April 17, 2024


Buzz The Music

Collaborative Art Projects That Bring Out Everyone’s Creative Side

Table of Contents

Art is about expressing your individuality, but you can also make something pretty incredible when people pool their talents. Regardless of whether you are into painting, sculpture, doodling, or mosaics, there is truly something for everyone on this list. Some art ideas incorporate nature while others are messy enough to warrant a little outdoor time. These collaborative art projects work for kids, teens, and adults alike while providing results everyone can be proud of!

1. Embellish your thumbprints

Art projects like this one are so cute and simple yet so impressive! Each child simply makes a thumbprint on a small piece of paper, then turns it into a face with black marker. Finally, assemble them into a rainbow collage and frame the impressive results.

Learn more: @art.teacher.thats.me

2. Stack pom-poms into a tree

Small cone-shaped tree made from a variety of yarn pom poms

Yarn pom-poms are easy to make and are also an excellent way to use up scraps of yarn. Have each student contribute one or a few, then glue them to a Styrofoam form to make a sweet little tree.

Learn more: @clever_poppit_resources

3. Layer a drip mural

Collaborative art projects can include murals like this one made of colorful paper "drips" layered on top of each other.

Kids will surely find Jen Stark’s colorful art exciting and inspiring. For this collaborative art project, have them each make their own “drip” piece, then layer them together for one big finished mural.

Learn more: @ktgigliottiwrites

4. Line the hall with tile silhouettes

Large silhouettes of kids, covered in colorful clay tiles

Art project ideas that help beautify outdoor spaces are some of our favorites. This is also a cool way to commemorate a graduating class. Cut out wood silhouettes, then have students make colorful clay tiles to fill them.

Learn more: @msrobertsartroom

5. Paint with trains

Collaborative art can even include toys like this one that uses toy trains dragged across piles of paint on a canvas to create a painting.

What could be more fun than creating a collaborative art piece with toys? Let kids’ imaginations run wild while driving toy trains across piles of bright-colored paint on a large canvas.

Learn more: Play Trains

6. Cut out a cityscape

Collaborative art project showing a colorful paper city skyline

This collaborative project builds on individual city skylines that kids draw first. Then, they each choose their favorite building and add it to a larger cityscape.

Learn more: @msfordesclassroom

7. Collaborate on canvas

Woman holding a colorful mural poster lettered with Johnson Elementary School with patterns between the letters

Let colorful patterns offset the letters of a word or phrase that’s meaningful to your students so it really pops off the page. Start by painting the letters, then let kids add the colors and patterns. Finish by fixing any edges where they’ve gone over the lines (because you know they will!).

Learn more: School Name Mural—Cassie Stephens

8. Fill a giant flower vase

Collaborative art projects come together like this Van Gogh style flowers filling a large paper vase on a bulletin board.

Art ideas for middle school lessons often take inspiration from famous artists. Channel your students’ inner Vincent van Gogh and have them create a beautiful impressionist paper flower. Then cut out a large paper vase, attach it to a bulletin board or wall, and fill it with all the gorgeous blooms!

Learn more: Art at Becker Middle School

9. Illustrate the ABCs

Collaborative art projects can include canvases like this one divided into squares with image representing a letter of the alphabet made with handprints or fingerprints in each

First, have each student take a letter and draw or paint something to represent it. We especially love how this example incorporates students’ handprints and fingerprints.

Learn more: Cat Wright—Pinterest

10. Cover a wall with butterflies

Wall hung with paper butterflies; text reads Until you spread your wings, you'll have no idea how far you can fly

These pretty butterflies will certainly inspire kids to dream higher. During this project, each student creates their own paper butterfly. Then, they are assembled to form a true flight of fancy!

Source: No Added Sugar

11. Paint with bouncy balls

Two large green bouncy balls are shown dropping into a cardboard box that has paper and paint inside it.

Before getting started with this fun collaborative art project, set up a cardboard box with tall sides with either paper or canvases inside. Then set up different-colored paints in muffin tins so each color has its own slot. Finally, give your students balls that they can dip in the paint and drop onto the paper in the box. Be sure to do this project on a nice day since you’ll definitely want to keep this mess outside.

Learn more: School Time Snippets

12. Bring tiles together into one great work

Collaborative art projects can be portraits like this one of a lion broken up into squares painted in different styles.

Some art project ideas like this one will take some time and planning, but the end result will be worth it. Students choose a subject then break it down into individual canvases, each done in their own style. When it’s reassembled, you get magnificently unique artwork to display for years to come.

Learn more: Crestwood

13. Sculpt a ceramic tile mural

Mural made of ceramic masks hung together on a wall

This type of collaborative art project requires a little more work, but the results are stunning. Choose a different theme for each class or year, and soon you’ll have an amazing collection on display.

