Unique Art Project for Kids: Use Sticks as Your Canvas

In this art project for kids we use sticks we found outdoors as our canvas for sketching. The kids had an absolute blast trying out this unique art activity using natural materials!

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Art Project for Kids: Use Sticks as Your Canvas for Sketching~ BuggyandBuddy.com


With the weather warming up, the kids and I have been spending much more time outside. All that outdoor time has given me the itch to get busy creating more art using natural materials! (We’ve previously used items from nature to make symmetrical art and woven with nature on homemade looms.)


Do you remember our salt art based on works by Motoi Yamamoto? (If you haven’t seen our salt art for kids post, be sure to check it out!) Another technique Motoi Yamamoto uses is besides creating with salt is to sketch on wood painted with gesso.  (It’s really quite amazing. Not only does he create beautiful spiral sketches, but he actually photographs them and develops the negatives of the images on paper. You can see an example of this work here.)


Art Project for Kids: Use Sticks as Your Canvas for Sketching~ BuggyandBuddy.com


I thought it’d be fun to try something similar here at home. Instead of using wooden panels, Lucy and I gathered sticks to use as our canvases! (This post contains affiliate links.)

Art for Kids Using Sticks

Supplies for stick art

Materials for Stick Art

Before creating  your art you need to prepare the canvas. Rinse any dirt off your sticks and let them dry. Once they’re dry, paint a couple layers of gesso over one side of each stick. (We also tried this using white tempera paint, and it also worked. The surface just wasn’t quite as smooth as it was with the gesso.)

Once the gesso is dry, you’re ready to start sketching. Grab some colored pencils and have fun drawing on your stick canvas! Lucy drew all kinds of little pictures on her stick.


stick art


There are so many fun ways to display your stick art. We had it on our nature table for awhile…


painted stick on nature table


…and it also looks pretty stuck into the dirt of potted flowers or plants!


Art for Kids Using Sticks~ Buggy and Buddy

Find all kinds of fun activities in our ebook!

Learn more about it here, or buy it now here!

Fizz, Pop, Bang! 40 Playful Science and Math Activities for Kids


Unique Art Project for Kids: Use sticks as your canvas for drawing or painting! Fun art activity for kids of all ages using natural materials! ~ BuggyandBuddy.com


  1. […] trees inspired me to come up with this art activity for kids (similar to our stick art) to use in my after school enrichment class for […]

  2. […] My kids are always bringing little nature treasures in from outside. Theo’s current obsession is finding fairy hats (acorn tops) to collect, while Lucy usually finds unique rocks, shells, or sticks to bring inside. The natural materials the kids find outdoors often inspire various crafts we do- like when we used some sticks as our canvas for drawing. […]

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