26/03/2018 11:50 BST | Updated 29/03/2018 11:01 BST

Get More From Your Printer With These Fun Family Projects

You’re about to get an A-star in arts and crafts - no drawing required.

There are two kinds of parents: those who make beautiful art (and mess!) with their children and those who want to do family crafts but have no idea where to start. Or how to draw a straight line, for that matter.

Well, guess what? You don’t need an arts degree to be the Picasso of crafts – just a really good printer. Using printable templates ensures all of the drawing (and sometimes, the colouring too), is all done for you. So you can enjoy hanging out with the kids, knowing that your paper bunny will indeed come out looking like a bunny (and not a pig).

Here are some cool ideas to get you started. Trust us, you won’t believe how easy crafting can be once your printer’s involved…

  • Printable paper guinea pigs
    The Craft Train
    We can all agree that guinea pigs are totally adorable. Even more so when you don't have to clean up their mess and change their hay every day. Thanks to The Craft Train's printable paper guinea pigs, you can have these pets in your home any day of the week (without the hassle). Bonus: these paper cuties will happily live in the doll's house. Or anywhere, for that matter.
  • Make your own comic
    HP Instant Ink Tumblr
    Calling all budding writers and illustrators. This Make Your Own Comic printable from the HP Instant Ink Tumblr site is just the tool to spark your little one's imagination. And yes, it's the best excuse for parents to live out their childhood superhero/villain fantasies, too.
  • Printable roads
    Picklebums
    Because who needs expensive toys when you can print out your own roads that go on for miles and miles? Sheer genius, courtesy of Kate at Picklebums.
  • Augmented reality educational worksheets
    HP Instant Ink Tumblr
    Sure, paper crafts are fun. But they're also crucial learning aids, from improving focus to enhancing creativity and assisting with developing motor skills. These educational worksheets from HP Instant Ink's Tumblr site help your little one with spelling and letter formation. And once they've perfected those "Cs" and "Ts" writing "CAT," they can bring their words to life thanks to the Zapper app's augmented reality animals strutting across phone and tablet screens.
  • Play fruit
    Moms and Crafters
    Younger kids can get in on the crafting action (minus the mess) with these vibrant watermelon printables from Moms and Crafters. Just print them off on your colour printer and voila - the kids have a snack for their dollies, fruit for the play kitchen and something to sell at the toy market stand (grownups have a summer table display, too). Or try these citrus colouring pages from the site for kids who want to make their mark with felt tips - the citrus slices open up so little ones can write surprise notes to friends and siblings.
  • Stellar sister printable paper dolls
    Lia Griffith
    These paper dolls from Lia Griffith are as stylish as Topshop's windows. And they have equally amazing accessories. Perfect fodder for a girly playdate.
  • Printable panda card
    Arty Crafty Kids
    Instead of buying birthday and thank you cards for all 30 kids in your child's reception class, why not get creative and make some with a little help from your printer? Yes, you'll still be annoyed at having to go to 30 soft play parties, but at least your cards will be fabulous. This printable panda from Arty Crafty Kids should be simple enough for under fives to make (with some supervision, of course).
  • Printable Play-Doh mats
    5 Minutes For Mom
    Ah, Play-Doh. Really fun for kids. Really annoying for adults to clean up off the kitchen table. Which is why we love the idea of printable Play-Doh mats, which encourage children to use their imaginations as they shape money pieces for the piggy bank or make a crazy, colourful "meal" to place in the bowl. Get inspired (and find the printables) at 5 Minutes For Mom. Sanity, restored.
  • Personalised wrapping paper
    HP Instant Ink Tumblr
    If you're looking for an inspired idea of how to showcase the amazing photos from your last family holiday (which are otherwise rotting unseen somewhere in the Cloud), then HP Instant Ink's Tumblr site has got just the ticket: personalised wrapping paper. The printable Photoshop template fits 12 photos and gives you endless opportunities to relive your favourite memories. Finally, wrapping-paper related panic attacks an hour before a child's birthday party can be a thing of the past.
  • Holiday memory gift box
    HP Instant Ink Tumblr
    Looking for yet another way to feature your best photos? And get older kids involved in family craft sessions? Think of this holiday memory gift box from the HP Instant Ink Tumblr site as your own printed-out Instagram best of. These collectable boxed photos will look great on display and make personalised, bespoke gifts. And no, it's not unreasonable to call yourself a professional photographer.

More fun craft ideas