Altered Art Craft Ideas

Dana Hinders
An altered composition book makes a fun and easy craft project.

If you enjoy paper crafts such as rubber stamping or card making, there are a number of altered art craft ideas that provide a chance to showcase your talents in a unique way.

What Is Altered Art?

Essentially, altered art involves taking an ordinary item and decorating it to either make it more attractive or change its function. Altered art craft ideas are often used as gifts or unique home décor.

There are no "rules" to creating altered art. Collaging, painting, and rubber stamping are common techniques, but many crafters also like to decorate their items with an assortment of family photos or memorabilia.

If you're looking for items to alter, consider visiting the following places:

  • Discount stores
  • Dollar stores
  • Garage sales
  • Thrift shops
  • Consignment stores

Supplies for Altered Art Craft Ideas

Since the goal of most altered art craft ideas is to turn trash into treasure, many projects are designed to be completed with whatever supplies you have on hand. However, the following items are generally the most useful for creating altered art:

  • Patterned paper
  • Collage images cut from magazines, travel brochures, greeting cards, etc.
  • Copies of family photos
  • Stickers
  • Ribbon
  • Buttons
  • Small beads
  • Assorted metal charms
  • Rubber stamps and ink pads
  • Acrylic paint
  • Sharp craft knife
  • Small scissors
  • Decoupage glue
  • Foam paint brushes

Altered Composition Book

With a little effort, you can turn a simple composition book into a pretty notebook that looks like it came from an upscale stationary store. Use it as a journal, an idea file for future craft projects, or a place to keep track of your favorite recipes. To learn how to make an altered composition book, check out the following links:

Once you've mastered the basic technique, it's easy to make several composition books in one afternoon. You can also use the same method to cover a number of other items. For example, common variations of the altered composition book include an altered address book, altered day planner, and altered binder.

Altered Tin

An altered tin makes a fun craft project that's highly versatile. For example:

  • Use it to keep your spare change handy.
  • Organize the drawers in your craft room with an assortment of tiny tins.
  • Present handmade jewelry in an altered tin for a unique gift idea.
  • Use a larger tin as a container for wrapped candies.

Instructions for making an altered tin are available from the following websites:

Altered CD

If you hate to throw anything away, making an altered CD is a great way to express your creativity while showing your commitment to recycling. Uses for altered CDs include:

  • Make a unique Christmas tree ornament.
  • Create a gift tag for a special package.
  • Design a personalized door hanger for your child's room.
  • Send an altered CD as an alternative to the traditional greeting card.
  • Display an altered CD on a plate stand as an object of art.
  • Attach a magnet to the back of the CD and use it to decorate your refrigerator.
  • Combine several altered CDs to make a unique photo album.

Instructions for making an altered CD can be found on the Go Make Something website.

Altered Cookie Sheet

If you're looking for a clever alternative to a plain bulletin board, consider designing an altered cookie sheet for use as a calendar and home office message center. Check out the following websites for project photos and additional information:

Altered Art Craft Ideas