Online Activities

Just because our building is closed doesn't mean the fun has to stop!

We are running some of our our Explore Art Club, OWN Art Club, and Saturday Art Club acvities online during lockdown.

Saturday Art Club: Tree of Your Life

This is a good exercise to reflect on what is important to you in your life and what makes you feel good.

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You will need: Paper, a range of coloured pens or pencils and some space. Why not put on your favourite music in the background?

1. Draw a tree, any type of tree you like.

2. Now you can add words, colours, and symbols to represent your life.

For example...
The roots could represent where you or your family come from.
The trunk could show your strengths
The branches could stand for the people who are important to you.
The leaves could stand for what makes you feel good.
The fruits could be gifts that you have to offer

3. You can also create your meanings for the flowers, the twigs, and the bark if you like.

Once you are happy take a photo or record a short video of you presenting your Tree of your Life. We can create a Forest of your Trees!

Saturday Art Club: Kindness Jar

This will put an unexpected smile of the face of anyone who gets one!

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You will need: A clean jar, a found object, paper, pens, glue, string or ribbon

1. Take off the lid and draw around it with a pencil

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2. Carefully cut it out just inside the line

3. Now you can decorate it with a picture or title for your jar eg. Jar of kindness or a Little jar of kindness

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4. Stick this onto your lid

5. You can now make a similar one to go on the side of the jar by cutting out a rectangle and decorating it with an inspiring message or picture

6. Next, cut out another little rectangle and write a little miniature letter or message to someone special to you. Or a little tiny picture. When you have finished roll the paper around a pencil into a little scroll and then tie a little bit of string or ribbon to keep it rolled up.

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7. Then you can put a special found object or two in the jar for the person to find, such as; a smooth pebble, or tiny rubber, or a fir cone, or some beads or buttons, whatever you like.

8. Now give your Jar of Kindness to someone who is special to you or you think needs some kindness. They could be someone in your house or on your street or your local community!

Saturday Art Club: Make a Squiggle Character

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The characters that emerge from this exercise will surprise you.

1. Ask someone in your family to do a squiggle on a piece of paper. Its sometimes better if the close their eyes whilst they do it.

2. Your challenge is to turn this squiggle into a character. You may want to turn the piece of paper in different directions to help you look at it from different perspectives. A character will jump out trust me.

3. Once you have seen it, draw in as many details as you want to make that character. Use the original squiggle but you can add in your own lines and features too.

4. You may even want to add some extra accessories for your character such as a hat, tie, pipe, or bow.

5. Give your character a name.

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6. You can draw a squiggle for someone in your family and see if they can make a character too.

7. Can they have a conversation together- what would they say to each other?

Once you are happy with your creations, take a photo of your character or a video of the conversation and send it to us at

Saturday Art Club: Create a Puppet

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Look around your house and garden for intriguing household items, you might need to look at them in a different way. For example, different types of brushes, gloves, glasses cases, handbags, trowels, all can take on brilliant personalities if you look at them from different angels or move them in certain ways.

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Choose an item that inspires you in some way. Who do you think it is? How would it move?

1. Start by giving them some eyes. Then you may want to add some of the following (depending on who your puppet is): nose, mouth hair, clothes, wings, feet.

2. Use whatever you can find to make your puppet (pipe cleaners, string, fabric, bubble wrap, pens).

3. Once you have made your puppet, give them a name and voice (or a sound) practice making them come alive.

4. Then ask a family member to record a short video of you animating your puppet. Your puppet can introduce themselves and tell us what they are up to or how they are feeling.

We would love to see your finished videos! Email them to and we will share them on our social media.

YARD Creative Challenge Five: Be a Curator

A curator is someone who develops, cares for and decides how to display a collection of objects, artworks or artefacts in a gallery or museum, like here at New Art Exchange.

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You are now a curator and you are going to you make a part of your home into an exhibition space and curate an exhibition featuring your 'Favourite Things'. Can you guess which one is mine?

Choose an area (or a few) in your home.

Pick around 5 objects from anywhere around the house.

Choose how you want to display them.

You might want to gather a few bits of fabric, cushions, pins or boxes to help you display them.

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For each object, write on a piece of paper: what it is; when or how you got it; why it is one of your favourite things.

When your exhibition is complete, take a series of photos or record a short video of your exhibition you might want to explain what made you choose the objects in your exhibition or how it felt to be a curator.

You can share back with us your exhibition that you have made as a photo by email to and look out here we will share all the new stories that have been created.

Saturday Art Club: Papier Mache Balloons 

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You will need: 1 Balloon, newspaper, magazine or scrap tissue paper, PVA glue, spreader or brush, cup, paints/pens for decorating.

1. Blow up a balloon and tie it in a knot.

2. Cover the table where you are going to work with some newspaper (this activity can get a bit messy) you might also want to wear apron or old clothes.

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3. Mix up PVA in a small bowl or pot with a little water, about 2-parts PVA to 1-part water.

4. Rip up lots of small pieces of newspaper or magazines or tissue paper.

5. Balance your balloon on a broad rimmed cup or mug, this will help you be able to get round it easier, without it blowing away!

