Art has the power to bring people together. Collaborative art projects can unite students, allowing their diversity and creativity to shine through. If you’re looking for ways to connect your class or school through art, here are some of our favorite concepts.
1. Collaborate on canvas
Let colorful patterns offset the letters of a word or phrase that’s meaningful to your students. 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
2. Fill a giant flower vase
Take inspiration from Vincent Van Gogh and have each student 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
3. Illustrate the ABCs
Have each student take a letter and draw or paint something to represent it. We love how this example incorporates students’ handprints and fingerprints.
Learn more: Cat Wright/Pinterest
4. Cover a wall with butterflies
These pretty butterflies will inspire kids to dream higher. Each student creates their own paper butterfly. Then they are assembled to form a true flight of fancy!
Source: No Added Sugar
5. Bring tiles together into one great work
This project will take some time and planning. 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
6. Sculpt a ceramic tile mural
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
7. Paint a river of rocks
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: individual creativity that works as part of a harmonious whole.
Learn more: Scary Mommy
8. Chain together paper hearts
A chain of connected hearts truly shows how united your students are! Each kid decorates a paper strip and then they’re attached together to form big, bold hearts.
Learn more: Art With Mrs. Nguyen
9. Assemble an altered puzzle
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
10. String up wall art
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
11. Soar off on unique feathered wings
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.
12. Grow a paper forest
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
13. Upcycle a plastic bottle cap mosaic
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
14. Doodle, doodle, doodle
The fun thing about a doodle project is that kids can just let themselves go. The real fun comes as they laugh and chatter while they work.
Learn more: Doodling/The Art of Education
15. Fold your way to a paper crane mobile
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 one thousand 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
16. Cook up pizza pillows
Sewing is a great skill for kids to learn, and these pizza pillows will definitely draw them in. 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
17. Form a fascinating fish
Turn paper plates into fish scales and have each student decorate one. Use the scales to create a 3-D fish (see how it’s done at the link below).
Learn more: Art Class with LMJ
18. Set up a weaving station
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
19. Go big with a weaving wall
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
20. Craft a paper quilt
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
21. Create a crayon mosaic
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: ArtPrize
22. Weave a collection of circle art
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 ahhs.
Learn more: Make It a Wonderful Life
23. Roll along with paper coils
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
24. Look up for decorated ceiling tiles
Pep up a boring classroom ceiling with bright graphics to draw the eye. Take the tiles down, flip them over and work on the back (these are done in chalk and sealed with hairspray). Put them back up when you’re done.
Learn more: Chalked Ceiling Tiles/Cassie Stephens
25. Show off with a street-art inspired mural
This collaborative art project is inspired by street artist Thank You X. Kids customize their own cube, then all join together to make one amazing mural.
Learn more: Art is Basic
26. Pencil in a collaborative art display
Try this project at the end of the year when everyone’s pencils are worn down to nothing anyway. Kids will love experimenting with different patterns and shapes. When they find one they like, glue the pencils into place.
Learn more: Christy Ferrell/Pinterest
27. Head outside with some sidewalk chalk
Kids learn to cooperate when they have to share a space to create their masterpiece. Fortunately, sidewalk chalk is pretty forgiving if they make a mistake along the way.
Learn more: Kid World Citizen
28. Go geometric with watercolors
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
29. Decorate and arrange craft sticks
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
30. Branch out in style
This collaborative art project is inspired by, and incorporates, nature. Find a long branch with an appealing shape. Have kids paint and decorate it, then display it in your classroom.
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!