31 Creative Project Ideas To Inspire New Expression
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Whether you’ve hit a creative dry spell or you’re looking for new ways to express your creative genius, you’ll enjoy the list we’ve cooked up for this article.
What can it hurt, after all, to learn about creative project ideas that could enrich your life and the lives of others?
Or maybe what you learn from one project will translate into new ideas for another.
The potential for cross-over with these creative projects is what makes them potentially life-changing.
But what makes creativity so powerful in the first place?
Why is creativity important?
Before we go into how to boost creativity, it’s important to know why creativity is important.
And knowing your why can help you choose the best idea for a project of your own.
So, what can creativity do for you, anyway? It provides:
- Fuller consciousness of your self and its creative potential
- Increased confidence (every new creation is a “win”)
- A new and better direction for your life
- Increased energy and productivity
- Better mental and emotional health
To be fully human is to embrace and explore our creative abilities and to see where they lead us.
You wouldn’t be reading this article if someone else hadn’t followed a creative lead and invented the tools you’re using right now.
So, how do you boost your own creative power?
31 Creative Project Ideas
Enjoy the following 31 creative ideas for your next project.
Choose one that stands out to you, and commit to trying it at least once.
Get started, pay no attention to the “I don’t know if this is turning out as it should” voices, and bring it to completion.
However it turns out, you’ve added a valuable experience — a new win — and made your life richer than before.
1. Create a bucket list collage.
Get some poster board and magazines (those likely to have what you want), and cut out pictures that represent items on your personal bucket list.
These could be images of an Irish castle, a canoe in the middle of a serene lake, a skydiver, a bicyclist on a South American trail, or anything that calls out to you.
Make this collage all about the experiences you want to have in your life.
2. Write flash fiction.
Maybe you’ve read samples of microfiction on social media and thought, “I could do that.”
So, take an idea — yours or someone else’s — and start writing your own captivating story in 1,000 words or fewer.
However it turns out, you’ll have a finished work of flash fiction and a better idea of whether you’ll want to create more of them.
3. Write a poem.
Whether you’re drawn more to free verse or to poetry that rhymes, everyone should try to write a poem at least once.
Choose a poetic style — rhyming couplets, a sonnet, or something inspired by Shel Silverstein — and start by getting your thoughts down on the page.
Then fine-tune each sentence to make it fit your chosen style or until it feels natural and “poetic” to you.
4. Write a manifesto.
How do your strongest beliefs influence your intentions for your life and your impact on the world?
Get those thoughts down and fine-tune them to create a clear, focused, and eloquent personal manifesto.
Just writing this will help you reacquaint yourself with the person you are at your core. And it might just lead you to make some necessary changes.
5. Write a letter to the Universe.
Write a letter to the Universe – addressing it however you prefer — about your frustrations, about what you want to see developing in your life, and about how you see the life you want to live.
Your own words coupled with your emotional investment gives the letter its power.
When you’re finished, you can either burn it, shred it, or “mail it” to a small, sealed box you’ve prepared for that purpose.
Then stop asking, and trust that the life you want is taking shape.
6. Become an idea machine.
Make it your mission for at least a full week to brainstorm a daily list of ten ideas for something.
We credit James Altucher for this idea, and it’s well worth trying at least once.
We know you’ll be surprised by how many ideas you can come up with when you put your mind to it.
And at least some of those ideas will be pure creative gold.
7. Draw zentangles.
Coloring books aren’t the only way to relax while creating art.
Share your designs with others and be inspired by what they share. Who knows what it could lead to?
8. Create blackout poetry.
Choose a random book or an extra copy of a book you love and, one page at a time, circle or underline the words you want for your blackout poem.
Then use paint or a felt-tip marker to black out everything else.
Each book furnishes as many ideas for poems as it has pages of text.
9. Plan a harmless prank or surprise.
Think of a surprise or a harmless prank you could plan that would make someone’s day (or week, etc.) better.
After all, what’s the point of a prank if it doesn’t let the other person know you considered them worth the time and effort it took to plan a surprise that would either delight them or make them laugh?
That said, it’s probably best to involve more than one person to ensure your planned surprise or prank won’t do more harm than good.
