Visual Arts 4-H Project Ideas

4-H Project Ideas for Visual Arts

Source: University of Minnesota Extension

Craft vs. Fine Art

People often wonder what the difference between Crafts and Fine Arts is, and what exactly are they supposed to sign up for when they bring their project to the fair.  If you have questions about copyrights and your project, please call the Extension Office and ask!  Here's a guide to get you started, and if you need further clarification, feel free to ask at the Extension Office:

A Craft . . .

  • Originated from someone else and you just followed the directions
  • You learned how to do it the right away through practicing many times
  • The intent is to reproduce it

A Fine Art . . .

  • Originated from your own ideas and experience
  • You only made it once and will not reproduce it
  • The standard for how it should be done is set only by you, the artist

Ideas for a Craft Project:

1.  Learn origami and make several items, increasing the difficulty level as you go.

2.  Make your family and friends presents for Christmas and other holidays.

3.  Look through craft books from different cultures and try some of them yourself.  Invite your friends and family to participate in an international craft day!

4.  Order a kit from a craft book and make the project as a gift for someone else.

5.  Practice your craft over and over until you can teach it to a younger sibling or 4-H member.

6.  Learn calligraphy and practice different lettering styles.  Write letters to friends using your new found skill.

7.  Visit a local florist and learn how to professionally arrange silk or dried flowers.

8.  Learn how to make jewelry from beads and other assorted items.

9.  Learn how to use stamping, embossing, papermaking and other techniques to make your own cards and stationery.

10.  Try your hand at different types of weaving - baskets, yarn, straw, etc.  

Ideas for a Fine Arts Project:

1.  Experiment with various mediums (paints, chalks, inks, etc) to create a picture.

2.  Find old pieces of junk (old bricks, cans, boards, etc.) and arrange them into something beautiful.

3.  Create a picture for a blind person - use various shapes and textures so they can "see" your picture.

4.  Study art techniques from different cultures and try some of the techniques yourself.

5.  Use different mediums to create a sculpture - wire, clay, paper, styrofoam, cardboard, metal, etc.

6.  Create a collage based upon a theme - wild animals, farming, trips you've taken, friends, etc.

7.  Paint using tools other than brushes - twigs, q-tips, pins, etc.

8.  Learn how to use a new technique:  printmaking, weaving, etching, etc.

9.  Create your own puppets and put on a puppet show.

10.  Design a mobile for a young child to play with.

Links to visit for further information and ideas:

***Please note: these are non-ISU Extension web sites.

The @rt Room:  Visit here for Art ideas and a gallery of various projects by kids your age. Created by the University of Florida.

Crafts & Fine Arts P.L.U.S. Sheet:  This Project Learner User Sheet (PLUS) gives you ideas for how to plan and do your project. 

Enchanted Learning:  This site has great ideas, especially for younger members and cloverbuds.

Family Crafts:  A variety of crafts for all age and skill levels.

FamilyFun: Get great instructions for a variety of fun crafts.  Use their search engine to find just what you want.

Kids Domain Crafts:  Click here for all sorts of fun craft ideas!

Origami:  If you're an origami fan, this site's for you!  From basics to advanced, this site has it all.

If you need more help or ideas, we have a variety of resources for you in the Extension Office.  Feel free to stop by or give us a call at 563-568-6345.

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