25 Free Arts & Crafts Things To Do At Home

Georgia Stone
Feb 29, 2024 By Georgia Stone
Originally Published on Mar 23, 2020
Kids making art with color papers
Age: 3-16
Read time: 11.4 Min

Wondering what to do for arts and crafts with kids at home? We're sharing 25 easy craft ideas with you that'll entertain all ages during the lockdown. From mess-free painting for little ones to epic canvas art for older kids, these project ideas are fun, imaginative, and simple ways to spend time together during the lockdown. Get started on your art projects now!

1. Use Toy Cars To Draw

You'll need: tape, felt tips or crayons, a toy car, and a cardboard box

Flatten out a cardboard box and lay it out on the floor. Tape a felt tip pen or a crayon to the back of a toy car so that the nib is facing downwards, and then give it to your child to drive and draw on the cardboard at the same time! Another variation of this is to roll your toy cars through paint and let your child paint-drive them across the cardboard - only if the cars are old and you don't mind them getting paint-spattered though!

2. Create Rainbow Melted Crayon Art

You'll need: loads of crayons, a hairdryer, heavy-duty glue, a canvas or thick piece of card, a towel, and a grown-up's help

Lay an old towel on the floor and make sure you're wearing something you don't mind getting messy. Line up your crayons in rainbow order and glue them to the top edge of the canvas with the points facing downwards. Make sure the crayons are overhanging off the edge of the canvas a bit. A good tip is to lean your canvas against the wall and put a sheet of newspaper behind it to avoid mess. From here it's the fun bit: grab your hairdryer and, aiming downwards, blow hot air onto the crayons so that the wax melts and moves down the canvas. When you've finished, wait for the wax to dry and you'll end up with a beautiful rainbow art project!

3. Make A Glitter Jar

You'll need: a glass jar with a tight-fitting lid, glitter glue, hot water (not boiling), and a spoon

Dollop some glitter glue at the bottom of your jar then add hot water and stir it up until the glitter is dissolved. Let the water cool to room temperature, tightly screw the lid on, shake it up and you'll have a magical glitter jar to play with. It's a great ornament for kids' rooms too.

Girl with painting brush in hand

4. No-Mess Painting For Toddlers

You'll need: 2 different coloured paints, a large ziploc bag, a baking tray, and a paintbrush

This is perfect if you want minimal cleanup and maximum craftiness for your toddler. Squirt or dollop 2 colored paints at either end of a ziploc bag and then seal it up (make sure it's definitely sealed). Place it on a baking tray, give your child a paintbrush and let them 'paint' from outside the bag! They'll love seeing how the colors change when they mix together, and it's a great opportunity for you to teach them about the colors of the rainbow.

5. Make Your Own Jigsaw

You'll need: a magazine or finished coloring page, glue, a cereal box, and scissors

Finish a coloring page - either from a book or print a free one from the internet. Glue it to a piece of card and trim it so that it's the same size. After this, cut up the image and turn it into a jigsaw. If you want to make it trickier, cut it into smaller pieces.

6. Make Playdough From Scratch

You'll need: 1 large bowl, 1 small bowl, 60ml warm water, 1 tbsp odorless oil, 8 tbsp flour, 2 tbsp salt, and food coloring, and 1 tbsp vegetable oil 

Why pay for playdough when you could just make it from scratch with this easy recipe? Mix flour and salt together in the big bowl and set aside. In the smaller bowl combine the water, oil, and a couple of drops of your chosen food coloring. Pour the liquid mixture into your large bowl and mix together with a spoon. Sprinkle the kitchen counter with flour and lay the dough onto it. Knead it together for a couple of minutes until it feels like a recognizable playdough consistency. That's all there is to it!

7. Make Flower Bunting

You'll need: string, colorful pieces of paper, and scissors

Cut your pieces of paper in half so that they're around A5 size. Fold them in half and cut out half a flower shape, along with a small semicircle on the crease, towards the top. Open up your piece of paper and it should look like a full flower with a hole at the top. Feel free to cut more little pieces out to give it more detail too. When you've cut out a few flowers, thread them onto your string and you'll have homemade flower bunting.