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6. Now cover the balloon with glue and place the small pieces of paper on top, carefully press the paper down on the edges so its all smooth. Keep going until the balloon is all covered in paper.

7. This process of is called Papier Mache, your balloon will get stronger the more layers of glue and paper you put on so when you need a break have a little break but come back a put on another layer until there is at least 3 or 4 layers on your balloon. Tip: if you use a different type or colour of paper for each layer you can see where you need to cover more easily.

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8. Leave it to dry overnight somewhere warm preferably.

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9. Now you can decorate your balloon however you want; you can paint it in rainbow colours or continue to collage on it with coloured papers, or glitter.

10. When it is all finished and dry, you can pop the balloon and it will disappear inside.

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11. Now you can hang it in your window for everyone to see.


Bea from Own Art Club Skill Share: Make a Bird from a recycled milk bottle

Thanks to Bea who is sharing this online as part of her Bronze Art Award!

You will need scissors, a milk carton, marker pens and string

1. Cut the bottom off the milk carton

2. Draw a line on the centre of the bottle

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3. Then highlight the V (the beek)

4. Cut the line you have drawn

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5. Push back through the hole (wings & tail)

6. Then cut out two ovals off the side

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7. Bend the wings out

8. Display outside :)

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Saturday Art Club: Shiny Bird

You will need: Old CDs, glue, buttons, bottle tops, sequins or permanent markers, coloured plastic bags or reflective paper, string, wire, old coat hanger

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1. Take 2 CDs lay them flat with the shiniest side facing up, this is the birds face and body.

2. Decorate the birds face and body however you want. You may want to start by sticking on an eye on each CD. Then you can build up the body by sticking on buttons, bottle tops, or small buts of cut up plastic bags or reflective paper to look like the bird's feathers.

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3. Alternatively, if you have permanent markers you can draw on them.

4. Then make a tail and beak out of coloured plastic or paper.

5. Turn the CDs over and stick the beak and tail poking out either side.

6. Now put lots of glue all over and stick both sides together and your tail and beak will be sandwiched in the middle of the 2 CDs.

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7. Now to make the wings, fan some reflective paper or plastic by folding it back and forwards and poke it through the middle hole, then once it's through you can spread out its wings.

8. Finally thread some wire or string through the middle hole to hang it up.

9. Everyone in your family can have a go at making one and bring them together by tying them on to a coat hanger.

10. Hang them in the garden to catch the sunlight and protect and seeds you are growing.


Own Art Club # 4

May Day – Plant Pot Protest Placards

You will need: cardboard,sticks, tape, feltips, marker pens, paint or materials to cut and glue on.

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It's May Day and International workers day; when workers take to the streets around the world to demand their rights.
Make your voice heard; turn your window ledge into your own protest, display of solidarity and appreciation for our Key Workers. Don't forget the contributions of those who are the lowest paid and most at risk.

Step 1: Find a few sticks and pieces of cardboard. Tape a stick to the back of each piece of card to create your mini protest placard.

Step 2: Think of what you would like to say to support our workers; a positive message, demand or current issue you feel is important. Use bubble writing and bold colours to write your message. You can use marker pens, felt tips, paint, or cut and stick paper and fabric – use whatever you have.

Step 3: stand your message in the soil of a plant pot so it stands up – facing your words out to the street so passers by can be inspired and informed.

Sami's Gold Arts Award Activity

Young people from NAE's Own Art Club have to present a skill share as part of their Bronze Arts Award, Sami has created one to share online.Thank you Sami!

Dot to Dot
You will need: paper pen/pencil, markers, crayons or felt tips .

Step 1: Draw The Main Line (could be straight or wiggly).
Step 2: Add random dots on the line.
Step 3: Start connecting the dots with the shape of your choice ( oval, circle etc).
Step 4: Add the same line over and over again for repetition so it looks better.
Step 5: Finally, add any details of your choice to enhance the drawing

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Saturday Art Club: Make Sensory Ice Hangers or Bath Bombs!

You will need a small plastic container with a lid, string, pebble or stone and variety of ingredients from your home or garden.

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Step1: Fill a plastic container with water.
Tie one end of a piece of string on to something heavy like a pebble or stone and let it sink to the bottom.
Leave the other end hanging outside the container.

Step 2: Now collect from your garden or on your next walk lots of natural jewels!
Flowers, petals, leaves, seed heads and catkins all work well.
Place them carefully in your container.

Step 3: Now to make it smell nice.
You can add some lemon, or some herbs if you have some or even a few drops of essential oil.

Why don't you make more than one? See if you can make each one a bit different.

Step 4: Once you are happy with them, put on their lids and carefully put them in the freezer (you might need an adult to help you wit this bit) and leave them over night to turn to ice. In the morning just run a little warm water over it to get in to come out of the container.

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Step 5: They look beautiful hanging up on branch and you can watch it melt in the sun. Or you can make a little bath in a bowl and play with it as it melts.

Own Art Club #3 Make A Rainbow Hanging 

You will need a coat hanger, range of materials from your house and something to tie them to the coat hanger with.

