14 Best Middle School Winter Art Projects To Try Today

The dark days of winter might not seem rich with inspiration, but this chilly season can help spark creativity in middle school kids.

Winter art projects can exploit the stark imagery of the landscape to experiment with form and expression, letting students push their imagination.

14 Best Middle School Winter Art Projects To Try Today

But this is also the holiday season, and let’s be honest, you might find most students have other things on their minds (like an upcoming winter break).

You need some fun projects that keep them engaged while also testing their skills. 

In this guide, we’ve rounded up 14 winter art projects, from creative landscapes to playful holiday makes.

14 Inspiring Middle School Winter Art Projects

Discover our 14 favorite middle school winter art projects.

1. 3D Snowflakes

Pretty paper snowflakes are an art project to get the fingers working!

The more intricate the snowflake, the better, and kids can really test their design skills by building detailed paper snowflakes from folded paper. Try stringing several paper snowflakes together, to create a snowflake garland.

But cutting paper isn’t the only way to make snowflakes! 3D snowflakes use folded power to create impressive structures and can be great for group work.

Or have a go at paper tube snowflakes. These use delicately folded cardboard to create a new take on the 3D snowflake.

2. Snowy Woods Art

The stark shapes of a winter landscape are bound to get the creative juices flowing. Snowy wood art uses bold shapes and contrasting colors to create paintings that are both naturalistic and abstract.

Use India ink to create the stark outlines of the trees in the forest. The paintings should use perspective to build a forest full of trees, with thinner trunks in the back giving way to thicker trunks at the front.

Build texture by scraping away the ink with a toothpick. When the ink has dried, splatter white paint across the trees, to add a snowy finish.

3. Paper Snowflake Lanterns

Winter is the time when dark nights start drawing in, and this paper lantern craft is perfect for capturing the magical feeling of a winter evening.

The basic shape of the lantern should be formed from dark paper, so the lighted cut-out is prominent. The design for the snowflake needs to be bold, with clear cut-out spaces for the light to shine through.

A snowflake is a classic choice, but you should encourage the students to use their imagination. When the design has been cut into the paper, add white paper to the back (or colored film), and assemble the lantern.

4. Winter Scene Recycled Art

Using newspaper is an excellent way to bring texture to a painting with little effort, and the simple shapes of the birch tree lend themselves well to middle school art lessons.

The outline of the birch tree might be easy, but it requires some skill to differentiate between the different elements of the painting.

This winter scene begins with the background, which is made from collaged newspaper, painted blue.

To make the trees, collage a basic outline on a separate piece of paper. Use India ink or acrylic paint to add definition. Once dry, cut out the trees, and transfer them to the background.

5. Foil Embossed Ornament

Want a quick craft to keep the kids occupied before they go on their winter break? These foil-embossed ornaments are very versatile. Kids can keep them simple, or let their imaginations run wild. 

You can use basic foil sheets to create these ornaments, but make sure you have plenty spare so kids can experiment with pressure.

Old foil containers also work well and tend to have more structure. In place of embossing tools, you can use crochet hooks or knitting needles, or pens that are out of ink.

6. Winter Sky Mosaic

There are many different ways to create a mosaic. If you have the budget, you can always use actual mosaic tiles, but simpler methods work just as well.

For example, before you make the mosaics pictures themselves, have your students paint watercolor backgrounds in different tones.

These can then be cut into your tiles! Another good option is leftover gift wrap. It’s winter, so you probably have enough of it lying around!

These colored tiles can create a winter background. Use silhouette shapes such as trees and houses, for definition. 

7. Wax Resist Snowflake Art

Wax resist artwork is a relaxing craft that can be used to engage kids who are waiting for winter break! It’s a really simple technique, which is perfect for winter lessons when everyone’s minds are elsewhere!

Use white crayons, pastels, or even candles to draw snowflake designs on paper. Then, add your watercolor on top.

This can be done with a brush or a spray bottle. As they get more confident in their designs, beautiful snowflake scenes can be created.

8. Snowy Tree Fan Brush Art

Pine trees look complex in reality, but the overlapping branches are actually quite easy to recreate in art. With a fan brush and different shades of green, anyone can build a pine tree.

Working from the top down, build layers of green branches with a fan brush. The tree should grow in size the closer you get to the button.

Give the fan brush a good clean, and then use it to add thick applications of white paint to the edges of branches. Once you’ve mastered one tree, it’s time to start building an entire forest.

9. Pom Pom Penguins

These pom pom penguins are something a bit different, but they’re impossible not to fall in love with! They’re just so cute, surprisingly easy to make, and can be a holiday gift for any last-minute shoppers.

You don’t need a pom pom maker to craft these penguins. Wrapping yarn around your fingers works just as well.

If you don’t quite trust your students not to get all tied up, you can craft a basic pom pom maker from cardboard circles.

10. Fold And Print Winter Reflections

Fold and print winter reflections are an exercise in patience, but it’s worth taking your time with each layer to create the Bob Ross-esque winter scenes.

The first thing you need to do is fold your piece of paper in half. These are reflection scenes, so the bottom half is water.

You can quickly build the base of the reflection by painting the bottom half blue. Use a thin acrylic or watercolor for a reduced drying time.

Next, you need to sketch the design. Encourage the students to use lots of trees and mountains with snowy peaks. Keep folding the paper as the landscape is painted, to make the reflection.

11. Northern Lights Winter Landscape

The northern lights have been inspiring artists for decades, and they’re the perfect muse for a winter art lesson.

The bright colors of the northern lights can be recreated in many ways, but we love the way chalk pastels and oil pastels look on black paper.

The northern lights winter landscape is all about blending colors. Keep the front of the landscape simple, so the colors can stand out against the snow-capped mountains. 

12. Paper Pieced Reindeer

Similar to mosaics but not quite the same, the geometric paper pieced reindeer is a modern take on a traditional image.

This guide uses fabric scraps to create a textile reindeer, but it will work just as well with paper. A paper-pieced reindeer is another way to use up any old gift wrap!

Depending on the age and skill level of your class, you can either provide them with a reindeer outline or get them to draw their own.

Pre-cut the geometric shapes, and have the class build their reindeer using what they have available. It will encourage them to think about form.

13. Block Printing Winter Scene

Block printing isn’t the easiest of art projects, but the stark lines of this gorgeous craft can be used to build incredible winter scenes.

If you don’t have lino available, don’t panic. There are some surprising ways to create a block-printed winter scene!

You can try the classic potato print, although be aware that things can get messy. Another method is to use yarn to build your print. Paint the yarn, and press it into the paper for a reverse linocut picture.

14. Mix And Match Stone Snowmen

Mix and match stone snowmen are a really fun winter art project that gets students to show their personalities.

The basics of the craft are simple — paint different sizes of flat stones white. When these stones are piled up they resemble a snowman.

But it’s with the decoration that you can start to get creative. Different faces and bodies give the snowmen unique personalities, and as we start to mix and match, the results can be pretty funny!

Faces and features can be painted onto the rocks, or you can use sharpies for quicker results. You can even craft little accessories.

Final Thoughts

Winter can inspire young artists to push their talents, and experiment with different styles and crafts.

The classic winter imagery of snow-covered landscapes and trees can be recreated in many ways, with the stark scenes leaving room for creativity.

Or lean into the holiday season, with fun crafts that encourage expressing your personality through your art.

Helena Waters

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