Museum at Home Interactive Blog: Essential Art Challenge

For many, creative expression has become a vital part of keeping busy through uncertain times. 

You may have noticed there are many who are using that expression to thank their essential workers!

Take a look at how folks in our neighborhoods are trying it out:

Auburn Citizen Article on Art During Covid-19

We have loved seeing how the community is stepping up to appreciate the work of those who are working on the frontlines every day, and wanted to invite you to try it out with us!

If you wanted to go a little further and make something for the essential worker in your life, check out a few of these art project ideas from Lucy Thomas:


Suggestions for design tracing: cookie cutters
-Assorted sizes of colored buttons
Background:(size optional) Card Stock Paper, Canvas board,
-Picture frame insert, terra cotta or ceramic pots.
-Glue or Glue Gun

1) Trace out the design on basic paper.
2) Then trace the design on the preferred background.  
3) Arrange the buttons on the basic paper design.
4) Glue traced area on background area. Transfer the buttons into the background area. Let dry 24 hrs.


-Terra-Cotta pot (size optional)
-Acrylic paint or Permanent colored markers
-Assorted paint brushes
-Sponge piece or folded cloth dab 
-Dry 24 hours

Outdoor use: seal with mat Mode Podge 

(Trace your design or free hand paint)


– Approximately 21-22 used wine corks (preferably cork although plastic logo corks works as well)
-Elmer’s glue (Multi-Purpose/Extra Strong Formula)
-One – 5 1/2 inch x 6 inch cork base

1) Set your design on paper next to cork base
2) Spread glue (generously) on cork base
3) Firmly place corks on glued area and place dab of glue in between corks. Let dry 24 hours.
4)Seal corked area with mat Mode Podge let dry and seal cork base.


-(3) large paper plates
-(1) or more if desired- Pine Cones (any size)
-Wooden popsicle stick or butter spreader
-(1) jar of crunchy peanut butter or
-(1) stick of softened vegetable shortening (crisco)
-All Purpose Bird Seed

1) Cut twine to length for handing pine cone.
2) Wrap twine under top of pine scales and tie.
3) At the desired length make a loop and tie or leave length to tie around a branch.
4) Plate #1: Crunchy Peanut Butter or Vegetable Shortening
5) Plate #2:  Bird Seed
6) Plate #3: Finished pine cone
7) After attaching twine to cone, roll cone and coat with crunchy peanut butter or shortening.
8) Then roll coated pine cone in bird seed.
9) Press in the bird seed and it may take a few rolls.
10) Hang from branch or garden hook.


-Card Stock Paper,or Construction Paper, or Paper Bag Paper
-Colored Pencils, Colored Markers, Stickers, Yarn, String, Ribbon. 
-Cookie Cutters for design tracing (optional)
-Glue (Regular or glue stick)
-Photo (optional)

1) Cut paper to note size
2) Trace your design or just let the creative juices flow!

When you do make something for your essential worker, make sure to share it with us in the comments section of this blog or go on Facebook, Instagram, or Twitter, tag the Cayuga Museum and add these hashtags to your post: #museumfromhome #museumathome #nysmuseums #SupportCayuga #MuseumInExile

Have Fun, and thank you so much to everyone who is out there going to work every day!

In case you missed it, click here and take a look at the history of essential front line workers in Cayuga County!

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