Most kids love to do craft. They are happy to make anything from paper plate animals to macaroni necklaces. But once they hit the teen years, many of them begin to believe they’re too old – or too cool! – for taking part in any crafting.
Crafting with your kids is a great way to bond with them, and this is especially important during the busy teen years. Not to mention, in this age of technology, it can be incredibly difficult to pry your teen’s eyes and attention away from any electronic distractions. There are in fact some ways to get creative using technological devices as well, so you may be able to bring these two worlds together! I have included an option at the end of this post.
If you can find a craft that your teenager will find both enjoyable and worthwhile, you’ll have a much better chance of talking him or her into giving it a try. And by the time it’s completed, she’ll probably be ready to create something else. Here are some craft ideas that your teen might like to try.
Try Your Hand at Creating Some Jewelry
Teen girls and boys both like jewelry, and making it by hand can give them unique pieces that will be the envy of their friends. There are all sorts of ways to create jewelry, from simple beading to hemp macramé to wire jewelry making. There’s sure to be a project out there that will fit your teen’s style. At this age, I find that making jewelry for gifts is very appealing! Usually once they get started, they will want to continue and get more skilled at the craft. If you feel you could use the added assistance of some tutorial instruction, you can find some really amazing courses at Craftsy. We purchased a wire jewelry course just a few months ago, and we are loving learning together at home – and on our own time.
Create Some Lovely Tie-Dyed Garments
Tie-dyed t-shirts are a perennial favorite of teenagers. They’re very easy to make, requiring only fabric dye (which is really easy to find at your local dollar store), some rubber bands, and a washing machine or large tub. You can also tie-dye other items such as socks and scarves. Perhaps even try making some head scarves and neck scarves – another wonderful idea for making gifts.
Play with Some Decoupage
You can create all sorts of distinctive home décor items by decoupaging. Your teen might like to make decoupaged jewelry boxes, desk accessories, and furniture for their rooms. They can go really wild and even take the time to re-decorate their own room entirely in decoupage! This is nice especially for the times when they are struggling with their new identity as they move from childhood to young adulthood. It can be very empowering. These crafts also make wonderful gifts for him to give to friends and family.
Get Handy with Some Knitting
Knitting has become quite popular among the younger crowd. It really has become cool again, and I’m not kidding. For those of you that don’t already know, my daughter attends a Waldorf inspired school, and this year they learned how to knit their own pair of slippers! Not only that, but she has taught me to knit, and I knit a scarf for my son over the holidays. It was so therapeutic – my daughter and I, sitting and knitting side by side. There are plenty of patterns out there now that teens will enjoy, I’ve seen many patterns for knitted cell phone cases and the like. I picked up a wonderful book called Stitch ‘n’ Bitch, check it out. Yarn comes in a variety of colors and textures (we prefer to use bamboo – so soft) and there are plenty of patterns available that appeal to teens.
Explore the Magic of Scrapbooking
In this digital age, it is so rewarding to go through and print off photos the old-school way. In so doing, we can teach our teens how to create scrapbooks so that they can feel much more involved in creating a keepsake. A scrapbook of the photo memories of times shared with family and friends will offer your teen not only a chance to spark their creativity in new and exciting ways, but it will also offer them something uplifting to flip through when they are going through difficult times. (You might want to check out the Cricut Design Space™ gives you the creative freedom to design just about anything! Make party invitations, decorations, and favors. Create seasonal home décor or personalize wedding gifts. Add embellishments to your favorite photo memories.)
Explore the Fine Art of Making Candles
Candles are a magical item that we all enjoy. The simple flame of a candle can be very warming to the soul. The lighting of candles is wonderful for teens, as they begin to yearn for creating time and moments in the day that are uniquely their own – their own sacred space. You might want to start with jars – it’s very easy to create layered jar candles. You can melt down remnants of used candles and pour them into jars to create new ones. If your teen wants to create something a bit more complex, there are kits on the market that include everything they need to get started. Beeswax candles are also very simple to make, and all you need are some beeswax sheets and some wick. Try using a kit to get started.
Get a Bit Crazy with Making Some Cool Clocks
If you have a clock movement, you can create a clock out of almost any hard material. Clay, wood and paper mache are some of the most popular things to make clocks out of. Your teen can even make a creative clock out of an old CD or record. Have a look here at all of the creative ideas for clock movements and kits here. Again, this is another wonderful gift crafting and giving idea. Not to mention, unique!
It’s easy for us to think that our teens have outgrown crafting, but it’s simply a matter of presenting them with the right thing. Keep the spirit of arts and crafts alive for them. There are lots of crafts that you and your teen can participate in together, creating not only a tangible finished product, but also creating wonderful memories for both of you.