12 Easy Art Activities for Stress Relief

Art is a creative way to express your emotions and relieve stress. These easy art activities are inexpensive, fun, and just what the doctor ordered.

Creativity 8 min read Jan 09, 2024
12 Easy Art Activities for Stress Relief

Art is relaxing and calming to the mind. It can either soothe or create anxiety, depending on how you approach it. So we have gathered some simple and inexpensive art activities that will help you feel at peace with yourself while learning a unique skill.

These 22 art project ideas are easy enough for adults, even those who don’t consider themselves to be artistic!

De-stress with 10 art activities you can do today

Is your head spinning with ideas, but your hands are lacking the skill to do them? Keep calm and relax with these art activities that are guaranteed stress busters.

#1 Paint with your non-dominant hand

Painting with both hands at once isn’t as difficult as it sounds — just pick up two brushes with different colors and start painting! The act itself is meditative, but it will also help you feel accomplished when you’re done. In fact, the more you do it, the better you’ll get at it. You can even try painting with your eyes closed or blindfolded to make things even more challenging.

If you’re feeling really adventurous, why not try using your non-dominant hand for everything? It will help improve dexterity and coordination as well as increase your brain plasticity — all of which are good for overall health.

#2 Start an art journal for gratitude writing

This one is a favourite of ours. Journaling is a fun project that can help bring joy into your life, by getting all of those positive emotions out of your head and onto paper.

A gratitude journal is a personal diary where you write down things you’re grateful for every day. Cultivating a sense of gratitude has been shown to increase happiness and well-being, so this activity is good for your mental health, too!

Keep it simple by writing three to five things down each night before bed or get more detailed with a weekly list or monthly recap of what happened during the week or month. Then at the end of each month, read through your journal to remember all of the amazing things that happened, which will make you even happier.

#3 Make kaleidoscope art

Kaleidoscope art is a fun and easy project that will help you de-stress in no time. The best part is that it only takes a few minutes of preparation before you can start painting. All you need for this art project is some acrylic paint, watercolors, and paper or canvas. You can choose whatever colors you like — there’s no wrong way to do it!

In addition to being easy on the eyes, kaleidoscope art also has its own healing properties. The act of creating something out of nothing gives you a sense of accomplishment that can help you forget about your worries and get into an optimistic frame of mind.

If you don’t have a kaleidoscope on hand, you can make one out of any clear container with a lid. Just add some colorful objects like marbles or beads and shake it up!

#4 Try some adult finger painting

Finger painting is a great way to relax and let go of any stress you might be feeling. If you’ve never tried finger painting before, it’s a great way to get creative without having to worry about getting paint where it doesn’t belong.

The process is fairly straightforward: just dip your fingers in some paint and start drawing on a piece of paper. It’s as simple as that!

Finger painting can be very therapeutic because the process is relatively easy, but there are lots of things that can go wrong. You could end up with smears or blots of paint all over your hands and clothes… don’t worry though, it happens to everyone! Just keep practising until you’re happy with your design.

#5 Meditate with coloured lights

Color therapy is an ancient practice that helps people manage their emotions and feelings by using coloured lights. You may have seen these lights in some spas or health food stores. These lights are designed to help you relax by producing a calming effect on your body through the color spectrum, promoting healing and relaxation.

While this may sound like hocus pocus, studies have shown that certain colors can lower blood pressure and improve moods by releasing chemicals in the brain called endorphins, which make us feel happy!

#6 Make your own calm down jar

This is a simple idea that can help you get back on track when you’re feeling stressed out or overwhelmed. You can make your own calm down jar by filling a glass jar with water and adding a few drops of essential oil. Put the lid on tightly and shake vigorously so that the oil mixes well with the water, then place this in the freezer overnight (or at least several hours).

When you’re feeling stressed, take out the jar and shake it. Hold your breath as you open it—you’ll be in for a surprise! The vapors will give off an aroma that’s calming and helps reduce stress levels. You can store this in the freezer for up to a month and use it whenever you need a quick calming boost.

#7 Give printmaking a go

Printmaking is a great choice if you want to get out of your comfort zone while expressing yourself through artwork. The best thing about printmaking is that it doesn’t require any special skills or tools. All you need is some paint and paper or fabric, along with stencils or etching plates if you want to add them. You can also use your hands to create different textures and effects on your work.

You can try out new techniques and find something that works for you by exploring different materials like paper and fabric. It’s a great way to get creative, and you can make prints as gifts or even sell them if they turn out well.

#8 Create a dreamscape

If you’ve ever woken up from a dream and wished you could stay there forever, this is the perfect activity for you. Whether it’s a landscape from your past or a scene from your imagination, it can be cathartic to paint something that is beautiful and peaceful.

Just take a pencil and some paper and start drawing your own dreamscape. If you want to get really detailed, use watercolors or even paint. Use your imagination and add in all of your favorite things from nature like trees, mountains, flowers, and so on. It’s a great way to spend an afternoon and you might be surprised at how relaxing it is.

Here’s a unique take on it: dreamscape wall!

#9 Make your own mask

Masks are a great way to try on different personas. Just get some paint and paper or whatever materials you have at hand – anything from pieces of cardboard or newspaper to old cereal boxes. Just make sure they’re not toxic!

To create your own mask, just draw the outline of a face, then cut it out and decorate it however you’d like. Try adding feathers or glitter for an ornate feel, or if you want something more tribal and rustic, glue on some beads or sequins. Try to paint on the mask as well to give it a nice finish.

#10 Do a vision board

Vision boards are an awesome tool for manifesting because they help you visualize what you want in your life. If you’re feeling stuck or stagnant in your life right now, this exercise may just get some ideas flowing again! All you need are a large piece of poster board, magazine clippings, scissors, glue, ribbon or string, and markers (optional).

Simply cut out images from magazines that represent what you want in life. You can use pictures of things like your dream home or vacation destination, activities you enjoy doing with family or friends, or the type of job or career path you want to follow. Then arrange them on your poster board in any order that fits your vision for your future. The best part about making a vision board is that there are no rules when it comes to design.

Creating a vision board can be an incredibly powerful tool for manifesting your dreams. It gives you a visual reminder of what it is you’re working towards each day as well as how far you’ve come. If you’re feeling stressed out or overwhelmed with life, creating a vision board is an excellent way to get back on track and refocus yourself on what’s important.

#11 Paint some rocks

We have all heard of painting rocks, but have you ever thought of painting them as a stress reliever? It’s a fun activity that will keep your mind off of things and bring some joy back into your life.

Rock painting is easy and fun for all ages, and you don’t need any fancy supplies or materials: just a few rocks, some paint (watercolour, acrylic, or tempera works), and a paintbrush that will allow you to paint small details.

You can paint anything you want on your rock, such as flowers, animals, nature scenes or quotes. Once you have finished painting, you can decorate them with glitter, sequins, stickers, or anything else you want to add. Let them dry for several hours before displaying them in your garden or on a shelf at home.

#12 Just doodle on anything you can find and go nuts!

Doodling while thinking of something else is a great way to relieve stress because it requires no effort at all! It keeps your hands busy while keeping your mind active, preventing you from slipping into daydreams, which can cause even more stress if left unchecked.

Doodling can be a good way to let out pent-up energy. Just drawing circles over and over can help you relax by occupying both hands with an activity that doesn’t require much thinking or effort. That said, if you’re looking for something more than just mindless doodling go ahead and create something beautiful!

Give these ideas a shot! These art activities are all simple and inexpensive, proving that getting into something creative doesn’t have to break the bank.

Want more ways to relax and create something beautiful? Try your hand at painting, pottery, and more!

Keep calm and create something beautiful!
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