46 Summer Painting & Crafts Ideas For Whole Family

Last Updated on May 15, 2024 by Masha Eretnova

Looking for some awesome summer painting ideas and crafts to keep the whole family entertained?

I’m glad you asked! In this article, we’ve got 20+ fun and easy projects that are perfect for enjoying those sunny days.

Whether you’re a pro artist or just looking to get creative with kids, I have some painting and crafting ideas from moms and crafters for you. You may even need a fork…Not joking!

Note: all ideas listed here are for beginners or kids, but you can always find a spin and make it your own project 🙂

Let’s paint!

Sunflower Painting

Sunflowers are one of those flowers that blossom in summer. They are like living symbols of the Sun, positivity, smile, and good humor.

And luckily for us, they are super easy to paint.

sunflower painting

Keep your face to the sunshine and you cannot see the shadows. It’s what sunflowers do.”

Walt Whitman

Follow along with my sunflower tutorial.

Alcohol Ink Candle Holders

Customize some glass jars, votives, and candle holders with alcohol ink – without any creative skills.

Alcohol inks are very bright and transparent and dry within 2-4 hours, so it can be a one-day craft activity this summer/

Beautifully simple tutorial here.

Crescent Moon

Days are long and nights are short, some parts of the world even have White nights during summer. Perfect for a long romantic walk.

One of the easiest things to draw and paint in summer is the Moon, full moon, or crescent moon.

Full tutorial.

how to draw a crescent moon step 7 craters
My crescent moon painting


Summer months are the best months to see wild foxes, as they play, hunt, and raise their cubs.

So for us, it is a perfect occasion to paint one! In a more cartoon style, it will be easier, but you can try a more realistic painting as well.

summer painting idea fox
Little cute fox you can paint

Follow my tutorial for acrylics and gouache.

Stormy sky

Storms are quite frequent in summer times, the lightning, the thunder, big rains! I love it (when I’m at home during this whole ordeal).

And it is another easy painting idea that you can do this summer. A night cityscape with dark skies and lightning – can be a very impressive painting.

Follow a few tutorials: How To Paint Stormy Sky With Acrylics

Ocean Art

If any of your friends or family have a birthday during summer, and they love hosting parties at home or decorating, make them a gift.

Or maybe you just came back from vacation on a tropical island and brought some shells, so it is a perfect occasion for a keepsake.

I’ve made an ocean tray for my bathroom and it looks great there and only took a few hours to make.

Note: this tutorial involves epoxy resin along with paint. Not suitable for kids.

resin ocean art


Giraffes love and are used to hot summers, so why don’t we paint one this summer?

It is quite easy and fun, and you only need a few colors to get the job done. As a background, you can paint a lush greenery or a savannah.

easy giraffe painting step 11
Cute giraffe I painted with gouache.

Up House

Are you a Disney fan? To bring colors, I drew this Up House with some pastel pencils – it is an immediate mood booster!

Full tutorial with steps: Easy Up House Drawing Step By Step [Detailed Tutorial].

Summer Night Sky

With just some blending and black color, you can paint a beautiful summer night sky in 30 minutes.

Follow this simple tutorial.

Underwater Sea Turtle

Another vacation memory to keep in the form of a painting – a sea turtle you saw or are dreaming of seeing on a snorkeling trip.

I used the pouring swiping technique here to do the background that reminds me of waves and underwater, but you can simply paint it.

How to Paint Sea Turtle with acrylic paint

Full tutorial and some more ideas: How to Paint Sea Turtles 15 Beautiful Tutorials (Acrylic, Watercolor, Pencil).


Summer holiday is that time when the whole family can be together: kids are out of school, parents have some days off and it is time everyone gets together in the backyard with barbecue.

Or…maybe it is a perfect time to get a puppy? I love puppies and I’m sure I would beg for a puppy if I’d be a kid again.

Easiest puppies or dogs to paint are in the sitting position:

Full tutorial: How to Draw a Dog Sitting [Easy Step-by-step Tutorial]

Hello Sunshine Summer Sign

I think this idea that Chelsea and Logan had of making your own custom summer sign is simply amazing.

First, it is super easy, second, it makes you proud once you make it and look at it every day. And the message is just right: Hello, Sunshine. Impossible to have a bad summer day with this.

Acrylic paint is the cheapest and best to work on DIY wood projects.

summer painting ideas

Motivational Canvas Painting

If you need a daily reminder to stay on your course to hang in your office or bedroom, consider making an easy canvas painting with a phrase or quote that resonates with you.

This tutorial will show you how to put Follow your dreams on canvas. And it includes a free printable, and some gold! Well, because you deserve it!

quote painting summer idea

DIY Boho Wall Decor with Gouache or Watercolor

I’ve made neutral wall art for my kitchen with gouache and guys from MakingManzanita have a great watercolor boho wall art.

The thing is – such art is super fast to make but once you frame it, it easily looks like something you could buy on Etsy.

