Travel and Lifestyle Blog

Watch The Design Tourist Airing on

Non-Traditional Art Materials That Work Brilliantly

Non-Traditional Art Materials That Work Brilliantly

Sitting down and dreaming up a new piece of art is one of the most satisfying activities to try in your day. You can think of so many different mediums and settings, like sunsets, oceans, buildings, people, pets—so many to choose from. As you get inspired, you try to think of how you’ll create your work of art. There’s painting, sketching, clay molding—the possibilities are endless.

But what if you tried something completely unheard of? Sometimes, painting and charcoal just won’t encapsulate your work of art, and you’ll want to try something out of the box. So consider experimenting with a material not originally meant to use in art. Here are a few non-traditional art materials that work brilliantly.

Edible Materials

To some artist’s surprise, you can use edible materials as your art medium. If you decide to paint, you can create homemade paints from foods, dyes, and juices to make something beautiful. Thinking outside of the box is part of finding non-traditional art materials that work brilliantly for your next big project.

If you want to create something with a little bit of elbow grease, you can make busts from carving large blocks of butter or cheese. If you’re going to up the “wow” factor, you can create entire art pieces from cut-up chunks of the food itself. The best part is that if the art piece is edible, you can enjoy a tasty snack along the way!

Natural Materials

Natural materials aren’t anything new for creating beautiful art. It isn’t unusual for an artist to use flowers and other leafy materials to make inks and paints. But if you think it will be more complicated, you can use many different natural goods. You can use candle wax, dirt, rocks, and even wood. It’s a fun way to create textured pieces that give your art a three-dimensional feel.

One of the most fun types of art pieces you can make is a sand sculpture. You can also create beautiful mosaics from rocks and glass or even make an entire sculpture out of hand-carved wood pieces. If you do clay molding frequently, bring your tools along to the beach and spend the day creating your masterpieces. Onlookers will want to take a bunch of pictures of your hard work to show their friends.

Building Materials

Using building materials doesn’t exclusively center around the tools themselves. You can use a lot of different materials to build and create something unique. There’s concrete, cinderblocks, and bricks, to name a few. You can go above and beyond to create a truly unique piece of art by expanding your creative window.

Most of the building materials mentioned are often used in sculpture work. However, that shouldn’t restrict you from trying to make something enjoyable. Whether it’s large or small, you can make a beautiful sculpture strictly using concrete. You can go all out and use metal mesh to create an eye-catching ceiling piece for an entertainment center. It comes down to what you’re comfortable trying.

Don’t feel like you must create an art piece from a complex resource. Sometimes, it’s enough to get yourself excited and carve the apple sitting in your fridge. Stick with simple things out of your home or materials that your friends may not need. You’ll be surprised with what you can create even with a simple coffee filter.

Picture of Karen LeBlanc

Karen LeBlanc

Karen LeBlanc is a freelance writer living in Orlando, Florida with many published bylines in magazines, newspapers, and multimedia sites. As a professional lifestyle writer, Karen specializes in art, architecture, design, home interiors and personality profiles. Karen is the writer, producer and host of the streaming series, The Design Tourist ( that brings viewers a global dose of design inspiration with episodes featuring the latest looks and trends from the world’s premiere design events and shows. She also publishes a quarterly magazine on design travel that you can read by clicking the link: Her journalism background includes seven years on-air experience as a TV news reporter and anchor covering a range of issues from education to politics. Her educational credentials include a Master of Arts in Mass Communications from Northeast Louisiana University and a Bachelor of Arts in Communications from Louisiana State University. Throughout her career, Karen has written and produced dozens of documentaries and videos for educational, commercial, corporate, and governmental clients and appeared in many TV and video productions as a professional host.

Share the post on social media


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Sign up for the latest travel news and insider tips

Latest blog posts

Karen LeBlanc

Karen LeBlanc is a travel host and writer with a popular travel show, The Design Tourist, and a companion lifestyle blog. As a widely published travel journalist and content creator, Karen is a member of the North American Travel Journalists Association. She also serves as the Design and Travel editor of the national lifestyle magazine, LaPalme. Karen believes that every destination has a story to tell through its local art, architecture, culture, and craft. This immersive creative exploration begins with authentic accommodations where the narrative of place unfolds through art, accessories, accouterments, furnishings, fixtures, and food. 

NATJA Gold Award

NATJA Bronze Award