Markers are an arts and crafts staple in just about any kid’s craft box. Yet, when it comes to how they’re used, markers rarely get to reach their full potential! Most kids (and adults, for that matter), typically use markers to color pages in a coloring book, draw pictures or write text … and that’s about it. This is such a shame, because the inky medium has so many more creative uses! Below are just five of the dozens of creative art projects your kids (and you) can do with markers.
1. Foil Art Projects
Coloring on foil is as easy as coloring on paper, except it’s way more fun for kids and yields far more stunning results. Due to the foil’s smooth surface, the marker just glides over the medium, making foil and marker projects great for kids of all ages. The silver background of the kitchen staple provides a beautiful iridescent background for your child’s masterpieces and sets the stage for many cool art projects to come. Think ornaments, window decorations, fridge decals, keychains, crowns, candle covers and more.
2. Coffee Filter Art
Part art project, part science experiment, coffee filter art entails coloring on (you guessed it) coffee filters and then wetting the filters in some way. To create a tie dye effect, have your children color at random or in patterns on a coffee filter. Be sure they leave plenty of white space in which the colors can bleed. Once your child is satisfied with the color scheme, have him or her spray the filter with water. The colors will bleed together to create a beautiful tie dye effect. You can showcase the filters as is or turn them into flowers, butterflies, snowflakes, suncatchers, pompoms or other objects!
Another way to use coffee filters and markers to create something beautiful is through a process called “chromatography.” The process is simple enough: Draw a single, thick circle around the center of the coffee filter, leaving a white space about the size of a quarter. Write the color of the marker you use in pencil, as the color will change. Fold the filter into fourths so that it creates a cone shape and place the very tip of the cone into a shallow glass of water. You do not want the marker to touch the water. Watch as the color begins to flow up the paper until it reaches the outer edges of the filter. You will have a gradient of different colors, despite the fact that you used a single marker.
As with the other projects, you make several fun things out of these chromatography filters. You can create flowers, butterflies, pompoms, snowflakes and more.
3. CD Wind Chimes, Stained Glass Jars and More
With permanent ink markers, you can bring many art project ideas to life, many of which you will be proud to showcase throughout your home. Color between the rides of an old tin can and the backsides of a handful of CDs. Hang the discs from a can to create a colorful mobile that catches the sun’s rays regardless of where in the sky the star sits.
If you have old spaghetti or pickle jars on hand, give your littles a handful of markers and let them work their magic on the blank surfaces. Place them in a sunny location and marvel at the way the sun streams through your children’s artwork. You can use the jars as flower vases, candle votives or storage for coins, knickknacks and more.
Instead of tossing out those plastic water bottles, strip them of their paper wrappings and have your kids color in playful designs. Cut up the plastic so that it spirals and hang them in the trees, from your porch overhang or in a sunny window!
4. Filtered Canvases
For this project, get your little Picassos blank canvases from the local dollar or craft store. Next, grab some markers and some rubbing alcohol. Let your kids color their own designs on the canvases. They can get as detailed as they like, or they can shoot for more of an abstract look. Just be sure that they use plenty of color. Once the whole canvas is colored from top to bottom and side to side, place it on a towel, some newspaper or outside—anywhere really, that will keep your furniture and flooring safe from the liquid.
Next, take about a third of a cup of rubbing alcohol and evenly distribute it across the canvas. Watch as the colors start to spread and melt together.
While not necessary, you can get a more even distribution of color by tilting your canvas from left to right and up and down. Then, just wait for them to dry.
5. Rain Splatter Art
This particular art project takes advantage of Mother Nature and is best done on a rainy day. Have your little artists scribble — either strategically or messily — all over a piece of white paper with washable markers. Then, let them stand with their masterpieces out in the rain. The rain will smear the color and transform the artwork into something completely different and mesmerizing. You can also achieve the same effect by hanging the drawing in light snow or spraying it with water from a spray bottle.
There are dozens of cool art projects you can do with markers, permanent and washable alike. From drawing on foil to combining science and art to taking advantage of Mother Nature, the possibilities with this art box staple are endless. While your children can get creative with just about any type of marker, you may discover that higher-quality markers yield brighter and more enjoyable pieces. For fun art supplies that spark imagination, check out our collection at Ooly today!