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Boredom busting ideas using leftover paint - for adults and kids

19 Aug 2021

Boredom busting ideas using leftover paint - for adults and kids

When you’re stuck at home with no place to go – sometimes you need a few distraction tactics. Get your creative juices flowing by utilising some leftover Resene paints to create some DIY and craft projects that will keep you – or your kids – occupied for hours.

Studies have shown that arts and crafts, including painting, is great for mental health, stress and anxiety. The repetition and concentration required for painting helps put your mind in a state of ‘flow’ and can block out negative thoughts or the ‘noise’ in your head.

Got an odd collection of paints at home? Try mixing Resene testpot paints to create your own unique colours. The key to mixing Resene products is to only mix like with like - so make sure you are mixing the same paint types together.

We’ve gathered together some ideas for nifty projects that can be created with a little paint and a few bits and bobs.

Project for adults: Get artistic

If you’re a newcomer to art, ease yourself into the artworld with an easy stencil artwork. Simply print out the shapes from the stencil to create a mid-century modern style artwork with bold shapes and using vibrant Resene colours. Paint onto thick card, art paper or you could paint over an old, framed artwork sitting in the back of a cupboard.

DIY here: DIY mid-mod abstract artwork | Habitat by Resene 

It can be hard being separated from family. Why not make them a gift ready to give them when we can all reunite again? Paint a terracotta pot with a message of love and you could even plant a seed that will start blooming if you keep it watered and out of the cold.

DIY here: Decorate a plant pot to make a unique gift (

Project for adults: Hang out

All you need is a string, a tree stump, block or wood off-cut and some paint to create a fun hanging shelf. Want to get really creative?  Try painting some old books with missing pages to match your room’s colour scheme.

DIY here: Hanging shelf | Habitat by Resene

Project for kids: Dominoes rocks

Dominoes is a great game for kids – but if you don’t have a set, transform garden rocks into a set. For traditional colours go for traditional black and white like Resene Black or Resene Despacito or try something more colourful. A full dominoes set needs the numbers painted in the combinations below.

Image credit: wikicommons

DIY here: DIY Rock Dominoes | Habitat by Resene 

Project for adults: Stack it up

Get your backyard looking spic and span ahead of summer by getting your firewood all lined up ready to dry for next season. All you need is four planks of wood and one cinder block to make this firewood stacker.

DIY here: DIY firewood stacker | Habitat by Resene 

Project for kids:  Golf ball goodies

Ladybirds are the good guys in the garden – eating many pests such as aphids. Pay tribute to these garden heroes by painting golf balls while also teaching kids about ecology.

DIY here: Get your kids painting with these golf ball ladybirds | Habitat by Resene

Project for adults or kids: Boogie shoes

These shoes are made for painting. Refresh a pair of tired or dirty shoes with some bright painted designs. Using masking tape to tape off the soles and segments on the shoe upper to create geometric shapes or stripes. 

DIY here: Renew your shoes with Resene | Habitat by Resene 

Project for kids: Pour on the colour

Kids will adore dribbling paints over terracotta pots to create this work of art. Use this project as an opportunity to teach kids about primary colours and how blue and yellow make green or even how gravity works – or just have fun and make a colourful masterpiece!

DIY here: Dribble pot - paint a terrracotta pot | Resene kids art - Project 129

Project for adults (that kids will love): Set your walls a flutter

Turn leftover wallpaper into a fluttering work of art. First make a butterfly stencil on cardboard before tracing around the stencil onto the wallpaper - try doubling up some pieces to create double winged butterflies. Blu Tak the butterflies to the wall.  If you don’t have any leftover wallpaper paint your own designs onto recycled paper and cut out into your butterfly shape.

Or let your walls bloom with giant roses.

DIY here: Set your walls aflutter | Habitat by Resene

And here: How to make giant flowers | Habitat by Resene


Project for kids: Paint your veggies

What’s up Doc? Create a garland that Bugs Bunny would adore using string, newspaper and Resene paint. These carrot garlands are an easy project that will help kids celebrate their veggies. You could even make a shorter and smaller version to make a carrot necklace. Kids will need a hand with the glue and the string – but leave the fun part, the painting up to them.

DIY here: DIY carrot garland | Habitat by Resene

For more free ideas for projects you can do around your home to help you keep busy, visit

Published: 19 Aug 2021