DIY Tramp Art

Appropriate for grades:
Subject areas: Visual and Performing Arts

A notch and a layer. Some wood and a knife. Patience and labor. These are the key ingredients of tramp art, a form of woodcarving that was common among working-class men (and occasionally women) primarily from the 1870s through the 1930s and 1940s in the United States and Europe. Tramp art assumed a wide variety of forms, from sewing boxes to frames, clock cases to devotional objects, and whimsies to furniture. Made primarily from recycled cigar boxes, crates, and other wood scraps, tramp art demonstrates the makers’ inventive transformation of the detritus of modern industrial society into useful and beautiful household objects. Photographs were special heirlooms, tramp art frames were popular as a wonderful way to protect and display these unique memories.

 Create a unique frame for someone special or cherished photograph!


You'll need:

  • 1 piece of sturdy cardboard 8" x 10"
  • 3 sheets of construction paper (3 colors) or any colored paper
  • glue stick or liquid glue
  • scissors



Download Lesson Plan