, tag the Art Center, and use #YourArtYourWay.
Woven Pencil Holder
Learn how to decorate your desk with a wonderfully woven pencil holder using something as simple as a paper cup. Once you’ve gathered your materials, follow the instructions down below and you’ll be weaving your way to a fun and functional organizing tool that’ll be to sure start the school year off right. Make sure you share online, tag the Art Center, and use #YourArtYourWay.
- Step 1: Gather your materials: Paper Cup, Yarn, Scissors, Marker, and Ruler
- Step 2: Help young artists determine where the cup will be cut by pre-drawing lines from top to bottom using your ruler and marker. We cut a total of seven segments around the cup, you can do other amounts as long as you end with an odd number of them.
- Step 3: Choose your yarn color, cut a piece that is about arm’s length and tape one end of the yarn to the bottom of the cup to secure the starting place.
- Step 4: Weave your yarn! Choose a starting strip and guide your yarn over and under each of the cut segments. When yarn starts to run out, tie a new section of yarn and continue weaving. Tying different colors together will give you beautiful color patterns.
- Step 5: Enjoy your new woven pencil holder! Quick tip: Short cups make great crayon and marble holders! We would love to see! Make sure you share online, tag the Art Center, and use #YourArtYourWay.
- Step 1: Gather your materials: Magazines, Cardstock or Cardboard, Scissors, Glue or Glue Stick, Marker, Pencil, and Ruler
- Step 2: Pick a nice colorful photo from a magazine. Cut it out and glue it to a piece of cardstock or cardboard to give the pieces some strength. Make sure you cover the whole surface with glue.
- Step 3: Using a pencil, draw a grid on your image to help guide the size of your puzzle pieces.
- Step 4: Using a marker and the pencil grid as a guide, draw the edges of your puzzle pieces and include the dips and bumps that will help your pieces attach to each other. Cut out your pieces.
- Step 5: Enjoy your new puzzle! Now that you've made one, make a bunch! We would love to see! Make sure you share online, tag the Art Center, and use #YourArtYourWay.
Get ready to be a-mazed! Combining leftover box tops with straws and some hot glue, we’ll be showing you how to create your very own marble maze. Whether you’re just looking to race against the clock or create a puzzling path for all your friends to try, this is a quick and easy way to get crafty. Make sure you share online, tag the Art Center, and use #YourArtYourWay.
- Step 1: Gather your materials: Shallow Box, marble or Wooden Bead, Hot Glue, Scissors, Straws, Pencil
- Step 2: Have your child draw out a maze in pencil on the box. Cut out straws to match the length of each line drawn for the maze.
- Step 3: Hot glue the straws onto their the penciled lines.
- Step 4: Use a wooden bead or marble and drive it around your newly constructed maze!
- Step 5: Enjoy your new maze! Now that you've made one, make a bunch! can you make a really big one? We would love to see! Make sure you share online, tag the Art Center, and use #YourArtYourWay.
Make some mathematical magic with this kid friendly craft! Based on the principles of geometry and the work of Buckminster Fuller, we’ll be taking you through a step-by-step guide on how to create your very own geodesic dome. With just some magazines, a pair of scissors, a few pieces of tape, and some patience, you will be able to show off your colossal construction in no time! Make sure you share online, tag the Art Center, and use #YourArtYourWay. Watch the How To Video!
Create some bug buddies too cute to squash! Using the patterns and colors found in the pages of old magazines, you too will be able to craft some cool collaged bugs in no time at all!
- Step 1: Gather your materials: Magazines, Scissors, Glue or Glue Stick, Marker or Pencil
- Step 2: Draw and cut the various body parts, the more the better! Use found objects as stencils. We suggest cutting some bellies, heads, antennas, and plenty of legs - wings are good to have too!
- Step 3: Assemble a group of bugs. Don't glue anything down until you've done some mix-and-matching of pieces! Once you are happy with your designs, glue the pieces in place. Extra pieces can be added on top for details.
- Step 4: Paper can be folded and curled. Try this to give the body parts added dimension!
- Step 5: Enjoy your new little bug friends! Make sure you share online, tag the Art Center, and use #YourArtYourWay.
