Teenagers love the chance to express themselves, but they’re not always great at doing it. Plus, at this point in your relationship, you’re probably feeling like you’re doing more nagging than playing. If you’re looking for a way to bond and encourage them, but still have fun together, an art project might be the way to go. Even if your teenager is more of a math/science kind of kid and isn’t typically “creative,” at least one or two of these projects ought to appeal to them.
Toss out some ideas from our curated list of art ideas for teens and see which ones stick.
1. Tie Dye
Who doesn’t love tie dye? These days you can buy relatively inexpensive kits which make the task easier. (And they’re even cheaper with a Michaels or JoAnns coupon.) Will they dye a shirt? Their bedsheets? Their underwear? Be open-minded to what they choose and you’ll have a lot more fun.
2. DIY Phone Case
You can buy kids to make your own phone case. You could also just whip out the old nail polish and go to town on some older cases. Consider investing in some stickers or jewels that they can seal over with clear polish.
What are their hopes and dreams? What do they want for the new year? For their five year plan? For their long-distance future? Collect some old magazines, glue and some poster board to see where they want to go in life. Make one for yourself, too — if you open up, so will they.
4. Crayon Melting
Have you seen these awesome melting jobs? Betcha anything your teen would get a kick out of doing one with you.
Grab some composition notebooks or a tougher five-star and use those same magazines and glue to decorate journals. They can use them for school, for private journaling or you could even use it as a way to pass notes back and forth between the two of you.
There’s something inherently “Math-y” about these geometric line drawings. There’s no real right or wrong way to zentangle and requires little more than a pen and paper. You can, however, color in the finished project.
7. Personalized Shoes
Got some old Keds or Toms? Or even feel like investing in some cheap sneaks for Five Below? Sit your kid down with some Sharpies, fabric paint or even more tie-dye and let them create some wearable art.
8. Washi Tape Cereal Box Organizers
Save up some cereal boxes and then go bonkers in the Washi tape aisle. Next, show your teen how to trim them down to half their size, making them the perfect locker-sized organizer for notebooks or desk-sized magazine box. The Washi tape will not only make the boxes more fun, but will also help stabilize them.
9. Words To Live By Collage
Seriously, you know you still have more magazines. What words inspire you? What words inspire your teen? Help them create a poster for their locker with words that will not just help them stay focused but lift their spirits on bad days.
10. Yarn-Wrapped Letters
Teens love the chance to put their name on things and personalize their space. Show them how to cut out the letters in their name (or just their initials) from a cereal box. Next, wrap them in their favorite color yarn for a fun new piece to go on their walls. Or even do this with the whole family’s initials for a cool new hallway display. Your teen will enjoy seeing their work on display for everyone, again.
11. Sharpie Blobs
Use the back, less slick, side of a poster board or just some card stock and scribble across it with Sharpies in your favorite colors. Next, spritz the scribbles with alcohol and watch as they turn to makeshift tie-dye blobs.