Teenagers have high stress levels and are bombarded with distractions, such as friends, the Internet and homework. They are going through a stage of development that causes hormone surges, which make them moody. Because many teens don't yet have the skills to communicate effectively, they may find it difficult to express themselves. Art projects can easily help teens express their emotions and provide tasks that they can easily focus on because of their leisurely nature.
Painting is a great method of expressing emotions. Teenagers can obtain paper and paints at school or at home. If paints aren't available, teens can use items from their kitchens to make watercolor paints by mixing two drops of food coloring with a tablespoon of water. Teenagers can paint realistic images, such as a self-portrait, or they can use abstract shapes to represent emotions and thoughts. Painting is often used as a form of art therapy for teens suffering from depression and other mood disorders.
Teens can use modeling clay that they already have at home to make small models of people, animals and stationary objects. Teens may enjoy using this medium because it reminds them of childhood playtime activities. It's easy to clean up, and the completed artwork may be left out to dry to preserve it, or it can simply be mashed into a ball and stored in its container for future use. Some teens simply squeeze balls of clay or putty as a stress reliever instead of making models.
Teens can use household supplies to create a poster using a favorite puzzle. They should put the puzzle together on top of a piece of cardboard or other flat surface. Then, using clear liquid glue, they should paint the surface of the puzzle. This will hold the pieces together. Let the puzzle dry overnight. Teens can either frame the puzzle for hanging or, if a frame isn't available, they can glue the backside of the puzzle to a piece of cardboard and use nails hammered into each corner of the puzzle to hang it.
Teenagers love making collages because it is an opportunity to express their personalities using familiar words and photos. All they need is an old magazine or two, a pair of scissors and a piece of paper, all of which can be found at home or at school. They should cut out words or letters to form words that have a special meaning to them. Photos of favorite products or of people or objects that they find interesting will complete their collages.
Talia Kennedy has been writing professionally since 2005. Her work has been published in "The New York Times," "San Francisco Chronicle" and "The Sacramento Bee," among others. Kennedy has a master's degree from the University of California, Berkeley Graduate School of Journalism.