Many teachers are faced with the yearly challenge of creating a classroom art project for a school auction or fundraiser. If you’re one of those teachers, you know it can be difficult to come up with creative artwork ideas for your auction project. Admittedly, we’d all like to create an artwork that people will genuinely want to bid on, while not consuming all our classroom time, energy, or resources. The following are 15 artwork ideas for school auction projects, which enable all students in your classroom to participate and result in a truly marketable product:
1. Cherry blossom painting – Paint a canvas in turquoise tones, then paint black silhouetted tree trunks and branches. Provide a variety of whites, pinks, reds and magenta acrylic paints for your students, and let them paint the cherry blossom flowers onto the tree branches.
2. Colorful thumbprints – Create a pencil grid on canvas, keeping a copy on paper for your records. Assign each student a space, have them press their thumb into acrylic paint, then print into their assigned square. This can also work with whole grades (or schools), depending on the number of students and canvas size. Consider using color schemes, or allow students to pick their favorite color.
3. Flower vase collage – This artwork went over great at our last school auction! On a canvas board, collage a background, and vase sitting on a plain surface. Each student then uses paper to collage a colorful flower, which is then decoupaged onto the picture.
4. Wildflowers – Across a piece of watercolor paper, paint a light scene, with ground on bottom, stems and leaves, with sky behind. When dry, each student adds their fingerprints to add wildflower blossoms to the stems.
5. Class quilt – Have each student in your classroom assemble a radial symmetry quilt square using fabric shapes. Enlist a helper to transform the squares into a finished quilt for sale at the school auction.
6. Heart grid – Pencil-draw a grid onto a large canvas. Each student then makes a a square section for the grid containing a heart, which could be painted, drawn or collaged, before being assembled together.
7. Custom cookie plate – For a custom cookie plate, use glazes to paint circular “cookies” on a ceramic plate, and have each student dip their finger in glaze and make prints for the chocolate chips on each cookie. Label each student’s name by their cookie before firing.
8. Fish in the sea collage – Paint a simple underwater scene on canvas, then have each student design and paint their own fish. Each fish is then decoupaged to the canvas.
9. Hot air balloon collage – Similarly, paint a simple blue sky with clouds on canvas, then have each student design and paint their own hot air balloon, which is then attached to the canvas.
10. Hand-printed greeting cards – Using various printmaking techniques, a classroom of students can create sets of unique greeting cards, using folded cardstock. Students can work in groups, creating a set collaboratively, or the whole classroom can work on a variation of one theme, holiday or occasion.
11. Digital quote posters – For advanced digital art students, this auction artwork project consists of taking a meaningful quote, and creating a mini-poster emphasizing the text in the quote, using typography design.
12. Screenprinted school designs – Students who have learnt screenprinting may create designs for objects – such as t-shirts, tote bags, and more – printed with your school mascot or logo.
13. Illustrated storybooks – With a multitude of online design programs, it is easier than ever to create custom, professional books, perfect for school auction projects. Your students can create illustrated, original poems, which can be compiled into a book, collaboratively author and illustrate an original class short story, or re-tell and illustrate a well-known story or local legend. When published, students can autograph their book.
14. Letter photography – Have your students decide on a word or phrase to illustrate, then have them pose in groups to create letters with their bodies. Take photos from above, in a black and white setting, then print the finished letters and arrange in a frame to best emphasize the word.
15. Pillow with felt flowers – For this sweet artwork idea, students all create felt flowers, which are then sewn onto fabric, and transformed into a pillow (flowers can be as complex or easy as desired).
Got any other artwork ideas for school auction projects or fundraisers? Leave your suggestions in the comments below.