Learn more: Deep Space Sparkle

14. Paint a river of rocks

Painted rocks arranged to form a flowing river shape with a sign saying There's Only One You

Painted rocks are all the rage these days, but we love the way the students at Sharon Elementary are displaying their work. This river of painted rocks is everything that makes collaborative art so effective since it incorporates individual creativity into a harmonious whole.

Learn more: Scary Mommy

15. Paint a shower curtain

A child stands behind a clear shower curtain hanging up outside painting it in this collaborative art project.

Be sure to check the weather forecast since you will definitely want to do this messy (but fun) project outside. Use heavy-duty twine to hang your shower curtain from a tree branch, then use some heavy rocks to weigh down the curtain. Finally, give your kids paint and paintbrushes and watch the creativity soar!

Learn more: Happy Toddler Playtime

16. Chain together paper hearts

Collaborative art projects can be 3-D like this one that takes individual 3-D hearts and combines them into larger hearts that form a paper chain.

What better way to show how united your students are than with a chain of connected hearts! Each kid decorates a paper strip and then they’re attached together to form big, bold hearts.

Learn more: Art With Mrs. Nguyen

17. Assemble an altered puzzle

Jigsaw puzzle painted with different images and patterns on each piece

Find an old puzzle at the thrift store—look for the kind meant for young kids, with 25 or 30 large pieces. Have each child customize a piece, then assemble them into one striking collaborative art piece.

Learn more: Melissa Shepherd—Pinterest

18. String up wall art

Large leaf outlines made from string hung between nails on the wall

How cool is this? String art is making a comeback, and these big leaves are so fun for kids to create. Not allowed to make holes in the wall? Try using pushpins on a bulletin board instead.

Learn more: Small Hands Big Art

19. Soar off on unique feathered wings

Woman posing in front of large wings made of individually decorated paper feathers

Have each student create a paper feather using watercolors, then assemble them into wings. This makes for a terrific photo op!

Learn more: C.R.A.F.T.

20. Grow a paper forest

A collaborative art project of 3-D paper forest of painted pine trees

From a distance, the forest blends together, but when you get up close, every tree is unique. Make different styles of paper trees, then put them together for a walk in the woods!

Learn more: Painted Paper Art

21. Upcycle a plastic bottle cap mosaic

This collaborative art project is made from plastic water bottle caps that are painted and come together to form a picture of a frog.

When students recycle their plastic bottles, have them save the caps in a separate container. Then, use them to create colorful mosaics, like this cheery frog. (Get more craft projects made with recycled materials here.)

Learn more: Krokotak on YouTube

22. Doodle, doodle, doodle

Students working together to create a large doodle collaborative art project

Regardless of artistic ability, doodle projects provide the perfect opportunity for kids to just let themselves go. The real fun comes as they laugh and chatter while they work.

Learn more: Doodling—The Art of Education

23. Get inspired by nature

Several little girls stand behind a circle of leaves and sticks that have been assembled into a collaborative art project.

Art project ideas that also double as a science lesson are definitely on the top of our list! Get outside with your students and have them collect sticks, leaves, pine cones, and whatever else they come up with so they can arrange them collaboratively into a natural art piece.

Learn more: Here Come the Girls Blog

24. Fold your way to a paper crane mobile

Large mobile made of colorful paper cranes photographed from the top looking down over desks in this collaborative art project.

Folding the traditional Japanese paper crane is a soothing activity, once you get the hang of it. Ancient legend promises peace and happiness to those who fold 1,000 of these paper birds. Your students don’t have to fold that many, but once they get going, they might surprise you!

Learn more: The Art of Education

25. Cook up pizza pillows

Pizza slice shaped pillows put together to form a large plush pizza

Sewing is a great skill for kids to learn, so these pizza pillows will be a great place to start. The nice thing about this collaborative art project is that every student can take their part of it home at the end of the year.

Learn more: Pizza Pillows—Cassie Stephens

26. Form a fascinating fish

Large paper fish with individually decorated paper plates for the scales and tissue paper tail and fins

Turn paper plates into fish scales and have each student decorate one. Use the scales to create a 3D fish (see how it’s done at the link below).

Learn more: Art Class With LMJ

27. Set up a weaving station

Child weaving yarn on a large loom mounted on a wall

The concept is simple: a large picture frame wound with warp threads and a basket of yarn nearby. Teach kids the basics of weaving, and they’re off! This collaborative art project is a creative way to occupy kids who finish other activities early.

Learn more: McAuliffe Elementary

28. Team up to bedazzle a stool

A stool is covered in different patterns and cut out words in this collaborative art project.

Since a stool is not the same as a large canvas, this collaborative art project is best done in small groups. Have one or two students at a time paint a small section of the stool. Once the base layer is dry, decoupage some magazine cut-outs of words. Finally, have some older students neaten things up before calling it done!

Learn more: Art Is Basic

29. Go big with a weaving wall

Fabric strips woven through chicken wire mounted on a wall in a wavy texture

Take weaving to a whole new level with chicken wire and fabric strips. This makes for a spectacular display down a long school hallway.

