Turn Kids’ Old Holiday Crafts Into New Teen Art Projects

There is no shortage of kids’ coloring crafts opportunities around the holidays, whether they bring them home from school or a party. They do them at their place of worship or neighborhood events. They have them set up a bookstores and in malls.

These, more often than not, consist of some kind of easy coloring activity.

By the time your kids get to be teenagers, there is a possibility to amass several little plastic, wood, or cardboard bookmarks, ornaments or postcards. Most of these they forgot about, and have little sentimental value. While you’re in the process or tossing some of these in the trash or recycler, set a few aside for an edgier, cooler teen upgrade.

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Long forgotten color projects ready for a new, edgier look.

Look for little items, like those massed-produced wooden or cardboard ornaments with generic “holiday” fare like snowmen or reindeer. Often these are going to already be colored with markers or crayon. To make it easier to make a new design, cover them up with a thin layer of white acrylic paint to start new.

Clear the ornaments, with white paint to make it easier to give them a new look.

Here is where the fun begins. Find out what your teen is into today, if you don’t already know. Is it games like Borderlands or Fortnite? Some of the DC Arrowverse, or Marvel? They may still be into Disney Villains, Tim Burton characters or Universal Monsters. Of course, there is a massive world of Manga and Anime out there still growing in popularity. Whatever your teen is into, now is the time to sit them down and repaint some color pages while you talk about their more recent fandoms.

Acrylic paints and alcohol-based markers are good for covering old colors. You can also turn the ornament into a collage with old comic catalogs. The point is to give yourself and your teens an excuse laugh and have fun.

One of the best things about this project, is it gives you an excuse to sit down and create with your teens, just like when they were younger.

Let the figures “cosplay” as favorite characters, or add some street symbol like in League of Legends. There is so much silliness you can have with these old crafts, and giving your teen a chance to share their new interests in a creative is rewarding in itself.

Use these for ornaments, or as away to decorate gifts or cards, but most all to take advantage of the opportunity to get creative with your kids once again. They grow up way too fast.

A new batch of teen-worthy ornaments, made from old kids’ projects. All images: Lisa Tate
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This post was last modified on December 1, 2021 11:43 pm

Lisa Tate

Lisa Kay Tate is a veteran feature writer with nearly 25 years experience in newspaper, magazine and freelance writing. She and her husband, a history and world geography teacher, live on the edge of "New Texico" where they keep busy raising their two geeklings and sharing space with their dog, Sirius Black, and cat, Loki.

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