10. Audition for a part in a community theater production.
If you’ve always felt drawn to the stage, why not try out for a part in a local theater production.
If you love costumes and enjoy making them, why not volunteer to help with those behind the scenes.
Even if you don’t get a starring role, you’ll have an experience that you wouldn’t have otherwise.
And it might lead to another exciting creative outlet.
11. Write your own version of “Keep calm and….”
In the creative life, you’ll often face frustration and overwhelm, but you don’t have to let them beat you.
Think of what you’d say to your younger self when you were faced with a challenge and turn it into a “Keep calm and …” statement.
Then turn that statement into a poster (printed or digital), using a tool like Canva, and put it somewhere you’ll see it often.
12. Make origami creatures.
Whether you’re folding 1,000 paper cranes or creating origami renditions of your spirit animal (or someone else’s), this is a relaxing art form that produces tangible (and shareable) results.
Leave one with hosts as a thank-you for their hospitality.
Add a customized origami critter to each gift you give. Or decorate your home with elaborate origami creations.
13. Create a children’s picture book.
If you have children, and you enjoy telling them stories or reading to them, why not create a children’s picture book for them?
Write the story, break it down into scenes of a sentence or two, and draw a picture (it doesn’t have to be perfect) to accompany each scene.
Put it all together into a book you can publish in both digital and printed form — using your own illustrations or someone else’s. Make sure to buy at least one copy for each of your kids.
14. Create a scrapbook.
If you have envelopes full of photographs from your travels, from family get-togethers, or other memorable experiences, why not create an artful scrapbook to display them.
Few people are going to want to look through envelope after envelope of assorted photos, but most will be curious about a scrapbook you put together.
Make a party of it, even if you’re working alone. Play your favorite music, and dress in clothes that fit your style. And celebrate every scrapbook’s completion.
15. Create an around-the-world weekly menu.
If you’ve wanted to try making authentic dishes from all around the world, take at least one week, and choose recipes that come from countries other than your own.
Make a new dish every day or, if you have leftovers, every other day.
Take note of the dishes you and others in your family enjoy, so you can make them again.
16. Crochet, knit, or sew a gift for someone.
Get out your hooks or needles and create something useful or adorable for someone.
Maybe you’ve always wanted to try crocheting amigurumi animals or knitting an infinity scarf.
Or maybe you’ve been eyeing that pair of slippers your friend made from yarn scraps.
Maybe you’re itching to make your first quilt.
Whatever it is, get your materials together, and get started.
17. Collect and polish rocks.
Have you ever collected rocks from a lakeshore, from nature trails, or from other random locations — simply because they caught your eye and seized upon your imagination?
If so, you’d probably enjoy an excuse to polish your findings and either display, share, or sell them.
You’ll need a rock tumbler with grit and polish and a place to store or display your new gems.
Just make sure you’re not using landscaping rocks that someone else paid for.
18. Create a new journal (focused on a particular interest).
If you can’t find just the right journal to use at the stores near you (or online), why not design one of your own.
Choose a cover design that resonates with you, and design the interior (pages) any way you like.
Canva (free) and either MS Word or Open Office make this easy, and so do books like this one.
Then all you need to do is publish it and order yourself a copy.
19. Plant a garden (outdoor or a kitchen herb garden).
If you’ve always wanted a flourishing garden, you don’t have to start with something big.
Get yourself a wooden crate (with solid sides) and fill it with potting soil for a small, raised bed garden.
Or buy yourself a set of small terra cotta pots for a kitchen herb garden.
Put them somewhere where they’ll get as much sun as they need, and where you’ll see them often enough to remember to water them.
20. Learn to draw or paint, and create your own wall art.
You can learn a lot from YouTube videos, so if you’d like to improve your drawing or painting skills, find some tutorials that relate to the type of art you’d like to create.
Buy the tools and materials you need, and enjoy becoming more proficient at turning your mental images and ideas into works of art.
21. Learn photography and post your best photos online.
If you enjoy using your camera — whether it’s your phone’s camera or something a professional photographer would use — why not make a day (or few) into an expedition of sorts to a location you’ve wanted to explore.
