Transform found objects into a unique work of art! With just a bit of glue and some imagination, kids can construct creative sculptures with whatever they have on hand.

Artists make sculptures out of all sorts of materials, including stone, wood, glass, and wire. Some sculptures are small enough to fit in the palm of a hand, and some are large enough to fill a gymnasium. Luckily, you don’t need special tools or materials to make an awesome sculpture. This project starts with a treasure  hunt. You’ll gather interesting objects from around your house or your yard that inspire you.

Photo © Andrew Greto Photography, excerpted from Art Sparks

What You’ll Need
Fun stuff you’ve collected
Low-temperature hot glue gun (for the larger pieces) (Make sure you have adult supervision when working with a hot glue gun).
Tacky glue (for the smaller pieces)

Surrounded by Stuff

Photo © Andrew Greto Photography, excerpted from Art Sparks

Look around for interesting pieces of cardboard, packing materials, plastic containers, empty boxes, old toys, party favors, and knickknacks. Ask a grown-up if they have any old costume jewelry or buttons they can donate to your sculpture. Or, take a walk! Outside, you can find lots of natural things you can use for art, including interesting sticks, acorns, shells, pinecones, and stones.

hand gluing items together too make found object sculpture

Photo © Andrew Greto Photography, excerpted from Art Sparks

1. When you have a good idea of what you want your sculpture to look like, glue together the larger pieces with the hot glue gun. Play around with your found objects. How do your objects go together? What can you make?

2. Use the tacky glue to attach the smaller pieces to your sculpture, holding them in place for about 30 seconds to let the glue work its magic.

Try This

Photo © Andrew Greto Photography, excerpted from Art Sparks

As you put together your sculpture, you may want to add more items. Look around outside for some natural materials to use, such as acorns, small stones, and sticks. You can even add parts that move!

Photo © Andrew Greto Photography, excerpted from Art Sparks

Excerpted from Art Sparks © 2019 by Marion Abrams and Hilary Emerson Lay. All rights reserved.

Marion Abrams

Marion Abrams founded the Summer Art Barn in Hatfield, Massachusetts, in 1989. She has a BFA in art education from the University of Massachusetts Amherst and… See Bio

Hilary Emerson Lay

Hilary Emerson Lay has a BFA from Emerson College in writing, literature, and publishing, with a concentration in children’s writing and illustration. Lay managed The… See Bio

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Art Sparks

by Marion Abrams and Hilary Emerson Lay

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