Thrift and Upcycle a Painting

If you see an old framed painting in a thrift shop, don’t pass by.

Get it! Because you can simply cover it up with a nice wall decor painting idea, like the Boho style I shared above, a collage, or even amazing floral line art.

This idea by Chelsea is so aesthetic but can be done if you’re a complete beginner!

summer painting ideas floral line art

Painting & Crafting Ideas For Kids

Paintings Made by Sun

I was intrigued when I saw Diane’s project – she used sunlight to make summer-inspired , super easy paintings with her kids. Did I mention, on fabric?

How cool is that! It can be a framed fabric art, or a cute decoration for the backyard, or used for play.

Absolutely my favorite idea from the whole list!


Paint Your Own Puzzle

Another brilliant idea is to customize, aka paint whatever you want, a puzzle!

It will be not only a one-time painting session, but once it’s done, kids can play with this puzzle for ages.

Full tutorial.


The hottest summers are in deserts, but even in semi- and desert landscapes, we will see plenty of cacti. And the flowers are so exquisite! And fruits are delicious.

You can draw and color a cactus with your kids, following this super simple tutorial (with steps).

cactus summer painting idea

Colorful Climbing Tree Frog

This idea has so much potential! The tree frog literally can hang from the wall or the window and you can paint it any color combination you want!

Just print, color, and attach to the wall!

Grab your printable Tree Froggy.

frog summer painting idea

Handprint Octopuses

Just look how cute these octopuses created by Kate with her kids!


Works as a keepsake of a tiny handprint, a creative activity, and a bonding time with your little one!

Puffer Fish

Don’t worry, it is not difficult to draw puffer fish, and if you’re worried, you can simply download and print the template, cut it, and color it!

But for the background, you can experiment with any paint, draw bubbles, or even add interesting effects with salt or alcohol.

Once the background is dry, glue your finished creatures onto it!

puffer fish summer painting idea and craft for kids


Continue with the ocean theme – an easy craft to make with kids and to paint is a dolphin.

This full tutorial will help you get the dolphin shape right. You can use paint and markers for the background and add as many “underwater” details as you want!

dolphin summer painting idea for kids craft


If you are a happy (not-at-all-tired) mom of 2+ kids, what about making for each a colorful seahorse?

They can present their own seahorse, paint it with their favorite color, and give it a name. Can be a whole activity hour! Grab the printables here.

seahorse summer painting idea

Tip: You can combine a few of the ideas from this list and make a whole underwater scene with seahorses, turtles, dolphins, and other creatures!

Water Pistol Painting

Hot weekend ahead? Get some water pistols and craft paints, and set up a canvas in your backyard.

Follow along with the full tutorial by Messy Little Monster.

Painting with Feathers

If your little human is not into shapes, forms and something specific yet, but you both want to play with some colors – explore tools.

Brushes are boring, use sponges, ice cubes, q tips, or even…feathers. Here is a ready-to-use feather painting tutorial for you.

painting with feathers summer craft ideas

Note: I hope all feathers will be humanely sourced for such activity! 🙂

Balloon Painting

This summer painting idea for kids is not with a twist but with a pop – much fun and colors everywhere guaranteed.

But also, quite nice abstract artwork by your child. Here’s Carrie’s full tutorial.

This can also be easily a party game. Pick summer colors: bright yellows, blues, orange.

summer painting idea with balloon
abstract summer painting idea

Tackle the classic: Van Gogh Sunflower Painting with a twist

Not to worry, you don’t need to be as talented or skilled as Van Gogh, this summer craft idea has a twist!

I’m sure you have some spices and paper at home…Grab them!

Then head to this tutorial and get the free printable sunflower outline.

Easy Flower Painting with Forks

I didn’t realize you could use a fork to make the cutest tulip-looking flowers!

No need to get a brush at all and you can create with your kids a nice summer painting or a gift painting.

Here is the full tutorial by Messy Little Monster.

Fly Swatter Painting

Yep, you heard it right! It is time for some fun splashy (abstract) art with your little one, especially if they are not at the age of being able to really draw (or even not too interested in it).

Full tutorial.

Pro tip: please do this outside! The paint will be everywhere 🙂

summer panting ideas

Toy Hammer Painting with Chalk

Little colorful smash to make learning colors more fun.

Curious? Here is the full tutorial for you that will teach you to make a cute and creative birthday card!

summer painting ideas for toddlers

Summer Painted Pots

After a big spring cleaning, it’s time to revamp some parts of the house this summer!

If you have some plants indoors, you can decorate the pots with simple patterns, flowers, quotes, or simple bright colors.

Tip: acrylic paint works best on ceramic and terracotta pots.


Painting a Birdhouse

An activity that offers an amazing opportunity to spend quality time with your kids or even with your partner – is to combine outdoors and art and paint a cute summer van birdhouse!

If you have a garden or even a small backyard, you should try and make a little birdhouse – you give food and shelter for little birdies and they bring you joy and cheerful chirping every day.

by Angie Holden

You can even make your own birdhouse, but it is optional, today there are pre-made ones sold that you can directly paint.

