art · Color · DIY · Kids

Class Art Project: Abstract Flower Garden

abstract flower garden unframed

I’ve got the painting bug.

Not the one that makes me want to paint walls and furniture at my house (although there are a few surfaces that could use a coat or two).

No, this time, it’s the art painting bug.

It started when I volunteered to help out with the Art Auction at my kids’ school. I’ve been volunteering weekly in The Girl’s kindergarten class this year, but there haven’t been a lot of chances to help in The Boy’s 3rd grade class. They need volunteers for PE, but all the PE times conflict with other commitments. I’ve gone on a field trip or two, but I’d love to do more, so this seemed like a good opportunity.

I scoured Pinterest for class art project ideas. This sent me down the path of art images and art websites and art tutorials. I got lost in the colors and the techniques and the beautiful finished pieces. (Check out my “(art) projects + inspiration” board on Pinterest – I’ve been going crazy over there.)

To pick a final project for school, I created a Pinterest board of ideas and shared it with The Boy’s teacher. Her favorites were my favorites, and we picked our final idea quickly.

abstract flower tutorial

The project inspiration came from Art is Fun, a great website that has lots of tutorials on drawing and painting.

I thought this project could be adapted well to a class project in which each student created a square, and then all of the squares would be assembled into a grid to make a “garden” of abstract flowers. (There are 25 students in The Boy’s class, perfect for making a square grid.)


I did a little practice before taking it to the 3rd graders. The Girl and I spent a couple of mornings painting little squares of paper to see how long it would take to dry between layers. (Most dried within 15 minutes.) I think she got the painting bug, too.

Here’s what we used:

water color paper (I cut the paper down into 4″ x 4″ squares, one for each student)

-acrylic paints (I used these “Bright Colors” from Michaels)

brushes of different sizes (larger for covering the background, smaller for detail work)

We worked on the project over the course of several school days, anywhere from 15 minutes to one hour. Working in these time frames allowed us to break it up into smaller steps and to allow the paint to dry between layers and before going back to add details, such as lines, dots, and swirls.

When the students were finished, I had them write their initials in white paint in the corners of their pieces. To make the initials as small as possible, I gave them toothpicks to write with. They practiced on construction paper a few times before finalizing on their pieces.

I LOVE how they turned out – each one unique, like the students who created them. I took some snapshots of their work and put them in a little slideshow below so you can see each one and appreciate the creativity and detail that went into them.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

Once they were all complete, it was time to assemble. I couldn’t find a piece of poster board large enough to fit the frame I had purchased, so I bought a piece of mat board at Michaels.

abstract flower garden - art auctio project

I arranged and rearranged the art pieces on the mat board, making sure adjacent pieces had different color borders and balancing the use of color throughout the piece.

I attached the pieces in a grid using acid free double stick tape.

I placed everything inside this frame I ordered on Amazon.

abstract flower garden framed

I LOVE IT!! I loved working with the kids on it, seeing their different ideas and styles of painting. I loved getting to be in the classroom, getting to know the kids a little bit more. And I LOVE the way it turned out – bright, beautiful colors, individual styles, and a really striking piece.

abstract flower garden unframed

It will be auctioned off to the highest bidder to raise money for our school. Both kids really want us to win, but even if we don’t, the painting bug has bitten our family, and we’ve got PLENTY of ideas and projects to keep us busy this spring!


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