What’s one thing everyone loves about summer camp? Arts and crafts! You don’t have to sleep in a bunk to channel your inner artist. Whether you’re hosting birthday parties, playdates, or keeping kids entertained during summer vacation—or you’re a grown up looking to get creative or host a crafternoon—there are so many ways to embrace your artistic side by trying something new!

Art Projects

Art-Inspired Mobile

A mobile or wall-hanging is a great DIY gift and a fun craft. If you make one inspired by the work of an artist you admire—like this one, which is an homage to Miró–it’s also an interesting way to learn about art.

DIY Sketchbook Journal

DIY Mini Sketchbook Journal

Sketchbook, scrapbook, journal? You decide! Because you’re not just an artist/writer, you’re a bookbinder, too! Our downloadable printout makes it easy to turn a simple sheet of paper into a 6-page mini DIY sketchbook/journal you can fill with art, words, memories, or any other expression of your imagination.


Painted Rock Projects

Gather a few rocks, grab some paint, and you’ve got all you need to create an art project to give to friends or display on your desk. There are so many fun options for painting rocks! Take inspiration from the work of an artist you admire—these splatter-painted rocks are in the spirit of Jackson Pollock. Or, paint decorative symbols like the Evil Eye, cute critters like a lucky ladybug, or family portraits. The possibilities are endless.

Art Class

Learning doesn’t stop when school’s out of session! Sneak in an “art class” every day by reading kids books about artists of all ages, or broaden your own education by taking in a biopic! Or, pick up some tips and techniques from artists every kid loves.

Art Books for Kids

To Inspire Creativity, Consider:

To Learn About Art and Artists, Try:

Movies Starring Artists

Artists’ lives aren’t always G-rated; most of these films are best for adults or older teenagers

  • Loving Vincent or Lust for Life about Vincent Van Gogh
  • The Agony and The Ecstasy about Michelangelo painting the Sistine Chapel
  • Frida about Frida Kahlo
  • Pollock about Jackson Pollock
  • Girl with A Pearl Earring about Vermeer’s painting
  • Camille Claudel about the 19th century sculptor
  • Black Art: In the Absence of Light: a documentary about a landmark 1976 exhibit
  • Exit Through the Gift Shop a documentary about Banksy
  • Big Eyes about Margaret Keane
  • Basquiat about Jean-Michel Basquiat
  • Goya’s Ghost about Francisco de Goya

Online Classes

Some children’s book artists have recorded classes for kids showing how to draw their favorite characters, and art schools and museums also offer art classes online. It’s online learning from a master!

Lunch Doodles with Mo Willems, author and illustrator of the Elephant and Piggie series, among others
Draw Every Day with JJK, hosted by Jarrett J. Krosoczka, author and illustrator of Punk Farm, Lunch Lady, Jedi Academy, and Hey, Kid.

Kids Art Week with Carla Sonheim, author/illustrator of Drawing Lab.

Thrive Art School offers half hour video classes for beginner and intermediate child artists.

MetKids videos from the Metropolitan Museum of Art website have short (like under two minutes) and sweet videos about creative projects like How to Make a Flip Book or Create a Collage.

Artistic DIY Gifts

One of the best things about kids’ art classes is all the gifts parents and grandparents get! These projects produce thoughtful presents for friends and family—and they’re so fun to make.

Darcy Miller Designs

Painted Can Decor

A few coats of paint turn upcycled soup cans into DIY gifts that can be used as pencil cases, vases, and catch-alls.

Darcy Miller Designs

Shrinky Dink Charms

Kids can turn their drawings into wearable art with these Shrinky Dink charms that make great bracelets, key chains and backpack tags.

Darcy Miller, Darcy Miller Designs, Holiday Cards

DIY Puzzles

Is it a drawing or a puzzle? Surprise! This versatile gift is both. Draw or paint an image or design, then cut it into puzzle pieces the person you give it to can make and remake. You can also write messages on the back of this DIY puzzle to use it as a card, too.


Art Exhibit

Darcy Miller, Darcy Miller Designs, Holiday, Holiday Party

Gold Straw Easels

One fun way to exhibit art: Make DIY easels out of gold paper straws, and create mini drawings (or print out mini versions of your photos) to create a desktop gallery.


Arty Food

What’s an art exhibit without food? Turn treats into works of art by incorporating food into portraits like the croissant hair that’s part of the drawing above, or a happy face made out of fruit and veggies or eggs, bacon, and pancakes.