Craft Projects Teens Will Love

by Jessica Brita-Segyde

One-of-a-Kind Shoe Design


  • knock-off sneakers from a superstore (the kind that cost under $10)
  • sharpie or a comparable brand of permanent markers in any colors you like

Grab a pair of sneakers and get creative! Shoe designing works great as a group activity as each participant can personalize their own pair. It’s also a great team-building activity. For teams, provide their mascot colors and an inspirational quote that fits their sport or activity.               

Repurposed Book


  • an old book (damaged or outdated edition)
  • scissors
  • markers, pens, glitter, patterned or embellished paper, pipe cleaners, stickers, empty bottles, old cell phone parts, ANYTHING!

The finished product here is art, not a new book. Teens can tear out pages, glue in new ones, use the binding, frame it up, or get creative in any direction their mind flows. The entire book can become a new art piece or individual pages can be torn-out, redone, and framed-up. The handmade shopping site Etsy is a great place to go for inspiration. Keep in mind that you’ll be destroying the book so that it can be reborn into a new art piece (cue the butterfly metaphor) so choose an old or outdated edition that is not likely to make anyone’s reading list. If this is a group activity, look for an encyclopedia set at your local thrift store.

Homemade Journal


  • plain, bound journal. It can be an inexpensive one made of thick cardboard.
  • glue
  • colorful embellishments,
  • permanent markers, and
  • optional: construction paper or fabric for a base layer

This is a great Holiday craft since journals make beautiful gifts. Start by covering the plain journal with construction paper or fabric, if desired. Use school glue or a hot glue gun to add embellishments to the outside. Personalize the outside cover or first inside page with the name of the new journal’s owner. A fun pen completes the ensemble if your teen’s journal will be given as a gift.

Tie Blanket (a.k.a. No Sew Fleece Blanket)


If purchasing cut-to-order fabric from the bulk section, buy equal yardage of patterned and solid fabrics in coordinating colors. For a baby-sized blanket, use one yard of each fabric. Go bigger for kid- or adult-sized blankets. For example, a queen blanket will require a minimum of six yards of each piece of fabric. The fringes (the part you tie) would then graze the edges of the bed. This project requires much measuring (3” for each fringe), cutting, and tying. It is a great craft for teens to do together with parents and/or grandparents. Tie blankets make lovely gifts. There are also many charities in need of new blankets.

Hanging Photo Display


  • twine
  • clothespins
  • several pairs of 3M photo hangers rated to hold up to one pound
  • optional: decorative pieces to cover each end of the twine

Cut approximately three feet of twine. Cover each end with a decorative embellishment (like a medallion) using a hot glue gun. Affix each end of the twine to the wall using 3M removable hangers, allowing the twine some slack to create a concave appearance. Use clothespins to attach photos to the twine several inches apart. Insta-film photos work great with this craft. Get creative with the final display. Some teens “stack” this craft as the years and milestones happen. For example, teens can hang photos from their 13th year, then above that start a year 14 set, and so on.

Vision Board


  • canvas panel – These can be purchased as singles or by the dozen at teacher supply stores like United Art & Education or online at com.
  • magazines, photos, newspapers, and web prints for clippings
  • optional: paint for base color

Start by listing goals on a sheet of paper. What does your teen want to achieve in the next month or year? He or she may want to improve at their sport, get into a good college, learn to be kinder, or earn their driver’s license. Whatever the goal, the vision board should show a clear picture of their life after the goal is achieved. If the goal is to run a 5K race in under 30 minutes, then the vision board might show pictures of beautiful trails, runners wearing medals, and a display of the time they hope to achieve. Hang the vision board somewhere that your teen will be likely to see it every time he or she returns home.

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