Learn to scrape together a one-of-a-kind painting by tossing aside the standard brush and picking up an old gift card or scrap of cardboard instead! You and your young ones will unlock the super fun painting style known as Scrape Painting. With seemingly endless possibilities for colors and patterns, we can’t wait to see what crafty creations you come up with!
- Step 1: Gather your materials: Paper or Canvas, Paint, Plastic Card or Scrap of Cardboard
- Step 2: Dip the plastic card into the paint.
- Step 3: Scrape the card across the paper to smear the paint onto the paper.
- Step 4: Repeat Step 3 to cover the paper. Try scraping in different directions, dipping in more than one color at one time, and using different levels of pressure as you drag the card.
- Step 5: Enjoy your new artful creation! Make sure you share online, tag the Art Center, and use #YourArtYourWay.
Lights, Camera, Action! This Kid-Friendly Craft is all about the theatrical world of finger puppets! With just a few pipe cleaners, hot glue, and some random buttons or beads, you’ll be ready to take the stage and put on a show-stopping puppet performance. Learn More!
- Step 1: Gather your materials: pipe cleaners, hot glue or elmers, beads, buttons and googly eyes
- Step 2: Prepare the “handle” of each finger-puppet by tightly curling a pipe cleaner around a finger. Set the curls aside.
- Step 3: Create your character using buttons, beads, and other similar materials to create one-of-a-kind creatures! Glue the pieces carefully together - some adult supervision required if using hot glue.
- Step 4: Glue the characters to the curled pipe cleaners. It’s okay if the back looks a little messy, hot glue strings can be hard to handle sometimes!
- Step 5: Play with your puppets! Can’t wait to see your puppet show!!! Make sure you share online, tag the Art Center, and use #YourArtYourWay.
Using a photo, water-based marker, embroidery needle and thread, you’ll be able to add a fun twist to your favorite photos in three simple steps!
- Step 1: Draw the desired designs on your photo with a water-based marker!
- Step 2: Pre-poke the holes on your photo! Staying over the drawn design, holes can be about 1/2 cm away from each other
- Step 3: Thread your needle, make a knot that holds the two ends of the thread together and start sewing! Start your first stitch on the back side of the photo, poking towards the front so that the knots remain hidden in the back. Easy as 1-2-3!
DIY Stamps from Recycled Materials
With a little foam board or some Styrofoam cutouts, you too can make your own unique stamps! We used recyclable materials as the base of our stamps. Show us how you play with color, shapes, patterns and repetition with this activity! Learn More!
- Step 1: Gather your materials. Foam board with sticky back works great or you can can use glue to attach. For the base of your stamps we recommend using recyclable materials like the ones shown below. Toilet paper and paper towel tubes are great for making stamp rollers!
- Step 2: Cut your foam into different shapes and arrange and attach them onto your stamp base or tube.
- Step 3: Dip your stamp into a thin layer of paint and press onto your paper. Easy as 1-2-3!
Earth Day Projects
Even though Earth Day is only one day a year doesn't mean we can't celebrate Mother Earth year-round! Check out these kid-friendly and family-friendly earth inspired projects below or click learn more for lots more projects you can easily do at home. Learn More!
- Earth Day Mobile - Project pictured above! We just simply found a good stick in the yard and used some string to activate our creations!
- Stained Glass Earth Suncatchers
- Hug the Earth Paper Plates
Everyone needs something to keep all of their artistic creations safe and organized! Traditionally, we teach young artists to make portfolio pockets with large sheets of paper, tape, and their favorite painting or drawing utensils. Short on materials? Then get creative and think outside the box for your portfolio, which could quite literally be a box that you decorate! Learn More!
Check out this fun and colorful activity you can enjoy even if it isn't the Fourth of July! Using toilet paper tubes, paint, and paper you can create some spectacular creations! Learn More!
More Toilet Paper Roll Crafts!
Enjoy this endless supply of toilet paper roll crafts you can make from home. Everything from silly people and monsters to frogs and bats! There are some that you wouldn't even believe started out as a simple empty toilet paper roll. And these crafts aren't just for children...more advanced creators can check out the roses, wall hangings, and sculptures made from these cardboard tubes! Learn More!
