Crafty Creations: Art projects to try at home

Erin Kim, Accent Editor

Contrary to popular opinion, art is not always about expensive oil paints on canvas, tall easels and palette knives. Art encompasses everything and is for everyone—not only the stereotypically eccentric artist rocking a beret, but also folks like me and you, who might be looking for something new to do in the seemingly endless hours we spend at home these days. To this end, The Howler has started a list of crafty projects you can try at home on your own, regardless of your experience in the realm of art.

1. CD art

Take any old, scratched up CDs that are cluttering your house and transform them into expressive works of art that can double as room decor! Not only is this a unique medium, but it’s also sustainable: you’re giving these plastic discs a second life. All you need is acrylic paint to cover your CD in any illustration or design of your choice—a good place to start is emulating your favorite album covers. Once they’re all dried, you can opt to display them on your walls with mounting tape, frame them, or even put them back in your CD booklet to flip through.

2. Upcycle clothing

We all have pieces of clothing in our wardrobe that are too ugly and ill-fitting to wear but also a pity to throw out or donate; these pieces end up consuming precious closet space and collecting dust. There is a simple fix: upcycle it! Patchwork clothing is back in style. Use cutouts of fabric from different clothing and sew them together over a pair of boring sweatpants or an ill-colored coat to create a whole new look. Apart from the show-stopping final product, you may also find satisfaction in deconstructing your previously unsightly shirts and pants.

3. Pin and string art

This is the perfect project to take the minimalist aesthetic to the next level. Rummage through the tool kit in your garage or your drawer filled with random scraps, and you are sure to find something you can use for this artwork. You will need a bare wall or plank of wood as a base for your piece. Simply take a pencil and lightly outline a block-text word, shape, or silhouette. Hammer nails or pins into the outline, and wrap around and across these nails or pins using string or thread of your choice. You can stick to one color or use multiple—it’s completely up to you! 

4. Dream board

You’ve heard of making collages before, but take it up a notch by incorporating elements other than paper! Of course, you can use magazine cutouts, printed photos and text, but also play around with wax seals, pressed flowers, string, thin wires and hot glue to add more dimension. Bring the page to life with these new textures, just as you’ll bring your visions to life with this fresh inspirational piece.

5. Zen garden

For all nature enthusiasts and aspiring zen masters, this project is right up your alley! You’ll need a small, shallow container or some space in your backyard to work with. Cover your surface with sand and an ornate layout of pebbles, rocks and crystals of your choice. Add a succulent or air plant here and there for more visual appeal, and make sure you have a small rake on hand. Whenever you’re feeling overwhelmed, anxious, stressed or just bored during a particularly quiet breakout session, you can now get your hands busy with rearranging your crystals and raking patterns through the fine sand.