As far as school fundraisers go, an art auction is one of the most fun—and most profitable—events out there. Parents love to invest in memorabilia that reminds them of their child’s school experience and showcases their talents. Whether you are looking for an elaborate collaborative project or something smaller that can be bundled, there are tons of ideas out there. Here are 30 simple but beautiful school auction art projects to help get you started.
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1. Ceramic Wind Chimes
Remember your child’s school for years to come every time you hear this lovely ceramic wind chime singing in the breeze. Students use a Sharpie-and-rubbing-alcohol paint technique to create their own unique design on store-bought ceramic medallions. Then the discs are connected to a branch with fishing wire and metal eyelets.
Who wouldn’t want to cuddle up with this adorable memento? Students cut graduated circles out of felt squares, then tack them together using an X-stitch with embroidery floss. Next, they cut out an oval leaf shape, embroider their name (or use a Sharpie), and attach it to the flower. Lastly, recruit a volunteer to either sew or hot-glue the flowers to a plain white pillow.
These beautiful one-of-a-kind wall hangings are sure to bring in some serious coin. Make them as elaborate as the ones shown above, using canvas fabric, tempera paint, permanent markers, yarn, and dowels.
These simple canvas bags are a perfect school auction art project to make for every errand-running parent. This blogger created these models using natural materials, such as leaves, apple halves, and potatoes. Other materials needed include textile paint, brushes, newspapers, and plain cotton bags.
These gorgeous wall hangings are simple for kids to create together. All you need is plastic garden fencing (it usually comes in a roll and can be cut into different sizes) and strips of fabric or ribbons. Ask parents for donations of any leftover fabric they may have, or check out websites like NAIER for free materials.
This project can start with a fun session of gathering sticks outside. Then, to decorate the sticks, each student can get creative with paint, markers, and washi tape. Finally, using screw eyes and suede cord, the sticks can be strung together for a beautiful wall hanging.
Create an original mural using a large Van Gogh poster or print as a model. Cut the print into paper-sized rectangles. Then give each student a piece plus a piece of white art paper. Have each student re-create their piece of the poster using paint and oil pastels. Finally, put the pieces together for a beautiful, slightly imperfect mural.
You will need a talented volunteer who can sew to help stitch this project together! For the squares of the quilt, each student will draw their own picture using fabric markers. The teacher who assembled the quilt shown above asked students to create a picture inspired by the theme of friendship. Choose a theme that is meaningful for your particular group of students.
Who wouldn’t love to kick back in a deliciously colorful chair like this? Every student in the class can paint or decorate a different section, which will come together into a memorable piece of yard art. If you do not have an Adirondack, use a bench or table or any other kind of wooden furniture made of slats.
Bring new life to old CDs and DVDs with these school auction art projects for kids. Ask parents to donate fabric, then allow each student to choose the one they like best. Simply cut the fabric to fit and glue to the surface. Finally, apply Modge Podge matte to seal the coaster. Package all the coasters together with a ribbon for a full set, or give parents the opportunity to purchase their child’s individually.
Using a 3-inch circle of cardboard, yarn, and a needle, students will first create a loom structure and then weave yarn in a circular pattern to create a unique and beautiful circle (see detailed directions here.) String individual circle weavings together using twine attached to a dowel or an interesting tree branch.
There are two different ways to create these beautiful sculptures. The first one is constructed with coffee filter papers, water-based markers, paper cups, and a squirt bottle of water. The second one is constructed with plastic disposable cups, Sharpie pens, and a toaster oven.
You will need a good camera for this project. Demonstrate for your students how to create the shape of a heart with their hands. Provide a colorful piece of paper as a background for each student to create their hand heart, then snap a photo. Mount all of the students’ heart photos together with a crisp white matte border surrounding them, then frame.
Determine the width and length you want each strip of watercolor paper for the weaving to be. Give each student one strip and let them apply different watercolor paint techniques in the color palette of their choosing to their individual strip. Weave the strips tightly together and glue down onto a piece of black background to form this beautiful piece of art!
Have each student trace from their hand up to their elbow onto plain card stock (or pair them up to do it with a partner). Color and decorate using crayons, markers, paint or pastels, then cut out the tracing. Assemble all of the hands onto a dark blue poster board, overlapping from the bottom, with each hand pointing up, as if it is reaching toward the sky. Glue different sizes of shimmering gold stars at the top of the board.
Who knew egg cartons could be so beautiful? Cut into different shapes then painted, the individual “flowers” are strung together using twine and attached to a dowel or stick. The directions below recommend spray paint, but for younger children, tempera or watercolor paint would work better.
There are many variations of this craft out there. We like this version, found on Pinterest, that creates a fun scene using students’ fingerprints. If you want your piece to be professionally fired, you or a parent volunteer can arrange to borrow the proper paints and markers, as well as buy your pottery piece, from a Pots ‘n Paints–type of business. After your students add their contribution to the piece, you can return it to the shop to be fired.
Using heavy-duty craft paper, have students paint their own design on a common theme (for example, hearts, as shown in the image). Other theme ideas: trees, shapes, first letters of each student’s first or last name, stars, emojis.
Something practical like a beautiful, one-of-a-kind serving tray could be a hot ticket item for your school auction art project. Using color diffusing paper and watercolor paints, each student creates their own design. Then the pieces are adhered to the surface of the tray and sealed.
School auction art projects that will also get good use? Yes, please! These whimsical plates would be a cheery addition to any kitchen. The example above shows simple line drawings of fruit. But you could pick any theme you like—self-portraits, animals, flowers. Here are step-by-step directions for decorating china with Sharpies.
This project would be perfect for a class that’s studying ocean life. The teacher can paint the background of blues for the seawater and beige at the bottom for the sand. Then, each student could contribute their favorite sea creature. Finally, each student can sign their name in the space at the bottom.
Give each student four to six large wooden craft sticks to color in completely with color Sharpie pens or tempera paint. Encourage students to decorate each stick uniquely. After you have collected all of the sticks, lay them out on a large foam board in a checkerboard manner, experimenting with what you think looks best. When you are satisfied with your design, glue it down. Attach a hanger to the back of the foam board.
This quick and easy project is perfect for little ones. You’ll need glass magnets, glue, Modge Podge, and original artwork made by your students (made with paint, markers, or crayons on paper). Have each student make a few, then gather them together in small gift bags and sell as a bundle. Full directions below.
This gorgeous wall hanging is sure to add color to any space. Have a large selection of yarn in different colors, sizes, and weights for students to choose from. Let students choose if they’d like to braid their strands, finger-knit them into a chain, or simply let them hang straight. Attach each student’s strand to a dowel and then add a hanging cord.
Buy or have someone donate a puzzle with relatively large pieces. Usually a preschool puzzle with 25–30 pieces works well for this. Have students decorate the plain backside of each piece with permanent markers. Encourage them to add lots of details. When they are all colored in, spray all of the pieces with a shiny clear topcoat of spray paint. Assemble the puzzle and mount it to a piece of cardboard or plywood. Attach hangers to the back or prop it up on a tabletop easel.