Newspaper art from yesterday’s news

Sometimes the best art comes from very simple materials – especially when you go big and bold!Great, simple, kids art project using newspaper

Newspaper art

We are trying out different places to create art. Instead of so often starting out with a small piece of white paper we’re trying out different surfaces. Last week we used a big, flat cardboard box to make an imaginary land. This time we’re using newspaper and turning yesterday’s news into today’s art project with newspaper

We always like a bit of recycling and up-cycling and old newspapers are a good material for this. A broadsheet size gives a generous space to create some art but we decided to go even bigger and cover the whole kitchen table in a layer of newspaper. Our after school routine always begins around the kitchen table, with a drink and a snack and a chat. Today we didn’t need to move from there but instead started some art doodles right on the tablecloth.

kids art with oil pastels
You could use pretty much anything you like to make make your design on the newspaper but the girls’ favourite right now is oil pastels, so that’s what we used. They give a good bold design over the newsprint and let you try out contrasts as you draw and blend colours together.
big art project for kids
And look at all the patterns you can create. Having a great big canvass made from an inexpensive material such as old newspaper invites expansive, bold drawing. No need to hold back and take care with resources – you can go for it and cover the whole surface any way you like.

recycled art project for kids

We also like to play Follow the Leader, where one person starts a design and another has to try and copy over the top in a different colour. It’s a good exercise in hand-eye co-ordination and you can use it to model letter shapes with very young children and, even better, it’s lots of fun. My 5-year-old likes to make her pattern as intricate and super fast as she possible can!
table cloth art project
I think this newspaper art would make a great party activity, with all the guests contributing some designs while they wait for their party tea. You could cover over the top with a clear plastic table cloth and have a feast for the eyes as well as the stomach.

Complete art lesson plans, exploring great artists


  1. says

    Love this idea! My son loves to look at the newspaper like the grown-ups. I bet he would really get into drawing on it!

  2. says

    I agree these pictures would make great canvas art. What a fun way to decorate a child’s room or family room! Thanks for sharing this idea!

  3. says

    It is wonderful to give children new drawing surfaces! I have not done the drawing on newspaper in a while, and the oil pastels are a nice, bold way to make sure the kids really see the color pop!

    Thanks so much for sharing.

  4. says

    As usual Cathy, I admire your super fun ways of turning the ordinary into extraordinary kids art opportunities! You’re my hero Mom (in what my family calls) the “Creative Parenting” dept. I always say the job of a mom is to turn the everyday life stuff, into fun learning games 😀 We also have the same after school tradition, 14 years now; I,ll be lining table w/newspaper before days end. PS: Site looks GREAT! I do miss knowing my way around LOL. Happy Days!

    • says

      Hey Jeanine! How are you doing? I love celebrating the art of turning the everyday life stuff into colourful fun! You’ll have to Instagram a photo of your newspaper art so I can see it. :)

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *