“Cool Tools” — Creating Art with Hardware

"Cool Tools" Carmel Mountain Preschool art project

I was organizing my studio last week and came across my husband’s old toolbox. I started tinkering around, looking for interesting objects that could make different shapes and textures when printed. I found all kinds of interesting hardware and immediately thought that the kids at CMP could use these objects to create shapes and textures in a unique and fun way for an art project.

I call this the “Cool Tools — Creating Art with Hardware” project.

The basic gist of it is this — simply, paint the tops and sides of bolts, screws, and nearly any type of tool that has some shape and texture. Once painted, press the tools onto black or white construction paper.  Discuss and have fun with the repetition and patterns that this project inspires, and your child will create a majestic piece of art!


  • A variety of tools and hardware
  • Tempera or acrylic paint
  • Paint brushes
  • White or black construction paper

Art supplied on preschool art class table

Step 1:

Show the children all of the different types of tools and hardware.  Get them excited about using objects that are used for building, but make sure to explain the importance of safety, as some items may have slightly sharp edges such as screws.

Ask the children questions such as:

  • “What types of shape does the top of the bolt have?”
  • “Where have you seen this shape before?”
  • “What kind of textures might the side of the screw have?”

Pass around the tools, so that the kids can feel them and look at them close up.

Young girl painting in art class

Step 2:

Paint the tops and sides of the tools.

Press onto the paper and count to 5. It’s fun to practice counting out loud, as a class.

Explain the process of repetition and start a discussion.

  • “If I add more than one shape over and over again, it is called REPETITION.”
  • “How might I create repetition with a new tool”?

Preschool girl creating art with tools and paint

Kids art class with tools and paint

Step 3: 

Allow the kids to create their own patterns and designs.

Discuss patterns and repetition as the children create. This will help them to grasp and gain a full understanding of these new vocabulary words after this lesson is complete.

Blonde preschool boy painting in art class

Preschool boy painting in art class

Preschool girl showing paint project

Young girl with painting from art class

Carmel Mountain Preschool student art class painting with tools

Preschool art project painting using tools

Enjoy. Have fun, and create with your children!

“Dear Sea, Love Me” – An Exhibition by CMP Art Teacher, Julie Goldstein

If you enjoyed this post we invite you to read our blog, “‘Dear Sea, Love Me’ – An Exhibition by CMP Art Teacher, Julie Goldstein.

Carmel Mountain Preschool provides a safe and caring environment with hands-on, developmentally-appropriate programs for children. We also offer excellent care for elementary school-age students with our before and after school programs. CMP is located at 9510 Carmel Mountain Road, San Diego, CA 92129, situated between 4S Ranch, Rancho Peñasquitos, Carmel Valley, and Santaluz. For more information, please visit our website or contact us at 858.484.4877.

Blog Categories:


Follow us:

Get Monthly Updates

Enter your email to receive our monthly newsletter containing updates on the school, upcoming events, and other useful information.