Sizzling Summer Art Activities for Families

July 13, 2021

Ready to let your creativity sizzle and sparkle this summer as a family? Enjoy some bonding time with these fun art activity ideas, courtesy of Columbia Art Center Director Liz Henzey! Plus, don’t forget to scroll to the end to discover upcoming art workshops at Columbia Art Center, open to the public.


Suncatcher Jellyfish

Jellyfish dream catcher


Different colored tissue paper

Black construction paper

Contact paper


Several spools of different colored ribbon



  1. Take your tissue paper and cut it into squares.
  2. Draw the shape of a jellyfish on a sheet of black construction paper.
  3. With scissors, cut out the middle of the jellyfish, so all that remains is a black jellyfish frame.  (Note: For young children, an adult should cut out the jellyfish frame.)
  4. Cut a piece of contact paper that is larger than your jellyfish.
  5. Remove the protective sheet and tape the contact paper on the top of a table or counter with the sticky side facing up.
  6. Carefully place the jellyfish outline down on the sticky side of the contact paper.
  7. Have fun placing the tissue paper squares on the sticky center of the jellyfish until it is completely filled. (Don’t worry if the tissue squares overlap the black frame. You can trim them later.)
  8. Take a second sheet of contact paper and place it down on top of the jellyfish to seal it.
  9. Trim the extra contact paper around it.  
  10. Cut some decorative ribbon and tape to the back of the jellyfish.
  11. You can display your handcrafted jellyfish dreamcatcher on a refrigerator, wall, bulletin board or window with a few pieces of tape.  


Bow-Tie Noodle Butterflies in Action

bow-tie butterflies and grass


Chalk markers or paint

Black sharpie

White card stock paper

Small bow-tie noodles





  1. Paint your uncooked noodles with bright fun colors and let dry. (Note: chalk markers dry quickly.)
  2. Create your grass for your design by carefully cutting the noodles in half and painting them green. Let dry.  
  3. Create your design by gluing your butterflies and grass to your white card stock paper.
  4. With your black sharpie, create antennas for your butterflies and add black dots behind them so it gives the impression that they are flying. 
  5. Display in your home or gift as a gift!


Colorful Key Wind Chimes


Piece of driftwood or stick (approximately 16-20 inches long)

String or fishing line

Acrylic Paint

Unusable, old, or found keys (8-10 keys for each person)



  1. Paint the topside of your keys. Let dry.
  2. Flip them over and paint the second side of your keys. Let dry. (Repeat a second coat process.)
  3. Paint your driftwood or stick and let dry. (Note: You may want to leave your driftwood or stick natural.)
  4. Tie a piece of string to both ends of your stick so that you can hang your creation when it is completed.
  5. Tie a piece of string or fishing line to each key.
  6. Tie the keys to your stick making sure that they are close to each other so that when the wind blows, they will touch and chime.
  7. Hang your outside or give as a gift!


For More Crafting Fun…

The Columbia Art Center is home to creative classes, programs and workshops for all ages! Here’s what’s coming up on the calendar…

Handmade Teapots

With Nancy McIntosh

For ages 12 and up!  Enjoy this fun handbuilding workshop during which you will create your own teapot with spout, lid and handle. Learn simple glazing techniques for glazing your work. Your piece will be fired and ready for pick-up within three weeks of the workshop.  Supplies, clay and firings are all included in tuition. Limited to 10 students.

Wednesday, August 4, 6-8pm

$30/CA members/Columbia Cardholders. $40 non-members.


Pinch Pot Animals and Birds

With Nancy McIntosh

For ages 12 and up!  Designed for Beginners. In this sampling workshop, learn pinch pot techniques to hand build small animals such as birds. Bring a friend and have fun in this sampling handbuilding workshop. Your work will be fired and ready for pick-up within three weeks of the workshop. Supplies, clay and firings are included in tuition. Limited to 10 students.

Wednesday, August 11, 6-8pm

$30/CA members/Columbia Cardholders. $40 non-members.


Adult and Child Tiny Sculpey® Figurines Workshop

With Thais Piageti-Cassel

For adults, teens and childre ages six and up! Polymer clay is the perfect playful introduction to the world of clay crafting. Enjoy a morning outing together and have fun creating miniature 3-D objects, animals and people. Fee includes one adult and one child/teen. Register under the adult name.

Tuesday, July 27, 6-8pm (1 session) or Saturday, August 7, 10am-12pm (1 session)

$30 CA members/Columbia Cardholders pair. $40 non-members pair.


Introduction to Alcohol Ink Painting

With Thais Piageti-Cssel

Designed for ages 14 and up! Explore this fun and popular art form that involves painting with alcohol inks. Experiment with various application techniques on different surfaces, including Yupo paper and coated card stock.  Make sure to bring a smock or wear clothes you don’t mind getting dirty.

Wednesday, July 21, 6-7:30pm (1 session) or Tuesday, August 17, 6-7:30pm (1 session)

$25 CA members/Columbia Cardholders. $35 non-members.


Dabble in Watercolor Workshop 

With Robert Coe

Designed for ages 14 and up! Try your hand at watercolor painting in a comfortable learning atmosphere. Enjoy teacher demonstrations and hands-on exercises.  All supplies included.

Monday, July 19, 6-7:30pm or Monday, August 16, 6-7:30pm

$25 CA members/Columbia Cardholders. $30 non-members.


Basic Watercolor Techniques Mini Class

With Yonta Lyness

Designed for ages 14 and up! In this beginning class, explore basic watercolor techniques and how to make washes. You will learn about different brushes, participate in hands-on exercises, and view teacher demonstrations. By the third meeting, you will be ready to create your own watercolor painting of a forest that you will take home with you. All supplies included.

Saturdays: July 31, August 7, August 14, 10am-11:30am, (3 sessions)

$70 CA members/Columbia Cardholders. $80 non-members.


Bird Painting Workshop for Tweens, Teens and Adults

With Thais Piageti-Cassel

Designed for ages 10 and up! Explore different techniques for painting animals on canvases. Each workshop will focus on two birds:

Tuesday, July 20, 6-8pm: Owl and Penguin (1 session) or Tuesday, August 10, 6-8pm: Baltimore Oriole and Flamingo (1 session)

$20/CA members/Columbia Cardholders. $30 non-members.


Fluid Acrylic Paint Pouring Sampling Workshop (includes the Chain Pull)

With Thais Piageti-Cassel

Designed for continuing students ages 14 and up! All supplies provided. Take your acrylic flow pouring to the next level with these advanced techniques, including the popular chain pull. You will be amazed at the fabulous results you will achieve, including flower petals. Enjoy creating on surfaces, including boards, mats, and coasters. Make sure to bring a smock or wear clothes you don’t mind getting dirty. Limited to10 students.

Tuesday, August 31, 6-8pm (1 session)

$25 CA members/Columbia Cardholders.

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