Take as many pictures as you like, and, when the trip is over, choose your favorites and display them on your website or print them out to put in a photo album or scrapbook.
22. Make jewelry.
You can take a class for this or learn from online tutorials on how to find and choose jewelry-making tools and materials and turn into keepsake item.
Once you get the hang of creating your own bracelets, earrings, necklaces, etc., you can make a variety of handmade gifts for both men and women.
And whenever you have an idea for a new piece, you’ll know you can create it yourself.
23. Create your own personal style.
Maybe you’ve gotten used to dressing in a way that suits someone else.
But if you’ve never had the opportunity to put together your own “look” — one that makes you feel more fully and naturally you — now’s the time to create it.
If you get a chance to do some shopping (alone or with a trusted friend), take the time to try on pieces that appeal to you.
Don’t stop until you have a complete look that you love. You can then work on adding to your style collection, based on what you like.
24. Start a life-changing journal.
You have a great-looking new journal you haven’t even used yet, and it’s just too pretty to use for random notes and venting scrawls.
So, choose an intention for that journal: becoming more grateful, living more mindfully, or logging evidence that the life you asked the Universe for is taking shape.
Give this journal a special purpose and make that purpose clear on the first page.
25. Make a birdhouse/feeder.
If you’d like to give local birds an excuse to get comfortable right outside your kitchen window, why not build a birdhouse or bird feeder you can hang nearby?
Get a premade birdhouse to decorate or create your own with scraps of wood, a milk carton, or something else.
Make sure the materials you’re using won’t be toxic to the birds (or to the squirrels that will probably find their way to it).
26. Take a pottery class.
If you’ve always wanted to create artful-looking bowls using a pottery wheel, why not take a pottery class — either at a local college or with your school district.
This is another art form that easily translates into handcrafted gift ideas.
Think about that the next time someone you know tells you they could really use a large salad bowl or somewhere to toss their keys.
27. Tidy up your living space.
Get rid of the clutter in your living space, and make the things that bring you joy more visible.
Make room for open space and for things you enjoy looking at.
And once you’ve got your room looking the way you want it, take a few minutes every day to tidy up and stay on top of the “clutter magnets” in the room.
28. Buy (or build) and furnish a dollhouse.
If you’re mentally designing the home of your dreams, but moving is still a distant consideration, why not buy or build yourself a dollhouse and furnish it the way you like to create a 3D, interactive vision board.
Buy or create dollhouse furniture, scraps of carpeting for the floors, cabinetry, etc.
Not all the furnishings have to be solid. You can also cut out and laminate images from magazines and attach them where you want them.
29. Rethink your wall space.
Remove everything from your walls that isn’t serving you (or that’s ugly) and replace it with things you like to look at and that make your life better.
And while eye-friendly art is never a bad thing, new additions don’t have to be artsy to be creative.
Replace anything that makes you cringe with something that makes you smile and feel more like your creative self.
30. Redesign your bathroom (or your kitchen, bedroom…)
Choose a new color scheme and/or theme for the bathroom you use the most, create a multi-step makeover plan, and start from the top.
Find pieces that fit the style and colors you’ve chosen, and slowly (or as quickly as you like) make the changes you want.
Then celebrate its completed new look, and think of other rooms you can conquer.
31. Create a customized “birthday box” for someone.
Collect small, thoughtful gifts for a specific someone — things you know they would enjoy or appreciate — and place them in a box, a basket, or another container that has special meaning for them.
You can enclose a brief note or one that goes into why you chose the items and where you found them.
Make it obvious that you consider that person worth the time and energy you put into creating their birthday box.
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Did you find inspiration from these creative project ideas?
Once you get a reputation for creating thoughtful, handcrafted items, you’re likely to get requests from people you know who are wondering, “What do you have in mind for me?”
In any case, it can’t hurt for people to see your delight in creative projects and creative ideas.
It’s good that you’re always looking for new ways to explore your potential and develop your fullest self.
These projects can help, and they can also lead to others.
We hope you explore as many as possible — and that you enjoy the process at least as much as we enjoyed creating this article for you.
May your boundless creativity and thoughtfulness influence everything you do today.