No Paint? No Clay? No Problem! Let's Explore Alternative Materials!
Painting with Coffee
Save those coffee grounds, add some water and get out a brush. That’s all you’ll need to make awesome paintings with natural “watercolor” tones. Once dry, you can add lines and detail with a pen or marker. Learn More!
Fruit and Vegetable Paint
Some of our favorite ingredients to use for this experimental art project are beets, berries and cinnamon, but you can test just about anything. Learn More!
Did you know that the process of natural dyeing has been around for thousands of years? Despite its long history, the process itself hasn’t changed much at all. Plants such as the ones we have in our White River Demonstration Dye Garden would be a great place to start, but pigments can be extracted from just about everything, including grass, turmeric, berries, avocado peels, or onion skins. Learn More!
Painting with Tissue Paper
Did you know that some tissue paper bleeds when wet? The best type to use is the non-glossy type, but this is a great way to utilize that tissue paper that’s sitting in storage! Learn More!
Painting with Markers
Got some markers on their last leg? Don’t throw them out yet because with a little water your family can use them as watercolor paint! Learn More!
Scented No Cook Play Dough
We know that many of our students are missing our awesome clay studio, the pottery wheels, the messiness of fresh slippery clay through your hands! Well not to worry, here are some recipes that can help you get over your temporary separation from clay. So let's take our creativity into the kitchen with a few basic ingredients like flour, oil, and water, to make your very own play dough from scratch. Check out one of our official Art Center kiddos as he whips up a batch of lavender scented play dough by clicking HERE or for the complete online tutorial click Learn More!
Here are some more clay recipes to try out too! Let us know how they go and share your results and your projects with #YourArtYourWay.
Take your Creativity to the outdoors!
ArtsPark Sculpture Scavenger Hunt
The sun is coming out and there is no reason why the art making can’t take place outdoors! If you can visit the Indianapolis Art Center during this time and explore the ArtsPark, we’d love for you to try our sculpture scavenger hunt! Here are the Questions and Answers. Or you can keep the fun contained to your own outdoor spaces with these great backyard scavenger hunts HERE. Good luck!
Andy Goldsworthy Sculptures
Goldsworthy creates art using natural materials that are intentionally temporary and left in their environment. Your kids can explore creating shapes and patterns with natural found materials, explore symmetry and even play with the colors found in nature. Tip: Make it a collaborative project for the whole family! Learn More!
Printmaking with Natural Objects
Ever noticed all the interesting textures on the surface of a tree leaf? How about those little ridges on rocks? What do you think you could create by dipping on pinecone on a little paint and then pressing it on paper? So many interesting textures to discover!
Utilizing Found Objects
At the Indianapolis Art Center we’re all about being resourceful, thinking outside the box and reusing found objects whenever possible. If you don’t already have a bin of clean found objects that your family can access for creative projects, we highly encourage you to start one! For more tips, visit the Art of Ed’s article on this topic!
Found Object Color Wheel
Surely you’ve seen pictures of families creating color wheels at home using random objects from home. This makes for a great scavenger hunt activity, looking for the colors needed. You can even turn this into a competitive race between siblings or children vs parents to see who creates the fastest color wheel.
Drawing is a strong foundation for all art forms and it’s a skill that we always encourage our students to do and learn to enjoy from early on.
Geometric Shape Activity Sheets
Whether you use this as a game or as drawing practice, all ages can have fun trying their hand at how creative they can be with simple geometric shapes. To utilize as a game, set a timer and see how many different creations you can come up with the time limit. Compare with each other and discuss how each different idea is affected by it's geometric boundaries! Download your shape templates here: Circles, Squares, and Triangles!
Surrealist Drawing Game
This Surrealist Drawing Game, otherwise known as Exquisite Corpse, is a fun collaborative drawing game with unexpected results! All you need is a piece of paper and something to draw with. Check out this step-by-step video showing how to play the game and make your own! Click here!
Zines are a perfect way to encourage drawing and writing. If you have a copier at home you can even make multiple copies of a zine and distribute them with family and neighbors - you could make a quarantine zine! Learn More!
