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elementary school auction class projects



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Ideas, Inspiration, and Giveaways for Teachers


Topic: Arts
Classroom Ideas

11 Great Ideas for School Auction Art Projects

Art projects that will be fun for your kids and bring in big bucks for your school auction.

Elizabeth Mulvahill on January 25, 2017

School Auction Art Projects

Has your class been commissioned to create an art project for the school auction? These collaborative efforts often go for top dollar on the night of the auction—but an elaborate art project may be the last thing you want to add to your list. That’s why we love these simple but beautiful ideas.

1. Popsicle Stick Collage

Give each student 4-6 large wooden popsicle sticks to color in completely with colored Sharpie pens or tempera paint. Encourage them 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 down. Attach a hanger to the back of the foam board. 

Source: Teaching Middle Level

2. Collaborative Circle Tapestry

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 interesting tree branch.  

Source:  Experiments in Art Education

3. “Chihuly” sculptures

There are two different methods to creating these beautiful sculptures. The first one (directions here )  is constructed with coffee filter papers, water-based markers, paper cups and a squirt bottle of water. The second one (directions here ) is constructed with plastic disposable cups, Sharpie pens, and a toaster oven.  

Source : Spot of Color

Source: Rubber Boots and Elf Shoes

4. Hand Hearts Photograph

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 mat surrounding them, then frame.  

Source: Popsugar

5. Woven Watercolor Strips

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 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! 

Source: Pinterest

6. Reach For the Stars Collage

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, then cut out. Assemble all of the hands onto a dark blue poster board, overlapping from the bottom-up as if they were reaching to the sky.  Glue different sizes of shimmering gold stars at the top of the board.

Source:  Artsonia

7. Puzzle Pieces

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 to a piece of cardboard or plywood. Attach hangers to the back or prop up on a tabletop easel.

Source: Craftster

8. The Hand Tree

Another beautiful piece of art created by hand from  Candice Ashment Art . Click here for full detailed directions.







9. Personalized Ceramic Bowl

There are many variations of this craft out there. We like this version found on Pinterest that creates a whimsical 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. 

Source: Pinterest

10. Wall of Hearts

Using small stretched canvases, or blocks of wood cut into uniform height and width, but varying depths, students can 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 students first or last name, stars, emoji. 

Source: OttawaStart

11. Tile Squares Table

This one requires a little legwork to find and prepare just the right table base—a perfect job for a parent volunteer. For project details, see step-by-step directions  here.  

Source: Teach Kids Art

Does your school put on an auction? What have been some of the best-selling projects? Please share in the comments!

Posted by Elizabeth Mulvahill

Elizabeth Mulvahill is a passionate teacher, writer and mom who loves learning new things, traveling the globe and everything Zen.

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20 Elementary School Art Auction Ideas

Arielle Goddard
20 Elementary Class Art Project Ideas


I bet most of you with school aged children have participated in some form of a school auction. It is a popular fundraising model. One component of the school art auction is THE CLASS ART PROJECT. Spring is the time of year that I start getting emails or DMs from readers, friends, and room parents reaching out in a wee bit o’ panic. The subject line usually reads: “Help me!”, “I have no ideas”, or “Why? Just why?” I get it.  Coming up with a collaborative art project for 25+ kids that someone will love enough to buy can be tricky for an art teacher, let alone a parent volunteer. It finally hit me as I was hashing out my 10th reply that I should probably go ahead and write a post. Let me start by saying that this post could easily be a 10 parter, and maybe someday it will be. But for now, I am keeping it at a tight 20, mainly because I think these 20 ideas will provide fertile soil for your ideas. Here are my criteria for school auction art:

1.  Low cost materials

2. Process should be straight-forward, quick, + F U N!

3. Fresh and colorful aesthetic 

4. Would I want to get out the checkbook and own this piece… not just because my kid’s fingerprint is somewhere in there, but because it is just a great collaborative work of art?


1. Throw your hands in the air for functional art. This painted dot serving tray was created by H’s first grade class and it got the top bid at the school auction this year!! You can find our full DIY here .




2. I love the idea of turning our Paint Chip Rainbow Bird into a class project. I am imagining each student creating an abstract painting or a mixed media process piece and then those paintings getting cut into feathers. Art facilitator creates the bird shape and the feathers are created by the kiddos and attached with a glue stick. Or you could skip the bird’s body and just make angel or bird wings. I think a pair of colorful wings mounted shadow box style like this would be killer, don’t you? 