Learn more: Sara Eberhart/Instagram

30. Craft a paper quilt

Paper quilt squares made of quartered circles in different colors

In this collaborative mural, students cut out and bedeck a paper circle. Then they cut it into fourths and arrange it however they like on a square of paper. Assemble all the squares into a big quilt-like mural.

Learn more: Elements of the Art Room

31. Create a crayon mosaic

Collaborative art projects can use everyday objects like this colorful mosaic made of broken crayons.

Art project ideas that recycle otherwise unusable objects are undoubtedly some of our favorites. Save all those stubby ends of crayons that no one wants to use and turn them into a vibrant mural. Remove the paper and trim them to the appropriate size with scissors, then glue them into place on your desired design.

Learn more: Rethink Crafts

32. Piece together a holiday tree

A Christmas tree is made from several decorated green triangles in different shades. They come together to form one large triangle with a star on the top and a stem on the bottom.

Everyone needs art ideas to implement in their classroom during the holiday season. Give each student a triangle in varying shades of green and let them decorate them to their liking. Be sure to include plenty of pom-poms, glitter, gems, markers, etc., so they can really personalize them. Finally, piece them all together to create a large triangular tree and add a star on the top and a stem on the bottom.

Learn more: Instagram/Teaching Poppets

33. Weave a collection of circle art

Circle art projects are lined up on the wall.

The secret to this stunning collaborative art project? Upcycled CDs! CD weaving is easy to learn and lots of fun to do. The result of the assembled pieces is sure to draw oohs and aahs.

Learn more: Make It a Wonderful Life

34. Roll along with paper coils

Butterfly design made of coiled strips of colorful paper

This collaborative art project is perfect for using up scraps of paper. Coil strips into tubes and glue down the ends. Then arrange them into whatever design your students fancy.

Learn more: Paper Coils—The Art of Education

35. Look up for decorated ceiling tiles

Ceiling tiles decorated with colorful flowers in oranges and reds

We love art ideas that help pep up an otherwise boring classroom ceiling. Take a note from this one that uses bright graphics to draw the eye toward the stellar artwork. Take the tiles down, flip them over, and work on the back (these are done in chalk and sealed with hairspray). Finally, put them back up when you’re done.

Learn more: Chalked Ceiling Tiles—Cassie Stephens

36. Show off with a street-art-inspired mural

Collaborative art project made of individual 2-D paper cubes with different designs on each

Before beginning this collaborative art project, give your students an art history lesson on street artist ThankYouX. Kids customize their own cube, then all join together to make one amazing mural.

Learn more: Art Is Basic

37. Pencil in a collaborative art display

Broken and used colored pencils arranged into a starburst pattern

Try this project at the end of the year when everyone’s pencils are worn down to nothing anyway. Kids will certainly love experimenting with different patterns and shapes. When they find one they like, glue the pencils into place.

Learn more: Christy Ferrell—Pinterest

38. Head outside with some sidewalk chalk

Students collaborating on a rangoli design made with chalk and sand

Kids learn to cooperate when they have to share a space to create their masterpiece. Fortunately, sidewalk chalk is pretty forgiving since mistakes are inevitable.

Learn more: Kid World Citizen

39. Go geometric with watercolors

Pattern made of watercolor paper hexagons

Let students experiment with watercolors, then cut out and assemble geometric shapes (this teacher used a Cricut to simplify things).

Learn more: Karyl G.—Pinterest

40. Decorate and arrange craft sticks

Craft sticks decoration

Teachers will love this art project since you can get all the supplies you need at the dollar store. Each student paints a wooden craft stick, then they’re arranged into an eye-catching display.

Learn more: The Classy Teacher

41. Branch out in style

Long branch painted and decorated in different colors and hung on a white wall

This collaborative art project is not just inspired by nature, it also incorporates nature into its design. Before beginning, find a long branch with an appealing shape. Have kids paint and decorate it, then display it in your classroom.

Learn more: Artbar

42. Decorate a spring wall

A bulletin board has a sun, flowers, bees, and butterflies on it.

Experiment with some cool watercolor techniques to create the flower petals and oh-so-adorable creatures that bring this springtime wall to life. You can change the scope of the project based on how many kids you have working on this collaborative art project.

Learn more: Fun Littles

43. Make a shoebox mansion

Two children sit in front of a collaborative art project that consists of decorated cardboard boxes attached to a wall.

Save all those Amazon boxes and put them to good use while creating a one-of-a-kind shoebox mansion. Give kids lots of options for paper, glue, Popsicle sticks, markers, etc., so they can personalize their own room in the mansion. Your students (and you) will have so much fun seeing it all come together!

Learn more: ArtBar

What are your favorite collaborative art projects to do in the classroom? Come and share your ideas in our WeAreTeachers HELPLINE group on Facebook.

Plus, get ideas for great auction art projects!

When kids work together, the results are impressive. Try these collaborative art projects to create painted murals, weavings, and more.