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Easy Paint + Paper Crafts! Adding Little Critters to Art Projects

Kids love to draw and paint. They love to make paper crafts, too. But they’re usually doing one activity or the other—painting OR paper crafting—and not doing both activities at the same time. So, combining the activities can provide an entirely new experience!

As a mom, I get it. Who wants to take out all of the materials for both activities at once? That sounds messy. But it doesn’t have to be if you do the project in two steps. Craft, then paint (or vice versa).

Here’s a fun idea that will really get the kids energized for a multi-media art experience:

Have the kids start by making little critters out of paper. Bugs, bunnies, caterpillars, birds—whatever they think is fun. To make it really easy, we’re using our Garden Friends and Woodland Creatures Character Kits in the examples for this post. All you need is a glue stick, and all of the pieces are pre-cut for easy punch-out and assembly. Kids can also make their own homespun characters using paper scraps and other art materials from around the house.

Bliss shares her mountain scene featuring a baby deer, hedgehog, and bunny from our FreshCut Crafts Woodland Creatures Character Kit.

Once the kids have made their characters, it’s time to tell them about part two of the project: Draw or paint a scene to place your characters into! If they made bugs, a leafy scene with plants and flowers and grass is fun. For other animals, maybe a wooded landscape, a farm, or mountains. Then, the kids can glue their characters into their work and add any other paper shapes or characters to finish the scene.

Now, depending upon what motivates your child, you may want to flip the order around and do the painting first, then the paper crafting. You could tell them that you need to paint a place where bugs would live, and then tell them you’re going to make happy paper bugs to put into the scene. It really up to you—there is no way to do this project incorrectly.

Can you find the caterpillar and ladybug in this painting? Made with FreshCut Crafts Garden Friends Character Kit.
Photo courtesy of Social Studio Baltimore


For my two kids, they would have an easier time envisioning where to put the bugs if they made them first, but some kids may want to draw the picture and then decide “who” will be living in it. That’s all part of the fun!

If you’re not feeling a painting project, another cool way to combine paper characters with drawing activities is to fold two sheets of paper together and ask the kids to create a storybook with their characters. If that’s overwhelming, they can also make a card for someone special and draw a scene on the cover and then attach the characters.

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