Beaded Friendship Bracelets and Beyond: Fun Crafts for Tweens

In between school and homework, it’s important for children to have time to be creative. Nowadays, finding the time for art can pose a challenge. Crafting can provide the mental break children need to stay more focused, learn, and more importantly, have fun.

Start by having some materials around the house and plans for fun crafts for your budding artists. You can make craft time a part of play dates, sleepovers, or birthday parties. They can be for rainy afternoons or just days that are too hot (or cold!) for anything outdoors.

Got your craft room all set? Let’s get to creating.

DIY Flower Monogram
This craft looks simple at a glance, but it requires some forethought, plans as to a color scheme, a homemade stencil, and a nice frame, just to name a few things. The finished result looks fun and unique, just like your kid. Help them find the perfect frame to put it in and the best wall or door to display it.

Gel Soap Painting
This idea is an odd approach to painting that leaves you with an edgy rock and roll effect. This craft combines acrylic and spray paint, as well as a base for gel soap. This activity is a very intensive, family-friendly project that even gets the backyard hose involved. Have some frames ready because you’ll want to immortalize the afternoon you try this.

PVC Pipe Water Gun
If you have some extra active kids at home and are trying to get a break from the heat, try making a massive, homemade water gun. You will need some PVC, a pool noodle, and some basic tools from the garage, but this is not an intimidating project. Anyone who can follow instructions can handle this one. You won’t have to drag everyone out to the water park; just make a couple of these, get the swimsuits out, and enjoy.

Glowing Water Blob
How much fun is this? Get the supplies together for these at your next big sleepover and have the kids take over the glow in the dark tablet mashing while you melt the seams for the blobs. They can help you fill them and then all you must do is put them outside and wait for the sun to go down. These are cool in temperature and just plain cool. The color is electric green or yellow in the sunlight and then takes on a fun glow in the evening. Best sleepover ever.

Eclectic Braided Bracelet
This funky and chunky piece is perfect for a younger crowd. The example shows it in all silver, but feel free to play with the colors of the ribbon and the stones. Coral beads would look lovely against a cream background or try opal beads against a soft gray. Either choice will look great on your tween’s wrist and make an ideal gift for a Best Friend Forever.

Painted Feathers
These gorgeous feathers are painted with the leftover paint in your nail polish bottles. The finished look is magical and colorful, perfect for a hair clip, an accent for a bag, or a centerpiece. Your kid will have a great time hunting for big, strong feathers good for painting and love the challenge of adding color to the unique surface.

Emoji Jars
These fun, sunny jars are a great way to organize a desk or to store secret notes from friends or combs and brushes. They bring the silly faces from smartphones into real life and add a pop of color. The nice smooth finish in the yellow paint is achieved by pouring the paint directly into the container and shaking it around, as opposed to using a brush. Once your tween has a little collection of them, the charm will be endless. Just be careful to hide the brown paint so you don’t end up with the infamous poop emoji.

No-Sew Pop Tart Pillow
Have you ever looked at a pop tart and thought to yourself they looked kind of like pillows? Well, so did blogger Aww Sam, and so put together a fun tutorial about how to achieve the effect without any sewing. The pastry with frosting effect is made with layers of felt, and the extra white icing is white yarn. They look adorable and will provide hours of entertainment for your children or during a birthday party. Best of all, your guests can take the puffy pastries home as a keepsake.

Cupcake Lip Balm
What makes this lip balm look just like a little cupcake? The sprinkles! A basic mix of coconut oil, Vaseline, beeswax, and vanilla provide the base for these fun, delicious lip balms that are made extra special with rainbow sprinkles. This idea is another great birthday party activity or a way to make gifts for upcoming get-togethers. You will need to do some melting on the stove for this one, so your tween may need some help.

Bath Bombs
These homemade bath bombs are meant to be dropped in the bathtub to add scent and fizz as well as soften the water. They’ll be extra special after they’re made right in your kitchen. You may feel like you’re taking on more of a science experiment than a craft with these, but don’t stress; the fun comes in with the scents and the colors. Your kids can choose their own mix of essential oils and their own colors as they make this must-have bath time accessory. Do this one when you have a group at your house that needs something they can do together. They’ll have a great time comparing scents and creating fun swirls of colors, and you’ll get bonus points for being an amazing craft planner.

Inspirational Rocks
Small, smooth rocks with random words on them became a fun thing to have in the house several years back, but you don’t have to buy them—just have your crafty tween make them! Find as many stones as you can, coat them with acrylic paint, and then add some lettering with a permanent marker. Be sure to put some final decorative touches on the rocks before keeping them in a bowl, putting them in a garden or using them around the house as reminders to live compassionately and be kind.

Magnetic Metal Robots
These robots are for any kids who don’t want to follow instructions but rather experiment and build on their own. They are perfect for using up those little odds and ends from the workbench. Just let their imaginations run wild while they take a page right out of the STEM curriculum and combine science and art in this perfect little project. Best of all, they can take them apart right after they’re done for the whole mechanical experience.

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