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50 ways you can use your unfinished artwork

Have you ever found yourself gazing at a half-finished canvas, or a sketch that was never quite completed? You’re not alone. The creative journey can be filled with twists and turns, leading us to artworks that remain suspended in time, waiting for that final touch. While it’s easy to feel frustrated or disheartened by these unfinished creations, remember that they hold a world of untapped potential and hidden opportunities.

There are countless reasons why an artwork might remain incomplete—a shift in inspiration, the demands of life, or the pursuit of new artistic horizons. But fear not! Instead of letting these unfinished creations gather dust in a corner, there’s a way to give them new life and purpose. We understand that no artist wants to see their time, effort, and materials go to waste. That’s why we’ve curated a list of 50 ways to breathe fresh vitality into your unfinished artwork.

Unfinished art: 50 ways to use it

While there’s value in completing what you started, we’ve gathered a collection of 50 ideas to breathe new life into your incomplete pieces. The beauty of these suggestions lies in their ability to rekindle your creative spirit without wasting the effort and materials you’ve invested.

So, if the thought of returning to that initial project doesn’t spark joy anymore, there’s no need to feel disheartened. Instead, let’s move on a journey fuelled by experimentation and the thrill of transforming your incomplete creations into exceptional ones.

Try out some craft ideas.

  1. Cut up your unfinished artwork into smaller pieces and use them to craft a vibrant collage that tells a new story.
  2. Combine your incomplete piece with other materials like newspaper clippings, fabric scraps, or found objects to give it a fresh and unexpected twist.
  3. Repurpose your unfinished canvas as a background for future artwork. Layers of paint can add depth and texture to your new creation.
  4. Incorporate your incomplete art into a visual journal, combining it with your thoughts, sketches, and souvenirs to create a personalized keepsake.
  5. Transform your unfinished work into a series of postcard-sized prints that can be shared or sold as unique art pieces.
  6. Convert your artwork into a jigsaw puzzle. It’s fun to engage others and let them piece together your creativity.
  7. Use your unfinished art to design custom greeting cards for birthdays, holidays, or any special occasion.
  8. To create new digital artwork, take a photo of your unfinished piece and experiment with digital filters, effects, and overlays.
  9. Cut your artwork into bookmark-sized pieces and laminate them to make artistic bookmarks.
  10. Frame sections of your unfinished art to create unique wall decor, adding a touch of originality to your living space.

Use it as some decoration. 

  1. If you have a 3D art piece, add it to another artwork for an excellent mix.
  2. Use your fabric art as a square for a blanket with art squares.
  3. Turn parts of your artwork into fabulous jewelry, like necklaces or earrings.
  4. Change your half-done drawings into pictures for kids’ stories or your tales.
  5.  Make cards that pop up when you open them using parts of your art.
  6. Put bits of your art on gift wraps or ribbons for outstanding gifts.
  7. Stick pieces of your art on plain boxes to make them look special.
  8. Add your artwork to furniture, like tables or cabinets, to make them artsy and valuable.
  9. Put your art pieces on clothes, making them look unique and artsy.
  10. Stick parts of your art on coasters to make them artsy, and stop rings on tables.

Turn your art into accessories. 

  1. Stick bits of your art on phone cases to make them look awesome and unique.
  2. Make big posters with pieces of your art glued together for a patchwork.
  3. Put your art on rocks and place them in your garden for a neat outdoor decoration.
  4. Use parts of your art to make covers for your notebooks or journals.
  5. Stick your art on magnets and decorate your fridge or any metal stuff.
  6. Glue your art onto plant pots for a splash of color and creativity.
  7. Turn bits of your art into keychains and show off your creativity wherever you go.
  8. Make jigsaw puzzles with your art pieces, and have fun piecing them together.
  9. Decorate lampshades with parts of your art for a unique light show.
  10. Put your art on tote bags and have a stylish way to carry stuff around.

Try breathing a new life into your unfinished art

  1. Make bookmarks from your art so you always have a piece of creativity with your books.
  2. Turn your art into small puzzles and send them as greeting cards.
  3. Stick your art on your laptop for a personalized and artsy touch.
  4. Create unique ornaments by using parts of your art to decorate them.
  5. Make special gift tags by adding your art to them and making your gifts stand out.
  6. Use parts of your art to create covers for your school or work binders.
  7. Hang pieces of your art from strings to make a whimsical hanging decoration.
  8. Incorporate your unfinished art into scrapbooks to capture memories creatively.
  9. Attach your art to a folding screen to make a unique room divider.
  10. Break your art into pieces and use them to create colorful mosaics on surfaces.

What story do you see in the work? Use that for inspiration.

  1. Engage with your artwork. Ask it what else it craves and take the time to sit, observe, and truly listen.
  2. Use your unfinished piece as a canvas to practice various techniques, experimenting with new styles and approaches.
  3. Treat your incomplete work as a warm-up exercise. Use it to loosen up and get into the creative flow before tackling more projects.
  4. Infuse your piece with new life by embroidering delicate threads and intricate details, adding a touch of dimension and charm.
  5. Layer new elements over your incomplete work to form a collage that harmoniously merges old and new, telling an evolving story.
  6. Turn your artwork upside down and finish it, seeing how a changed orientation can inspire new creative pathways.
  7. Add a Jackson Pollock-inspired burst of splatter paint, then reinterpret the piece to incorporate the new energy and chaos.
  8.  Repurpose cut-up segments of your art to make charming coasters, letting your creativity serve practical and aesthetic purposes.
  9. Deconstruct and repurpose your artwork into entirely new creations, giving life to unexpected and original works.
  10. If parting ways with your unfinished piece is necessary, honor it with a heartfelt release or goodbye ceremony, letting go with gratitude and respect.

We get it – your artworks mean a lot to you. That feeling of connection is real. We aim to help you feel that connection again like the first time. We hope these ways give you fresh ways to bring back the fondness you had for your art.

Take these ideas as steps towards bringing your art back to life, trying new things, and staying curious. Every artist’s journey has twists and even the unfinished pieces matter.

So, keep being creative and let your work shine. Let these ideas bring you exciting possibilities. You’re discovering more about your art with every try and every change you make. 

Keep being inspired, and keep on creating!

Let’s make this post a growing resource for creatives. What other ideas do you have? Share them in the comments below! Also,

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