Sensory Paintings with Kids – Paint with Flowers

Like we can make stamps with fruits and veggies, and we can use flowers and eco-friendly paint to explore painting, colors, and shapes with kids.

You can use any flower, but Jennifer found that using a sunflower is a great option – it gives texture, makes bold strokes, and is simply beautiful.

Make sure to follow her tutorial!

Stained Glass Painting

A fun summer painting activity you can do indoors or outdoors that looks like stained glass.

Emily discovered that you can easily imitate stained glass with one simple ingredient mixed with paint.

You can print the templates she has and let the kids apply paint as thick as they wish – the finished painting will shine like real glass!

fake stained glass painting idea

Butterfly Footprint Keepsake

This tutorial has a great spin on well-known footprints we do as keepsakes for our babies.

But this one can actually become a whole family art – you can make butterflies with your footprints! Genius!

butterfly summer painting craft

Easy Summer Landscapes Using Pointillism

What if you’re not comfortable yet with brush techniques? You still can make a beautiful summer painting, as famous artists did!

Pointillism is a painting technique when instead of brushstrokes we use…dots! Check out some great ideas for any age here.

Imaginary Flowers with Markers or Pastels

It can be easy to introduce your kids to colors with this flower painting idea, and along the way encourage their creativity and curiosity about art and nature.

Erin from Crafty Art Ideas made a simple flower tutorial inspired by Georgia O’Keeffe:

summer painting ideas flowers for kids (Erin from Crafty Art Ideas)
Erin from Crafty Art Ideas

Ice Cream Painting with a Twist

On a hot summer day, there is nothing better than delicious ice cream. And you can paint a cute cone…with a potato!

And LittleLadoo has just the right tutorial for you. Add vanilla, strawberry, and chocolate balls, and feel free to improvise – maybe some sprinkles?

summer painting ideas ice cream

Painting Sun

The symbol of our hot summers is our Sun. And luckily it is also quite easy to draw or paint Sun.

And it is even more fun with kids because you can do it with a fork!

summer sun painting ideas

Sensory Color Wheel

Do you want to combine learning colors, finger painting, and sensory activity?

Try this color wheel finger painting with couscous, dish soap, shaving cream, baking soda, flour, and salt.

Get the tutorial and free printable here.

summer sensory activity for kids

Tuff tray Painting Activities

Painting process art for toddlers and preschoolers can be more fun in a tuff tray, and here are 10 easy ideas – from animal footprints to stamping.

tuff tray summer painting idea for toddlers

Summer Surfboard

While I was living in Bali my partner loved surfing every morning! And I enjoyed watching from the beach.

Every surfer has a different surfboard – different sizes, styles, and colors, some have custom designs.

And doesn’t surfing-beach-waves sound like a perfect summer craft idea? Let’s do it then! Check this tutorial with a free printable and get your paint.

The tutorial has a twist – you won’t be using a brush – you will be scraping paint!

surf summer painting idea for kids

Sunset Craft with Paper Plate

Combine crafting and painting and make with your kids a moving scene – for example, a sunset on the beach, showing how the sun goes down behind the hills.

No need to worry about painting skills, you can download the template here.

sunset summer craft idea for kids

Summer Butterfly Painting

Make a bookmark or a framed painting with this butterfly idea – using the good old potatoes.

butterfly summer painting ideas

Beach Painting on a Rock

I’m happy to live near the beach and sometimes I paint on rocks I find, but this summer I found this amazing relaxing beach painting idea for rocks.

I was immediately interested, as I usually use acrylic paints and this tutorial used alcohol inks which I’m thrilled to try.

Tip: pick a flat rock and sand it lightly so the paint sticks better.

summer beach painting ideas


Another rock painting idea for this summer, this time, it got some teeth.

If you found not round but triangular rocks – they will be just right to make this tutorial work.

You can make a whole collection of painted rocks with different creatures.

shark summer painting idea on rocks

Easy Flower In A Pot Craft

Another idea if some of the family members have a birthday during summer: a cute customized flower pot with artificial or real plants/flowers.

A thoughtful gift that will remind them of you for many years to come. And super easy to make.

To be honest – fun to make, as you won’t be painting…you will be pouring or dipping!

Curious? Check out this Tutorial by Kim then!

flower pot summer crafts ideas

In a nutshell, summer is the perfect time to dive into some seriously fun painting and crafting adventures simply because we may have more time!

Whether you have kids who need to be kept busy or you want to explore your own creativity, the plethora of ideas I showcased in this article – my own and my fellow crafters – promises an absolute blast for everyone.

These summer-inspired activities aren’t just about passing the time—they’re about unleashing your inner artist, boosting your mood, and soaking up all the sunny vibes that the season has to offer.

So grab your paintbrushes, round up your supplies, and get ready to let your creativity shine brighter than the summer sun!

And if you have any questions, please ask in the comment section, I’m here to help!

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