Tinkersketch Art Ideas :: Tinkerlab.com

Are you a creative parent or teacher who’s looking for some art ideas?

Do you know about the ongoing #Tinkersketch art journal challenge that’s brewing over on Instagram? Every day, people just like you and me show up to snap and share photos of their sketchbook art ideas. 

The idea behind this challenge is to make a little bit of room in our busy parenting lives to create via glueing, painting, collaging, and experimenting in a sketchbook everyday, or as often as we can.

When I first introduced this challenge I had a lot more time on my hands (check back tomorrow for an announcement about where my time went!), and I made time to create a tinkersketch every day. I now experiment in my sketchbook when I can, usually alongside my children when we’re all at the art table, and I never regret the time I spend doing this. I share this to say that if you feel strapped for time, create something when you have the time and your efforts will not go unnoticed by you or your child.

Tinkersketch Art Ideas: Highlights from Instagram

There’s a lovely crew of dedicated tinkersketchers who continue to inspire me and each other with their quick sketches, material explorations, and collaborative art journaling with kids. Chelsey, one of my Tinkersketch buddies, wrote this inspiring post about her Tinkersketch journey. She says in the post, “I thought hard about doing it, but was really nervous. I don’t think I’ve ever even owned a sketchbook in my life. I am NOT an artist and do not feel creative in any way.” And then she tackled the project with so much gusto that I’ve considered asking her to take it over!

Here’s a peek at a few of my favorite images from this month…

art ideas

Altered book image, @emog

“Ella cus” (She sews) is a beautiful and delicate song from #laiaia, @angaleta who blogs at Encenentlaimaginacio 

art ideas

Sometimes the tinkersketch moves off the page like this Pumpkin Painting, @supershortcake,

Nutmeg, Curry, and Paprika painting, @angaleta who blogs at Encenentlaimaginacio 

art ideas

Painting with Chocolate, @angaleta who blogs at Encenentlaimaginacio 

Child’s Tinkersketch, @aneverydaystory (Kate) who blogs at An Everyday Story

art ideas

Child’s Tinkersketch: “Lucy is inside a robot and controlling it on the left. On the right is Lucy and theo. theo is sad because he wants to be in the robot., @cmarashian who blogs at Buggy and Buddy.

Mixed Media Weaving, @emog


When I first shared this challenge I posted prompts, and it’s been a while since I’ve picked up on this. Will you tell me if this is useful?

Feel free to use the art prompts if they work for you or ignore them completely and forge your own sketchbook path. Sketches can happen in a traditional sketchbook or on just about anywhere you can dream up. Remember, this past week @Supershortcake made her tinkersketch on a pumpkin, so go on and think outside the box. The objective is to make a little time to experiment with new art ideas in a supportive environment.

  • Fill the page with Jack-O-Lanterns
  • Draw with a hot glue gun
  • Combine skinny strips of tape and leaves in a collage
  • Make (and use) paper stencils like these
  • Paint an abstract picture of the colors of the weather
  • Write a poem about the place you live, and illustrate it
  • Document a song that you can’t get out of your head

How to SHARE your tinkersketch

  • Instagram: Upload a photo of your DPS with the hashtag #tinkersketch. My username is tinkerlab, in case you’d like to follow me
  • Facebook: Upload a photo of your DPS directly to the Tinkerlab Facebook page
  • Google+: Upload your DPS photo to your own page. Tag me @rachelle doorley  and/or @tinkerlab. Add the hashtag #tinkersketch
  • Twitter: Add the hashtag #tinkersketch
  • If you’re a Blogger, write a post about your tinkersketch adventures and share it with me! Feel free to snag the button up there if you’d like.

If you want to read more about the Tinkersketch project hop over here for the introduction and more info on how you can join.

tinkersketch art ideasFollow us on Facebook for more kids’ activities and ideas.


  1. The sketch prompts are nice to have when I get stuck. I like that your prompts work for mom and the kids. Thanks!!

    • That’s such helpful feedback, Beth. I like reading that they work across the ages since that’s pretty much how it goes down in my house. Thank you!

  2. It’s a honor to appear in this beautiful artsy page. I love the way our little tinkersketchers community create, experiment and share, inspiring each other. It’s just like… it’s flow. I love your prompts, I think you are a very creative, and some days that I’ve been a little blocked your prompts inspired me. This project has awakaned a part of my mind. I tinkersketch when I can, sometimes with my kids, but sometimes I create alone, listening to my favourite music. It’s MY time, and I love it. So, thank you for wake up a part of my sleeping mind. You’re amazing (so excited for tomorrow’s news…).

    • Ah, Angaleta, you are so lovely! Where would this project even be without you and your beautiful imagination and voice? The other night I was up so late because I needed some quiet time to just…sit…and paint. It had been a while, but I had to do it, and felt great afterwards.

  3. I do love when you give prompts~ I’m still not the most confident sketcher! 🙂 Lucy and I like to read over them and pick what sounds fun for the day! I’ve been out of the #tinkersketching loop lately, lots going on, but hope to get back soon! I’m also excited to hear your announcement!

    • We’re a good match, Chelsey, because it feels like it’s been months since I’ve shared prompts 🙂 I hope that we can both find the time and space for tinkersketching — I’ve been feeling very out of sorts lately, and it has a lot to do with trying to find a new version of balance.

  4. I was looking at the whole Tinkersketch idea, and I definitely think you could take it one step forward by integrating the Creative Problem Solving process into it. Within Creative Problem Solving, you have a tool called storyboarding, and also something known as forced connections. By using these tools, maybe you (the user/artist) could overcome a problem that has perplexed you?

    Storyboarding allows you to define a future goal, and then sketch your path to the future state within the framework of 8 boxes. By doing this, you’re solving your problem using visual imagery, and sometimes that’s easier than all the BLAH…BLAH…BLAH that consumes our head.

    Forced connections is another CPS tool that “intentionally encourages flexible thinking by challenging the problem solver to generate solutions to the problem by using objects that are unrelated to the situation.” Basically, you allow your mind to make a connection between a random object and your challenge at hand.

    So, by combining the elements of Tinkersketch with storyboarding and forced connections, you could not only have an elaborate art work, but it could solve some problems your experiencing. From what I saw, you suggested a few things to help facilitate the creativity. Good stuff, and look into this idea.

Comments are closed.