8. Create Your Own Recipe Book

You'll need: a few sheets of paper, coloured pens, and a stapler

Think about your favorite meals and snacks and write down the recipes for them, making up your own if you're feeling imaginative! When you've come up with as many recipes as you can ask for help to staple your sheets of paper together to make an official book. Don't forget to design the cover too!

9. Paint Your Nails (Without Actually Painting Your Nails)

You'll need: card or cardboard, a pencil or pen, scissors, and nail varnish

If your kids love painting nails, this is an easy way to do it without the mess. Get your child to trace both their hands onto the card (we recommend doing a few templates so you have more to play with). Cut out the hand shapes and draw nails on them. From here, your child can create whatever nail art they'd like on the cardboard hands! We recommend doing this on an old towel or plastic tray just in case there's any mess.

10. Make Sock Puppets

You'll need: old socks, googly eyes, and other crafty bits

Glue googly eyes to an old sock and any other decoration to create your puppet character. You could add pipe cleaners as hair or sew a mouth onto it - the possibilities are endless!

11. Make A Monster Mask

You'll need: card, string, hole punch, and felt tips

Draw an outline of your favorite animal or monster's face on a piece of card. If you're slightly lacking in art skills there are loads of templates you could find online and print instead. Remember to compare your design to your child's face to make sure it's the right size. Color in your mask, punch a hole on either side, and thread string through to turn it into a cool dress-up mask.

12. Party Crowns

You'll need: card, scissors, tape, glue, and decorations

Cut a long strip of card about 10 cm wide. Cut out triangles from one of the long edges to make it a zig-zag edge. Wrap the strip around your child's head and mark where you'll need to fasten it. Decorate the card with beads, feathers, and pipe cleaners. When it's ready, tape the 2 ends together according to where you'd marked it earlier and crown your child king or queen of arts and crafts!

13. Make Glittery Snow Paint

You'll need: heaping 1/2 cup shaving foam, 1/2 cup PVA glue, a large mixing bowl, spatula, and glitter

Combine PVA glue and shaving foam in a mixing bowl with a spatula or spoon. Add glitter (remember, a little goes a long way), and keep mixing until it's all combined and your puffy snow paint is ready to use! Decant it into a sealable container if you don't think you'll use it all at once.

14. Make A Junk Mobile

You'll need: a wire hanger, string or wire, and small pieces of 'junk'

Grab small bits and bobs from around the house, this could be anything from old Christmas tree decorations to puzzle pieces that don't seem to fit in any puzzle. Stick or tie these pieces of 'junk' to about 5 strings of different lengths (ranging from about 20-40cm). Tie each of these strings to a wire hanger and you've just made yourself a junk mobile!

15. Create A Rainbow Mosaic

You'll need: old magazines, a piece of cardboard, scissors, and glue

First, cut an arch shape out of a piece of cardboard. Next, you'll need to cut out bright colors from any magazines you've got lying around the house - you could also look through your recycling bin and see if you can find any colorful wrappers, pieces of paper, or bits of packaging to use. When you've got plenty of colorful pieces of paper together, glue them onto your arch in colour order to make a rainbow collage!

16. DIY Pirate Ship

You'll need: a large cardboard box, wrapping paper tube or another long pole, paper, pens, scissors and tape

Ahoy there! Using a felt tip draw planks of wood all around your cardboard box, making it look like a real pirate ship. Draw a skull and crossbones onto a piece of paper and then tape it to one end of the cardboard tube. Use more tape to attach the tube to the outside of the box - the higher the better. There you have it, a pirate ship, complete with Jolly Roger flag!

17. Make Your Own Drum

You'll need: a plastic bowl, paper, and an elastic band

This one is super fun for music-loving kids. Grab a plastic bowl, place a piece of paper over the top and seal it there with an elastic band. You might need to tie it more than once if it's a small bowl. Easy as that - you now own a drum! Experiment with different size bowls to see how the noises change.

18. Create Your Own Top Trumps

You'll need: paper, a pen, and scissors

Older kids will love creating their own version of Top Trumps. Pick a category (eg. family, book characters, food) and create a deck of cards based on it. Cut them out and play together! The best part is that you can always add more cards at a later stage if you suddenly get more ideas.

