Pioneer Crafts for Teens to Make

These pioneer crafts for teens were some of our favorite American history activities.

Historical projects are a wonderful way to engage kids while giving them a broader sense of how life was lived years ago.

Some of these items that we consider crafts were created to be useful tools by the American pioneers. Days were long and full of challenges, so everything they made needed to serve a purpose.

Functionality was key, especially in the early to mid-1800s here in the United States.

Craft stick with bobby pin over it holding a candle wick in a glass jar with red liquid - making a candle

Useful or fun, your tweens will enjoy stepping back in time by creating these items.

Pioneer Crafts for Teens

Hands-on activities that focus on American Pioneers are the perfect way to make history interesting for older kids. The last thing they want to do is spend all of their time reading a dry textbook.

So, when you see an opportunity to add in some crafts or fun projects, grab it. 

Whether you’re putting together a pioneer day event or want to jazz up your homeschool history lessons, crafts are a great choice.

There are so many period crafts you can choose from, so pick a handful together that you can do throughout the year.

Here are 8 DIY projects that we created when we were studying the American pioneers and the westward expansion.

Hopefully, one of them will excite your teen and may even become a favorite activity.

Great Pioneer ProjectsGreat Pioneer ProjectsGreat Pioneer ProjectsHeading West: Life with the Pioneers, 21 ActivitiesHeading West: Life with the Pioneers, 21 ActivitiesHeading West: Life with the Pioneers, 21 ActivitiesA Pioneer Sampler: The Daily Life of a Pioneer Family in 1840A Pioneer Sampler: The Daily Life of a Pioneer Family in 1840A Pioneer Sampler: The Daily Life of a Pioneer Family in 1840Daily Life in a Covered WagonDaily Life in a Covered WagonDaily Life in a Covered Wagon


What age are these pioneer crafts for?

Teens and tweens can easily do these crafts, most of them on their own with little supervision.

With the help of an adult, younger kids will be able to make some of them. Just use your discretion.

You can also work on them as a whole family, with kids of all ages, especially if you study history together in your homeschool. 

What supplies will I need to do these crafts?

Each craft requires different materials, so you’ll need to consult the supply list for the individual craft you want to complete.

Some of them use items you probably already have in your craft closet, like fabric squaresglue, and popsicle sticks.

Other projects require more specialized materials like beeswax and a whittling wood.

We recommend gathering all the supplies before you begin any project. That way, there won’t be any delays when you’re ready to begin. 

Collage of 3 American pioneer crafts. Boy whittling, girl basket weaving, girl holding small rag rug.

How Can These Crafts Help My Children Understand American History Better?

Crafts can help older kids better understand history in several ways. 

For teens, it allows them to visualize what pioneer life was like by making items used regularly. As they build something with their hands, they get a tangible experience that helps bring the past alive.

It also encourages critical thinking skills as they work out how these people made these items. Especially when they realize they didn’t have all the modern tools and supplies we have now. 

Finally, crafts help kids connect with history. Many of these items come from frontiersmen who lived a lifestyle that’s foreign to us. By recreating them, teens can appreciate how hard life was for pioneers and respect what they accomplished. 

Small quilt sitting on sewing machine.

Additional Pioneer Activities

Here are more ideas, fun activities, and resources you can use to teach your middle schoolers about early America.

No matter what you choose, your kids will see how fun American history can be when you make it interactive.

Craft Kits for Teens

Do you need a way to make the crafts even easier? Consider using a kit with everything prepared and ready for you.

Apple Basket KitApple Basket KitApple Basket KitTaper Candle Mold SetTaper Candle Mold SetTaper Candle Mold SetFlower Fleece Quilt KitFlower Fleece Quilt KitFlower Fleece Quilt Kit


Pioneer crafts are a great way to bring history to life. There are plenty of projects to choose from, so you should find one that excites your teen.

Girl's hand basket weaving craft project.

Your middle schoolers will have a bunch of fun making these crafts and they’ll learn a lot about the lives of early American settlers. With these crafts, and a little of patience, you may even encourage a passion for history that will last a lifetime. 

Ready to get crafting? Here are some fun historical crafts.

Pioneer Crafts for Kids

Add these DIY craft projects to your American history lessons. While we consider them crafts, the pioneers used them in their daily lives.

Use these projects to teach tweens more about this period in history.

Which pioneer craft will your teen work on first?

Megan Zechman
I love homeschooling! Learning is a way of life for our family. Most days you will find us exploring our Central Florida community, having fun while learning. I am constantly looking for new and interactive ways to engage my older children.
Megan Zechman
Megan Zechman
Megan Zechman

Latest posts by Megan Zechman (see all)


  1. For the hand dipped candle instructions, how many candles did you get out of the 1.5 lbs of wax? If I was doing this with 200 students, how much wax do I need if they were each making 1?

Comments are closed.