The holiday season is a bit of a conflicting time. On the one hand, you’ve got the sort of Hallmark version of this time of year. I feel the joy that comes with that when I smell pine boughs, see holiday decorations from my childhood, and eat tasty treats. The flip side of that is the frantic race to get everything done before you take time off! There are also stressful gift lists to contend with and, for many people, the prospect of dealing with family members who aren’t exactly our favorites. When the stress starts to get to you, hit the pause button and get out some art supplies.
The seven short art projects in today’s post will help you to get centered again. They offer a few minutes of self-administered art therapy … just enough to get you back on track! So, next time you feel like pulling your hair out, grab a pencil or paintbrush instead. Your mental health will thank you!
Keeping a sketchbook journal doesn’t constitute a short art project in and of itself. In fact, you’ll have many hours invested in your sketchbook journal by the time it’s finished! However, each sketchbook session can last as short as 5 minutes and as long as all day.
Keeping a sketchbook journal is a great way to hash out your feelings. It provides a way to express yourself privately and without text. For example, if you’re having a rough day, you can make a sketchbook page that reflects that with dark colors and dramatic strokes. You can also use a sketchbook journal to try out new art techniques in (for example, the crayon gemstones below)!
This is one of my favorite art projects because it’s so simple and rewarding! You start with a solid oval, and end up with something colorful and realistic. This is a fun concept to experiment with, and I think you’ll find yourself making more than one gemstone.
For written instructions and photos, you can visit this blog post. As I mentioned, crayon gemstones make a great addition to a sketchbook journal! I also enjoy using them for mail art.
Choose a word or a name, then use a pencil and watercolors to turn it into a colorful, engaging piece! As a tie-in to the holiday season, you can paint the lettering on a small piece of watercolor paper to make an artistic gift tag.
Watercolor melt lettering is fun to create because of the blending. If you’ve never blended watercolors before, this art project offers an approachable introduction to it!
Coloring offers the ultimate zone-out activity. You don’t really have to think: you just fill in lines with colors. A few minutes later, you’ve got a creation to be proud of and a clear head!
Next time you’re at the store, consider picking up a coloring book. Or, order one of the the classics from Amazon (like the ever-popular Secret Garden). Like a sketchbook journal, a coloring books offers you the opportunity to color as much or as little as you want to. The goal is to finish the whole book, but completely at your convenience!
If you want to prove to yourself that you can make something intricate and elegant, try a calligraphy medallion. Medallions almost always turn out well — it’s hard to spot mistakes because of all the components!
If you’re not a “dip pen person”, you can make medallions with brush pens or faux calligraphy! The important thing, really, is to have some sort of stroke contrast.
Even if you don’t know anyone with a birthday coming up, it never hurts to have extra birthday cards on hand! You can customize the birthday card below with any color scheme and/or color medium. I particularly like using an ombré technique with colored pencils!
Make sure you print the card out on thick card stock to make it hardier. Feel free to print out several copies and color them all in differently!
The DIY Flower Confetti Tutorial is an older article here on the TPK website, but it’s such a delight to make! Once your paper flowers dry, you can use them as “confetti” in envelopes or gifts. You can also make your flowers a little larger than usual, punch a hole through them, and use them as gift tags.
You definitely need watercolor paper to make this “confetti”. Otherwise, your flowers will be flimsy and the colors won’t be as vivid. Good scissors don’t hurt, either — watercolor paper can be difficult to cut through!
I hope that you enjoyed these art project suggestions and that they help you to have happier holidays! Creativity really can help you through the rough patches, so don’t hesitate to indulge your artistic side … even if you feel like you don’t have the time. If you have any questions or observations about any of these tutorials, feel free to comment! Otherwise, enjoy the rest of your week!