48 Excellent Native American Crafts to Make

Updated on November 15, 2017
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Loraine loves arts and crafts and used to volunteer at an elementary art class. She loves sharing fun and kid-friendly craft tutorials.

When studying about Native American Indians, kids love making Indian art and craft projects. At times teachers experience difficulty finding Native American art projects which include tutorials. That was a huge problem for me when I was volunteer teaching an elementary art class a few years ago. Now that I have time to do the searching, I've found many great crafts which I'd like to share them with you.

You'll find the directions for the teepee project shown above at Classroom.

1. Indian Crafts on Kids & Glitter

You can find this "Native American War or Medicine Shield," and many more Indian crafts in the 3rd Grade Projects Gallery at Kids & Glitter.

Included in the 3rd Grade Projects Gallery are projects that include American Indian Art, American Indian Parfleche, American Indian Drum, American Indian Medicine Bag, American Indian Papoose,

Also in the 4th Grade Projects Gallery you can find an American Indian Totem Pole project and a Native American Ceremonial Mask. And in the Miscellaneous Projects Gallery there is an American Moccasin project and a Fake Corn Husk Doll project.

2. Cornhusk Dolls

Make cornhusk dolls like the Indians and colonists did. For the directions, go to the Martha Stewart site.

3. Paper Plate Rattles

The kids will really get into making this project. Paper plates, a paint stick and paper mache! Find all the instructions for making these rattles at Art is Basic .

4. Felt Teepee

Making an Indian village with felt teepees is a great classroom project. You'll find the instructions for making the felt teepees is found at Munchkin and Bean.

5. American Indian Headband

A fun project that could be used for Thanksgiving. A great time to discuss the important role the Indians played at the first Thanksgiving celebration. Go to Firstpalette for the instructions.

6. Peace Pipe

The kids will have a great time making this peace pipe. For the instructions and some interesting notes about the peace pipe, go to Plains Indians Crafts.

7. Indian Medicine Bag

The bead work on this Indian medicine bag makes it a special project. Find the directions and reading suggestions for this craft at Eastern Indian Crafts.

8. Kachina Doll

The Indians in the southwest, the Pueblo Indians, considered the Kachinas ancestral spirits who came to help their people. To make the Kachins dolls, go to Southwest Indian Crafts for the instructions.

9. Woven Basket

An easy craft for the classroom. Find the supplies list and instructions at The Crafty Classroom site.

10. Indian Necklace

A pasta necklace with colored pasta. The directions for dyeing the pasta is included in the instructions for necklace at All Kids.

11. Totem Pole

This milk jugs totem pole, with directions at Danielle’s Place, looks like it would be right at home in a family room or den. The size and colors will make it a family favorite.

12. Native American Indian Costume

To make an easy and fun Native American costume, with very little sewing, go to Dresses 'n Messes.

13. Dreamcatchers

Find step-by-step instructions for making this beautiful Dreamcatcher at That Artist Woman.

14. Simple Native American Necklace

15. Indian Girl

At Artists Helping Children you'll find the templates for a printable, foldable paper Indian girl.

16. Indian Boy

You'll also want to print out and fold together a paper Indian boy. Get the template and instructions at Artists Helping Children.

17. Southwest Indian Drum

A salt container, felt and feathers are all it takes to make this Southwest Indian inspired drum. You'll find the instructions at Southwest Indian Crafts.

18. Indian Medicine Pouch

Little kids will love this felt version of the Indian medicine pouch. Go to Naturally Educational for the directions.

19. Indian Rain Maker

Another fun and easy rain stick craft. Find the instructions for this recycled supplies craft at Activity Village.

20. Begin With a Buffalo

Make Indian symbols, but begin by cutting out a buffalo shape. Find all the directions for this neat craft at Crayola.

21. Native American Sand Painting

This sand painting project also includes a cute poem about the Indian's use of sand art. Go to Kinder Art to find out how to do this sand painting.

22. Native American Indian Drum

This may be too difficult for the little kids, but the older ones will enjoy making this drum. Go to Kids & Glitter to see how it's made.