19. Make A Collage

You'll need: old magazines, scissors, glue and a piece of card

When you think of crafts, you think of collages. Go through an old magazine and cut out your favorite bits - maybe that's a cool toy, an interesting word, or just a fun color you love. Glue them all onto your piece of card and you have a personalized collage!

20. Learn To Draw Animals

You'll need: access to YouTube, a pen and paper

We try to avoid ideas involving screens but this is a great little craft for animal-loving kids. Find a how-to-draw-animals video on YouTube and use it to perfect your art skills. Loads of them are super easy - see how many animals you can learn how to draw over the next few weeks.

21. DIY 3D Picture Frame

You'll need: a cereal box, tape and/or glue, a picture, scissors, and materials for decorating

Why not put some of the artwork you've created over lockdown into a homemade 3D frame? Trace the picture you want to frame onto the front of an empty cereal box. Draw another rectangle about 0.5cm inside the one you just drew. Cut out the smaller rectangle with scissors or a scalpel if you have one. Decorate your box frame with beads, feathers, glitter glue - however, you want to personalize it. Lay your picture face-down on the table and cover the corners with tape. Slot the picture into the cereal box and stick it in line with the hole you cut out. Remove the flaps at the top of the box and you've got your own 3D box frame.

22. Make An Open-Mouth Card

You'll need: paper or card, coloured pens and scissors

Fold an A4 piece of paper in half (to A5) and then in half again (to A6), making sure you've pressed down on the folds. Open up the card so it's back to A4 and about a quarter of the way up the long vertical crease cut a horizontal line about 3-5 cm long (it might be helpful to draw this line out first). Fold the card back to A5 and widen this slit so that when you fold it back to A6 again the slit has become two triangles poking out at opposite angles. Open and close the card and you'll see it's turned into a mouth! Color in red behind the mouth and then from here, you can add any animal design you'd like - we love turning it into a frog!

23. Create A Time Capsule

You'll need: a shoe box, mementos, and decorations

Create a time capsule of your time in lockdown. Cut out newspaper clippings, create an ID card with your height, age and hobbies, take photos of your family and print them - the possibilities are endless. When you've collected everything, put it in your shoe box and hide it away somewhere to find later.

24. Make Painted Rock Characters

You'll need: brightly coloured acrylic paint, black felt tip, plate, paintbrushes, and rocks

Collect rocks from the garden (they shouldn't be too pale or too dark). Wash them and let them air dry if you have time. Draw out your character design with a felt tip - it will be super faint but don't worry, you'll be covering it up anyway. Choose your paints, decant them onto a plate and start painting your masterpiece, using smaller brushes for details. They'll take about 12 hours to dry and then after that, you can place them around your house as decoration!

25. Make your own face mask

You'll need: half an avocado, 1tbsp cocoa powder and 1tbsp of honey

At the end of a busy day you probably just want to chill out together. Why not do it while pampering with homemade face masks? Mash half an avocado so that it's a guacamole consistency, add cocoa powder and honey and mix to combine. Apply the mixture to your face, leave it for 15 minutes, and just relax!

For more family lockdown fun, head to blog.kidadl.com.

Want to take your crafts outside? Why not try making some beautiful shadow butterfly wings...


We Want Your Photos!
We Want Your Photos!

We Want Your Photos!

Do you have a photo you are happy to share that would improve this article?
Email your photos

More for You

See All

Written by Georgia Stone

Bachelor of Arts specializing in French with Film Studies, Bachelor of Arts (Year Abroad) specializing in Literature, History, Language, Media, and Art

Georgia Stone picture

Georgia StoneBachelor of Arts specializing in French with Film Studies, Bachelor of Arts (Year Abroad) specializing in Literature, History, Language, Media, and Art

Georgia is an experienced Content Manager with a degree in French and Film Studies from King's College London and Bachelors degree from Université Paris-Sorbonne. Her passion for exploring the world and experiencing different cultures was sparked during her childhood in Switzerland and her year abroad in Paris. In her spare time, Georgia enjoys using London's excellent travel connections to explore further afield.

Read full bio >