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Step 1: Find a coat hanger. If you don't have a spare you could use a stick and some string. Hang it from a curtain pole in your window.

Step 2: Hunt all over your house, garden and recycling bin to find items and materials in a range of different colours. Sort these into colour piles and select your rainbow.

Step 3: Attach items; tie, wrap, stick, peg and pin, so they suspend from the hanger in rainbow order. Play around with placement and balance.

Step 4: You could keep adding to your rainbow or replacing items as the days go along.

You could also add drawings and messages on coloured paper.


Saturday Art Club #3 with Emma: Body shapes challenge


OWN Art Club #2: Leaf Rubbings

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You will need: Leaves, crayons, and plain paper

Step 1: Collect some leaves

Step 2: Place a leaf on a hard surface with the bumpty side facing up

Step 3: Lay a piece of plain paper on top and hold in place with one hand

Step 4: Using a crayon on its side, rub over the leaf to capture the details

Step 5: Experiment with blending colours, creating patterns, and making multiple layered imprints

Step 6: Use your leaf rubbings to make a collage, decorate a scrapbook or card, create a backdrop for a poem and story, or wash over with watered down paint

Step 7: Share your work by posting a picture on our social media! Facebook / Twitter / Instagram


Explore Art Club #4: Tube Trees

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You will need: toilet rolls, scissors, pencils.

To make 1 tree...

Step 1: Take 3 toilet rolls and cut a 2cm slit into 2 of the tubes

Step 2: Squeeze the end of 1 tube with a slit into the tube without a slit

Step 3: Draw shapes of leaves and branches onto the 3rd tube, above the 2cm slit

Step 4: Cut out the shapes with a pair of scissors to create the top of your tree

Step 5: Squeeze this tube into the top of the other 2 joined tubes

Step 6: Repeat until you have a forest of trees!


Saturday Art Club #2 with Ursula: Create a collage portrait


OWN Art Club #1: Biodegradable Plant Pots

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It's the time of year to start sowing seeds and this method uses no plastic and up-cycled rubbish! You will need: Cardboard tubes, paint, pens, coloured tissue paper and glue, seeds and compost

Step 1: Collect lots of cardboard tubes

Step 2: Decorate your tubes with any materials you have at home. I used paint pens, you could use markers, felt tips, pritt stick and coloured tissue paper, or even make them 3D by cutting and adding other bits of card. Be as creative as you like so they look great on your windowsill for a few weeks.

Step 3: It's tims to sow your seeds. First stuff a little newspaper in the bottom to keep the soil inside, fill with compost, make a small hole and place one seed in each tube.

(If you don't have a bag of compost go scavenging – natural nutrient rich compost gets deposited by worms under pots, logs and rocks – this can be mixed with some regular garden soil with the stony bits sieved out.)

Step 4: Once your baby plant is ready to go outside, plant your pot by placing the whole thing directly into a hole in the ground.

Step 5: Share your work by posting a picture on our social media! Facebook / Twitter / Instagram


Explore Art Club #3: Cloud collecting

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You will need: pens, pencils and paper

Step 1: Find a window with a good view of the sky

Step 2: Choose your favourite cloud

Step 3: Look closely at the cloud for a few minutes and then draw a really quick sketch. Clouds can change quickly so don't worry about details, just sketch the outline super fast. Carry on making these quick sketches until you have a collection

Step 4: When you feel confident, start shading the shadows of the clouds

Step 5: Make an exhibition in your window!


Saturday Art Club #1 with Susanna: Make your own storybook


Explore Art Club #2: Make an Identi-Box

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You will need: a small cardboard box, old magazines or newspapers, scissors, and glue

Step 1: Cut out pictures you like from a magazine or newspaper

Step 2: Cover the outside of your box by sticking the pictures on with glue

Step 3: Fill the inside of your box with poems, drawings, precious objects and other small things that are special to you!


Saturday Art Club Teaser: Get creative with our colouring in

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You will need: coloured pencils or pens & a printer

Step 1: Download our colouring in template

Step 2: Print in black & white

Step 3: Get colouring!

Download here


Explore Art Club #1: Create your own sketch book

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You will need: A5 envelopes with windows, needle & thread, and help from an adult!

Step 1: Collect A5 envelopes with windows

Step 2: Open them up to A4 size and stack them on top of each other

Step 3: Fold down the middle

Step 4: (With help from an adult) Thread a needle and stitch the pages together down the fold (stitches should be about 2 cms)

Step 5: Fill your sketch book with drawing for example, of fantasy buildings, using all the envelope windows

Happy Drawing!


New Art Exchange
39-41 Gregory Boulevard
NG7 6BE, Uk


0115 924 8630


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Mon -  Fri: 09:00 – 18:00

Sat: 10:00 – 17:00

Sun: 10:00 – 16:00

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We would like to acknowledge the financial support new art exchange has received from our funders and partners.

Supported by

Logos for; Arts Council England, Nottingham City Council

Capital funders

Logos for; Nottingham City Council, East Midlands Development Agency, Neighbourhood Development Company, European Regional Development Fund, Greater Nottingham Partnership, Arts Council England