3. A group of abstract paintings created on small wooden blocks! The pieces could be auctioned individually or in a group. This Etsy shop  is filled with beautiful works of art on wooden blocks.




4. Not up for running to the art store? I don’t understand why, but hey, this is a judgment free zone… haha! What about a quick snap on your iPhone camera? Sweet and easy works for this girl. Find this class photo idea here.

 Rave & Review

Rave & Review


5. I would totally bid on this pom pom wall hanging and you would be doing the world a great service by teaching 25 kids how to make pom poms. 

 Sugar & Cloth

Sugar & Cloth


6. In my next life I would like to come back as an Anthropologie window stylist. I think we can all agree that those guys are having some serious fun. When I am really stuck for ideas I just peruse Anthro window displays on the interwebs and they never cease to inspire. My oldest daughter’s 5th grade class made a version of this one last year for the school art auction. We used mason jar lids instead of paint can lids because it was a little more budget friendly. If I were to do it all over again I would have kept the designs a little tighter. The kids kind of went off on a poo emoji and smiley face tangent (5th graders)… this is why I am sharing the original… haha!! 




7. I am a big fan of wall hangings, especially ones that incorporate natural elements like driftwood. It would be so easy and fun to turn this DIY  into a class art project! Kids love painting sticks!




8. I have a feeling string art would be a massive hit with the kids. This tutorial walks you through the steps. The piece below was created with 100 kids and sold for 10k!!




9. Here is another option for my friends who want to raise money without getting their hands painty! Turn student drawings into one sleek framed poster! There are a few services that do the conversion for you like this Australian company . Or if you are up for a DIY:

  • photograph the student work

  • resize the photos on your computer with the software of your choice (iPhoto, Canva, Lightroom, Photoshop..)

  • create a grid pattern layout

  • Get the photo collage printed poster size at your local print shop. If you are in the US FedEx/  Kinkos  is really affordable.

  • Stick the poster in one of these white Ikea frames. 




10. Making a large scale collaborative painting might be for the more adventurous volunteer art facilitator, but I promise the process and the finished piece will be worth the effort. Keep the colors fresh and modern and the paint strokes loose and you will have a stunning abstract that will fly at auction. Read more about Bar’s approach to collaborative painting with kids here.

 Art Bar

Art Bar


11. I don’t have a DIY link to share for this one but the visuals are so inspiring. You could achieve a similar look with acrylic paint on a piece of clear acrylic. Or you could layer tissue paper strips with Mod Podge.




12. This wall hanging idea from Mum in the Mad House is easy on the wallet (hello, popsicle sticks!) but big on fun. I can imagine this one sitting pretty on a kid’s bedroom wall. 

 Mum in the Mad House

Mum in the Mad House


13. These folded paper relief sculptures  are so mod and cool. I love when low cost materials deliver a big WOW!

 James McDivitt Elementary School

James McDivitt Elementary School


14. Turn mini cut paper collages into a collaborative quilt ! Love this idea from Art. Paper. Scissors. Glue!

 Art. Paper. Scissors. Glue!

Art. Paper. Scissors. Glue!


15. These sculptures made from magazine pages are seriously cool. I think this would be a great project to try with 4th and 5th graders. Find the project here  – scroll down to the comment section to read about the process.

 Kelly Yackel, Kennedy High School

Kelly Yackel, Kennedy High School


16. I love the idea of turning a recycled pulp egg tray into a Kandinsky inspired piece. This would be a fun collaborative project for artists grades K-3. Check out the full gallery of student work here .  

 Mary Arbuckle, Blair Mill Elementary School

Mary Arbuckle, Blair Mill Elementary School


17. Swooning over these Jim Dine inspired shrinky dink hearts! How gorgeous do those shiny little pieces look hung as a group?! This is another great one to do with grades K-3. Find the DIY here

 Kids Art Market

Kids Art Market


18. Lovin’ these watercolor spray prints ! I think the simplicity and the nature theme would appeal to the masses and that is always something to strive for when creating auction art.

 Artful Kids

Artful Kids


19. Here is another idea for a functional work of art. Making a pillow is pretty genius. Find all the project details here .

 Wee Gallery

Wee Gallery


20. Last but certainly not least is this sweet little weave!  Find the full DIY here

 A Piece of Rainbow

A Piece of Rainbow

20 Elementary Class Art Project Ideas

20 Elementary Class Art Project Ideas


Los Angeles based mobile art studio and blog inspiring fresh, elevated Art + Craft + DIY experiences for kids and adults.



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