23. Native American Herb Pouch

This would make a great classroom or home school American Indian project. Go to Crayola for the instructions.

24. Native American Indian Pottery

Go to the Crayola site to find out how you can make beautiful pottery like this.

25. Native American Talking Stick


Hold a family council and use this replica of the Indian talking stick to maintain order. This craft is found at Activity Village.

26. Indian Pony Bead Bracelet

Both the boys and the girls will enjoy making a pony bead bracelet, so this would be a great classroom or troup activity. Find the instructions for this project at A.C. Moore.

27. Indian Village Dioramas

Find lots of great ideas for making Indian village dioramas at THE {ART} OF LEARNING. A great class resource.

28. Pony Bead Ears of Corn

Pony beads come in so many colors that it'll be fun to make these ears of corn with them. The kids can make these ears of corn by going to Cutesy Crafts for the instructions.

29. Native American Shield

This is a really nice classroom project. Get the directions for this craft at ABC School Art.

30. Bead Loom Bracelet

I really love this craft and can't wait to try it with my granddaughters. You'll find a super easy to understand tutorial at All the Good Girls Go to Heaven. Beautiful!!

31. Native American Breastplate

Make a breastplate like those worn by Sioux warriors. You'll use drinking straws and beads to make the breastplate, and then finish with feathers. New Archaeology has the directions for making this native American project.

32. Burlap Weaving

This would make a great classroom or scout project because the supplies are inexpensive and easy to find. You'll find the instructions on burlap weaving at Blick.

33. Coilpot

Pueblo Indians of the Southwest are famous for their crafts. This lesson uses clay to make the Pueblo inspired coilpot shown above. Make coilpots to enhance a classroom lesson on the Pueblo Indian culture. For the instructions, go to the Blick site.

34. Shakers

The kids will love making their own shakers. Imagine all the fun they'll have while playing this musical instrument. You'll find the instructions on how the shaker is made, go to the Fairy Dust Teaching site.

35. American Indian Arrows

Making Indian arrows would be a nice activity for a group of Scouts. The arrows would be a great memento of the camp, but also can be used as décor in the boy's or girl's bedroom. For the tutorial, go to the Modern Kiddo site.

36. Indian Costume

If you want to make a quick or inexpensive Indian costume, consider making a paper bag costume like the one shown above. You'll find all the directions for this project at Kids Creative Chaos.

37. Stick Weaving

38. Corn Husk Dolls

I realize that there is another corn husk doll in this article, but I think there are enough differences that you'd like the choice. Go to Be Brave Keep Going for this version of the corn husk doll.

39. Wind Chimes

I think this would be a great classroom project. Gathering the supplies, which are super inexpensive, can be done during one class period or each student could bring the supplies to class. For the tutorial to put the wind chimes together, go to the Art Club Blog site.

40. Aztec Art

The Aztec sun art is a favorite of mine. Help the kids make beautiful Aztec sun art like the one shown above by going to the 123 Homeschool 4 Me site for the instructions.

41. Paper Bag Vest

Kids learn so much better when a subject includes some hands on activities. Making paper bag vests will give studying Indian culture a more personal event. Go to the Crayola site for instructions for this craft.

42. Indian Chief

A great project for little kids learning about the meaning of the Thanksgiving holiday. You'll find the instructions for making this paper cup Indian chief at Activity Village. An easy, and fun project.

43. Bubble Wrap Indian Corn

The Indians taught the Pilgrims how to plant and harvest corn. This is a great project for classroom use when studying our Native Americans. Find the tutorial for making the bubble wrap Indian corn at Crafts for all Seasons.

44. American Indian Jewelry

45. Printable Totem Pole

This printable totem pole project will come in handy for use in the classroom. Especially if the time allotted is restricted. Find the instructions at Let's Explore. You'll find great free totem pole coloring pages, at Cool 2 B Kids, which will work beautifully for this project.

46. Beaded Head Band or Belt

With the instructions given at, There’s a Dragon in My Art Room, for making these beaded head bands or belts, they are called wampum belts. This would make a great classroom art project when learning about our Native Americans.

