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  • Writer's pictureAlexandra Benson

Found Objects

Updated: Nov 6, 2023

Collect a gallon bag of found objects, the objects can be anything. What can you create with the items in your bag? Test out lots of options until something appears to you.

In class, we partnered up, spread our bags of found objects, and had to come up with something in 5 minutes. My classmate Cameron and I came up with a castle i-spy, a more 3D form that we would photograph and then attach a "find me" sheet. The objective would be for all students to create an i-spy scene and sheet of things to find, it would all be documented and we would all try to find each other's puzzles. Creating a book of collections would be a nice memento for the classroom.

Take your bag of found objects, a drawing paper, a sharpie or marker, and create a garden.

The next found object project was actually from a sculpture class I took. I collected a vase, a rusty old doll chair, discarded silverware, elastics from mask-making days, a wooden puzzle contraption, old lenses that were used on phone cameras, a discarded veggie colander, broken jewelry, a vintage candy bowl, and buttons. As I played with the items in front of me, a form began to appear. A little girl and her dog.

"Adeline and her dog"

The projects involving found objects have the potential to be very meaningful creations for students, especially if they incorporate mementos that have certain memories attached. For found object projects that include creating a scene on a piece of paper, all age groups are appropriate. However, found object sculptures, like the little girl and her dog, would be for Middle/High school age students because of the use of hot glue guns and super glues.

Safety/Behavior Expectations:

  • No sharp objects, no weapons, no items that can cause bodily harm

  • No rusty objects

  • Parental permission to bring and use items from home

  • adult supervision for super glue

  • all hot glue guns must be unplugged after using or lose privileges

  • no wires across pathways in the classroom


  • Provide a community box of found objects to students who aren't able to collect found objects at home

  • Tier projects by skill and difficulty levels

  • Provide pre-assessments to better group more experienced students with students who do not have found object art project background, collaboration as a key to more meaningful learning


  • Create a wall relief assemblage of found objects

  • create a portrait with found objects

  • create a sculpture with found objects

  • create a scene incorporating found objects

Artist Inspiration:

Found Object art collage by


Hafeli, M. C. (2015). Exploring studio materials: Teaching creative art making to children. Oxford University Press. Pages 147-174

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