Abstract Art Ideas for Teens Using Recycled Materials

By Kim Blakesley
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The idea of teens creating abstract art from recycled materials is a combination sure to create unusual items. The creative potential of teens helps them to see combinations of items within a pile of material that many adults overlook. Abstract art has no definite answer as long as the finished project is pleasing to the artist's eye.

CD or DVD Mosaics

Make a treasure box from an old box that has a lid. Jewelry boxes and cigar boxes have an attached lid while a shoe box has a separate lid. Any of these items work as a recycled treasure box. Break old CDs or DVDs with a hammer. Glue the broken pieces on the flat surface of a box with hot glue or thick tacky glue. Place the broken pieces side-by-side like a jigsaw puzzle. Allow the glue to dry. Decorate the shiny surface with beads, mirrored craft tiles, faceted acrylic cabochon and so on.

Message Board

Make a message board from an old cookie sheet or cake pan. Turn the pan over so the opening is on the bottom. The bottom is now the top. Paint the top of the pan with chalkboard paint. Allow the paint to dry completely. Repaint a second time. Allow the paint to dry. Rub chalk over the entire surface. Wipe off. Write messages on the chalkboard with chalk or attach a note with a magnet.

T-shirt Scarf

Make a t-shirt scarf from an old t-shirt. Cut across the t-shirt just below the arm holes to create a rectangle shape. Next, cut the hem off the bottom of the t-shirt just above the hem line to create a cylinder. Fold the cylinder on top of itself and match the two cut edges; the top edge of the cylinder is folded. Make 1-inch cuts up the cylinder from the bottom edge to 3/4 inch from the fold. Fringe the entire circumference of the cylinder. Pull each piece of the fringe taught to create a roll.

Splash Washed Jeans

Splash wash old jeans to create a new look or a pair of shorts. Place the old jeans in a bathtub or on a concrete driveway with water that is easily accessible through a hose. Splash straight bleach or a combination of half bleach and half water over the jeans. Allow the bleach to sit on the jeans until the color begins to fade. Spray water over the jeans to neutralizer the bleach. When doing this project, wear rubber/latex gloves and old clothing. Any bleach that gets onto your clothes will cause the color to fade.