Art can be an amazing uniting force in the world. Student art pieces often give teachers a look inside a child’s mind that they might not otherwise get. Collaborative art projects bring out the best in each participant, creating masterpieces that are so much more than the sum of their art. Here are some of the best collaborative art activities for kids in any grade.

1. Paint a river of rocks.

Collaborative Art Painted Rocks Scary Mommy

Painted rocks are all the rage these days, but we love the way the students at Sharon Elementary are displaying their work. This river of painted rocks is everything that makes collaborative art so effective: individual creativity that works as part of a harmonious whole.

Learn more: Scary Mommy

2. Soar off on unique feathered wings.

Collaborative Art Feathers C R A F T

Have each student create a paper feather using water colors, then assemble them into wings. This makes for a terrific photo op!

Learn more: C.R.A.F.T.

3. Upcycle a plastic bottle cap mosaic.

When students recycle their plastic bottles, have them save the caps in a separate container. Then, use them to create colorful mosaics, like this cheery frog. (Get more craft projects made with recycled materials here.)

Learn more: Krokotak

4. Fold your way to a paper crane mobile.

Collaborative Art Cranes Mobile The Art of Education

Folding the traditional Japanese paper crane is a soothing activity, once you get the hang of it. Ancient legend promises peace and happiness to those who fold one thousand of these paper birds. Your students don’t have to fold that many, but once they get going, they might surprise you!

Learn more: The Art of Education

5. Collaborate on canvas.

Collaborative Art Patterns Cassie Stephens

Let colorful patterns offset the letters of a word or phrase that’s meaningful to your students. Start by painting the letters, then let kids add the colors and patterns. Finish by fixing any edges where they’ve gone over the lines (because you know they will!).

Learn more: Cassie Stephens

6. Form a fascinating fish.

Turn paper plates into fish scales and have each student decorate one. Use the scales to create a 3-D fish (see how it’s done at the link below).

Learn more: Art Class with LMJ

7. Set up a weaving station.

The concept is simple—a large picture frame wound with warp threads and a basket of yarn nearby. Teach kids the basics of weaving, and they’re off! This collaborative art project is a creative way to occupy kids who finish other activities early.

Learn more: McAuliffe Elementary

8. Go big with a weaving wall.

Take weaving to a whole new level with chicken wire and fabric strips! This makes for a spectacular display down a long school hallway.

Learn more: Sara Eberhart/Instagram

9. Illustrate the ABCs.

Collaborative Art Alphabet Pinterest

Have each student take a letter and draw or paint something to represent it. We love how this example incorporates students’ handprints and fingerprints.

Learn more: Cat Wright/Pinterest

10. Assemble an altered puzzle.

Find an old puzzle at the thrift store; look for the kind meant for young kids, with 25 or 30 large pieces. Have each child customize a piece, then assemble them into one striking collaborative art piece.

Learn more: Crafster

11. Craft a paper quilt.

In this collaborative mural, students cut out and bedeck a paper circle. Then they cut it into fourths and arrange it however they like on a square of paper. Assemble all the squares into a big quilt-like mural.

Learn more: Elements of the Art Room

12. Create a crayon mosaic.

Save all those stubby ends of crayons that no one wants to use and turn them into a vibrant mural. Remove the paper and trim them to the appropriate size with scissors, then glue them into place on your desired design.

Learn more: ArtPrize

13. Weave a collection of circle art.

The secret to this stunning collaborative art project? Upcycled CDs! CD weaving is easy to learn and lots of fun to do. The result of the assembled pieces is sure to draw oohs and ahhs.

Learn more: Make It a Wonderful Life

14. Roll along with paper coils.

This collaborative art project is perfect for using up scraps of paper. Coil strips into tubes and glue down the ends. Then arrange them into whatever design your students fancy.

Learn more: The Art of Education

15. Look up for decorated ceiling tiles.

Collaborative Art Ceiling Tiles Cassie Stephens

Pep up a boring classroom ceiling with bright graphics to draw the eye. Take the tiles down, flip them over and work on the back (these are done in chalk and sealed with hairspray). Put them back up when you’re done.

Learn more: Cassie Stephens

16. Show off with a street-art inspired mural.

This collaborative art project is inspired by street artist Thank You X. Kids customize their own cube, then all join together to make one amazing mural.

Learn more: Art is Basic

17. Pencil in a collaborative art display.

Try this project at the end of the year when everyone’s pencils are worn down to nothing anyway. Kids will love experimenting with different patterns and shapes. When they find one they like, glue the pencils into place.

Learn more: Style Whack

18. Bring tiles together into one great work.

This project will take some time and planning. Students choose a subject then break it down into individual canvases, each done in their own style. When it’s reassembled, you get magnificently unique artwork to display for years to come.

Learn more: Crestwood

19. Head outside with some sidewalk chalk.

Kids learn to cooperate when they have to share a space to create their masterpiece. Fortunately, sidewalk chalk is pretty forgiving if they make a mistake along the way.

Learn more: Art Class Curator

20. Go geometric with watercolors.

Let students experiment with watercolors, then cut out and assemble geometric shapes (this teacher used a Cricut to simplify things).

Learn more: Cat Wright/Pinterest

21. See where a single line can take you.

Collaborative Art Red Mural Kaitlyn Edington IG

This project is simplicity itself. Simply post a large blank sheet of paper and provide markers or crayons in a single color. The idea is for each participant to draw, sketch, write, or otherwise add whatever strikes their fancy. 

Learn more: Kaitlyn Edington/Instagram

22. Decorate and arrange craft sticks.

Teachers will love this art project since you can get all the supplies you need at the dollar store. Each student paints a wooden craft stick, then they’re arranged into an eye-catching display. 

Learn more: The Classy Teacher

23. Branch out in style.

This collaborative art project is inspired by, and incorporates, nature. Find a long branch with an appealing shape. Have kids paint and decorate it, then display in your classroom.

Learn more: Artbar

What are you favorite collaborative art projects to do in the classroom? Come and share your ideas in our WeAreTeachers HELPLINE group on Facebook.

Plus, get ideas for great auction art projects.