- The Art of Ed has a collection of great drawing prompts and games for the whole family posted online!
Staff Picks: Favorite Art Websites!
BECCA NISENBAUM: OUTREACH ASSISTANT
Art History for All is a podcast dedicated to making the discussion of art and its relevancy as fun and accessible as possible. Looking beyond the traditional canon, the show considers the global history of art and material culture in a casual, conversational way.
COLTON PEDRO: DIRECTOR OF EDUCATION + OUTREACH
As one of the most significant galleries of modern art to date, Colton recommends Tate Modern for their endless supply of creative inspiration and art history.
WHITNEY ALDERSON: CREATIVE + COMMUNICATIONS MANAGER
As social enterprise dedicated to empowering womxn through storytelling and visual arts, Whitney recommends Sidepiece Magazine for their curated collection of fiercely female content.
ALYSON WALBRIDGE: ASSOCIATE DIRECTOR OF EDUCATION
Providing podcasts, creative articles, instructables, and so much more, Alyson recommends The Art of Education. While ultimately a university built by art teachers, The Art of Education also offers plenty of online content that speaks to both art educators and at-home artists alike.
JO BANISTER: EXHIBITION PROGRAMS MANAGER
Offering an outlet for MFA and BFA students to exhibit their work despite the waves of cancellations, Jo recommends the good folks over at Social Distance Gallery. “Not only is this a great resource for students looking to get their work out there, but it’s also a great chance to see new work and voices coming out of art school.”
MAX BROWNING: CORPORATE + FOUNDATION RELATIONS MANAGER
This staff-selected Art Resource comes from our Corporate & Foundation Relations Manager Max! Highlighting the often overlooked intersection between art and math, Max recommends the ViHart Youtube channel. “I’m a pretty mathy person, so ViHart’s Doodling in Math Class series provides a fun mix of equations and doodling exercises based on the principles of mathematics.”
SAM KNEPPRATH: SOCIAL MEDIA + CONTENT MANAGER
This YouTube channel by Baumgartner Fine Art Restoration gives an in-depth and almost poetic insider glimpse into the artistry of art restoration. “I love getting the behind-the-scenes look into an area of art that doesn’t get as much glamour and praise as it should. Julian’s channel proves that there’s just as much artistry in the preservation and restoration of the work as there is in the artwork itself.”
Other resources we love!
INSTAGRAM PAGES TO CHECK OUT + FOLLOW
- @cintaandco a fun blog from an Australian mom with a ton of doable hands-on activities.
- @acraftyliving beautiful and educational activity ideas for toddlers
- @evokulu posts a ton of awesome ideas for utilizing recyclable materials
- @lisabardot for easy to follow digital drawing tutorials using Procreate
- @hatchartstudio posts neat nature-inspired art activities
- @friendsartlab is based out of Rocklin, California and they take the experimenting seriously!
ONLINE ZOO CAMS!
- Atlanta Zoo Panda Cam
- Georgia Aquarium Beluga Cam
- Houston Zoo Animal Cams - Flamingos, Rhinos, Giraffes, and more!
- San Diego Zoo Animal Cams - Penguins, Koalas, Elephants, and more! There's even a Platypus Cam!
VIRTUAL MUSEUM TOURS + EXHIBITS
- American Museum of Natural History - See "inside the museum" or take a virtual field trip!
- British Museum - Explore the museum through time and space.
- The Louvre - Virtually explore one of the most famous museums in the world!
- Metropolitan Museum of Art - Virtual tour through Google Arts + Culture.
- Musee d'Orsay - Virtual tour through Google Arts + Culture.
- Museum of Fine Arts - Boston - Virtual tour through Google Arts + Culture.
- Museum of Modern Art - Explore a variety of virtual exhibition explorations that MoMA is featuring in their "Virtual Views" series.
- National Gallery of Art - Virtual exhibits through Google Arts + Culture.
- National Museum of the United States Air Force - Enjoy a 360-degree, self-guided tour of the entire museum.
- National Women's History Museum - Check out the many online exhibits highlighting pivotal moments for women throughout history.
- Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History - Tour the many halls and levels of this fascinating museum.
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