47. Native American Talking Stick

I think the Native Americans really had a great idea with the talking stick. During a meeting, whoever had the talking stick could say what he wanted without anyone else interrupting him. Everyone else listened carefully. This is a little different than the talking stick shown earlier and is also a very nice project. The instructions can be found at Classic Play.

48. Feather Hair Clip

Making these feather hair clips would be a nice project for a camp or classroom activity. Find the tutorial for making this hair clip at Pow Wows.

© 2012 Loraine Brummer

Do You Make Native American Crafts For Thanksgiving? - or leave a comment

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    • profile image

      Emily 4 weeks ago

      My daughter needed to do a Native American project for a grade in school and she used your wonderful Wind Chimes idea.

    • profile image

      Maya 8 months ago

      Thank you for doing this it helped me a lot with my native Americans project

    • profile image

      Lora 19 months ago

      Thanks for sharing our Native American Dress, it is an older post, so I was surprised to see it getting so much attention this week!

    • aesta1 profile image

      Mary Norton 2 years ago from Ontario, Canada

      We are in Arizona now and this trip has given me a better appreciation of the native American Indian art and crafts. I can't have enough of it.

    • lbrummer profile image

      Loraine Brummer 2 years ago from Hartington, Nebraska

      Thanks, Jessica, for your visit and comment.

    • profile image

      Jessica 2 years ago

      I am Native American and I am also a teacher. Most of these crafts are great to do with young kids, but please, please, do NOT make "costumes" as apart of teaching your children about Native culture. These costumes are offensive and do not adequately reflect my culture in any way. Our regalias are personal to us and are all unique. They are usually made with the help of elderly women in our families, such as our mothers and grandmothers. These "costumes" do not reflect the amount of work, love, and culture that goes into making an individual's regalia. With that being said, I hope that you would choose not to do this "craft" with your children. Many thanks. #culturalappropriations

    • profile image

      Barb 2 years ago

      There are a few things I'd like to try on this list. Thank you.

      A note on the costumes... most Native American people find dressing up as Native Americans for Halloween etc. to be offensive. Thankfully, our local school has a policy against this for the Halloween parade, along with any other costume that could be offensive. If you really want to offer a 'unit' on Native Americans, help your children to understand how to respect other cultures as well as learn about them.

    • NicoleRM profile image

      NicoleRM 3 years ago

      Thank you!

    • profile image

      nonya222 4 years ago

      I had to send this to a few teachers. They are going to love it.

    • profile image

      anonymous 4 years ago

      What wonderful delights and so well presented!

    • bluelily lm profile image

      bluelily lm 4 years ago

      This is an elaborate lens on Native American Crafts listing ornaments, dolls, musical instruments, baskets, bags and many more. But I liked the Cornhusk Dolls the most. Thanks!

    • bluelily lm profile image

      bluelily lm 4 years ago

      This is an elaborate lens on Native American Crafts listing ornaments, dolls, musical instruments, baskets, bags and many more. But I liked the Cornhusk Dolls the most. Thanks!

    • wiseriverman profile image

      wiseriverman 4 years ago

      This is an awesome lens with so many inspiring crafts. I'm bookmarking this wonderful resource,

    • profile image

      anonymous 5 years ago

      This is very special, my soul found a resting place here as I was scrolling through and I heard myself give a restful sigh. I'm a lover of Native American crafts and you have done something wondrous here, thank you!

    • bezabeza profile image

      bezabeza 5 years ago

      This is an amazing resource for teachers and also parents.. My friend's mother-in-law is native american. Living in England there's not so much around to celebrate and explore native american culture and it's ideas like these that will be fun for her to try out with her little boy! Lovely to meet you! :)

    • profile image

      jgbrew50 5 years ago


    • profile image

      DDLewis 5 years ago

      A great collection of craft ideas!!

    • Essentially Ind profile image

      Essentially Ind 5 years ago

      wow so lovely crafts ..........so attracting, peaceful and wonderful. :)

    • PamperedPen profile image

      PamperedPen 5 years ago

      Great ideas for Thanksgiving.

    • Deadicated LM profile image

      Deadicated LM 5 years ago

      These are great; thanks for sharing!