Art in the time of Covid

So covid has been an interesting challenge for many reasons, but as an artist/art teacher it has meant that many of us are working from home or virtually and often with limited supplies. Many of my teacher friends are attempting to teach kids who often do not have many supplies to work with at all. This is where the great outdoors and recycling bin can com in handy!

Items may include:

  • Soup Cans
  • Junk Mail, magazines, or other scrap paper.
  • Toilet Paper/paper towel tubes
  • Corrugated cardboard
  • cereal boxes
  • Scrap Fabric/yarn
  • Misc. objects (corks, bottle tops, plastic bits…)
  • Nature (Leaves, sticks, pine cones…)

Other items used may include:

  • Pens/Pencils
  • Crayons/markers/paint
  • adhesives (glue or tape)
  • Scissors


Cardboard makes an excellent art supply, and most of us have access to cardboard. If you do not have any around your house a quick trip to the recycle center or the back of any liquor store will likely provide enough for several projects.

For this project all that was used was a side of a corrugated cardboard box cut flat and a sharpie marker. Visual interest and texture are added by peeling away the top layer of part of the cardboard exposing the corrugated ridges.

This fun village was made by cutting out various building shapes from cardboard and then painting them. These used tempera paint but watercolors will also work as will coloring with markers or crayons.

For other fun ideas with cardboard check out these older posts!

Large Cardboard mixed media wall hanging.
Simple Cardboard Weaving Loom
Cardboard Sculptures

Scrap Paper

Scrap paper can be found in any number of places, junk mail is very common in most households! Magazines are another great source that is readily available or easy to acquire. Old wrapping paper scraps or gift tissue paper, recycled past art projects that you are no longer wanting to keep, or bits of packaging from pretty much anything! All of these scraps can be used in fun and creative ways to collage!

All you need is:

  • Adhesive (Glue or tape)
  • Scrap paper
  • Background paper (Cardboard is perfect but any paper will do)
  • Scissors are optional!

Check out these posts for some fun collage ideas!

Fun With Collage
More Fun with Collage, Part 2

Scrap Paper can be used in a variety of other ways as well!

Blackout Poetry

For this project you will need:

  • Scrap paper (old book page, magazine page, or junk mail with lots of writing)
  • A sharpie or other dark pen/marker

Start by selecting the words you want to keep to make your poem. I usually circle them. Next blackout the unnecessary words. You can color them in or draw some sort of picture or design through them leaving your circled words visible.

Crazy Hair Pattern Drawing

For this project you will need:

  • Cut out of a head from magazine or junk mail advert.
  • Plain background paper or cardboard
  • Adhesive (Glue or tape)
  • Pens/Markers/Pencils

Begin by cutting the hair off the face you selected. Attach it to a background page. Fill your page with fun “hair” shapes. Fill in each shape with a different pattern, it can be fun to add some solid shapes too for contrast. This is fun in color or black and white!

Finished Picture Drawings

You will need:

  • A picture cut from scrap paper, magazine, junk mail…
  • Adhesive (tape or glue)
  • Plain background paper or cardboard
  • Something to draw with, pen, marker, pencil…

Cut your picture away from its background. Attach it to your background. Now imagine it as part of a new background. Draw your new background around your cut out picture.

Paper Sculptures


  • Scrap paper
  • Adhesive
  • Cardboard
  • Scissors

Cut or tear paper shapes and experiment with using different techniques to create a 3D scene like this park. Try folding or curling the paper strips to give dimension. You may need to create tabs to help your designs stand up. Get creative and have fun!

Found Object Art

The recycling bin is a great place to find materials for art projects. The adhesives can be a bit tricky for larger or heavier items though. If you have access to a low temp glue gun they are great for this type of project, and with a bit of training I have used them safely with kids as young as 4. They are inexpensive and can be picked up at a craft store or from amazon for around $5. Tape or craft glue can also be used with many items.

These guys are made of TP tubes and their cake is bottle caps covered in scrap fabric.

This fun creature is made of paper strips, scrap paper, cardboard, bottle caps, and paint.

This sweet kitty is a collection of cans and boxes decorated with scrap paper, ribbon, bottle caps, and a bit of glitter.

Look to Nature

A favorite place of mine to find art supplies is outside! There are so many creative resources to choose from. Add a little yarn or paint, maybe a dab of glue and your imagination is the limit!

Leaf Prints made by painting leaves then pressing it onto paper. Any paint woks fine for this. Washable markers also work simply color the leaf, spritz with water then press to paper.

Leaf collages like this one inspired by the book, “Leaf Man” by Lois Ehlert are a ton of fun to create! You will need some sort of adhesive to secure the leaves to your background.

You can also paint or color directly on the leaves with markers like these little beauties!

Try painting rocks. This one was later turned into part of a bigger picture!

Painted sticks and pine cones can be strung into fun mobiles or wall hangings!

Weaving into sticks like this one is a fun thing to do with scrap yarn, ribbon, or fabric strips!

I hope you have had fun exploring these ideas, and perhaps you have been inspired to create a bit of art out of things found around your home! I would love to hear your ideas! Feel free to leave a comment.

Happy Creating,

Published by Art-Breaks presented by J. MacIsaac Studios

Art Breaks are for everyone! They are moments of creativity big or small for infants, kids, and adults. They offer a connection to mindfulness that can enrich your life. A practice in creative mindfulness is perfect for anyone looking to establish a richer connection to themselves. You do not even need to be an artist to explore creative mindfulness practices. We are all born to create.

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