Thursday, October 7, 2010

Art Time – Fun with Paint Dough

paint dough art project (3)We’ve been trying to fit a mama-directed open-ended art project in each week.  This week we made “paint dough”.  The recipe for this was from one of the books I’ve mentioned in previous posts – Preschool Art, by MaryAnn Kohl, a book very well worth getting!: 

To make this special kind of paint, mix together equal parts of flour, salt, and water.  I used about 1 cup of each to make about 2/3 a bottle of 5 different colors (you can see our bottles below, I think they each hold about 2 oz.).  After mixing you should have something that looks like this:   paint dough art project (1)Add a tablespoon of tempera paint in various colors (divide the mixture into separate bowls before adding the color), and mix in.  You could use a few drops of food coloring too, if you’d rather.  Use a funnel to fill squeeze bottles with the paint.  Because I know I’ll get questions about where we bought our squeeze bottles, here’s the link. :)

The neat thing about this “paint dough” is that it’s runny, but the colors just bump up against each other and don’t mix together.  You could swirl them with a toothpick or skewer for a really neat effect!  It also creates texture because it is so thick.  Not quite like puffy paint, but very similar.  Thick, yet runny… a very interesting combination!

Use heavy cardboard or something similar for painting on.  We ran out of cardboard and started using cardstock, which was not a thick enough surface and some of the paint soaked through.  It’s a very heavy, wet paint, so a layer of newspaper underneath is a good idea too. paint dough art project (4)

M was fascinated with this this paint.  I have to admit, I was pretty fascinated myself, and spent a little time just playing around with it and having fun. :)

He squeezed and painted and immensely enjoyed himself until every last drop of paint was gone.paint dough art project (6)We had oodles of paint dough creations.  Here’s a few samples of how it looks:

paint dough art project (8)A van on a colored road

 paint dough art project    A tree

paint dough art project (5) A lion, with a green smile :)

Once the paint was all used up M begged for more, but I had used up all our salt and couldn’t make anymore that day.  However, this is definitely on our do again list! 

I should mention that this paint dough takes a while to dry – ours took two whole days for the pieces that had pretty large puddles on them, but only overnight for the pieces with simple lines.  Next time I’ll adjust the tips of our squeeze bottles (they are the glue kind) so they don’t allow quite so much to come out at a time.  All in all, it was a definite success and clean up was minimal for the amount of time it kept M happily occupied!

Have a beautiful day! :)



  1. oohhh how fun!! This is something we will have to try sometime soon!! :-)

  2. That is really cool. Thanks for sharing!

  3. We did this too a while ago ( great fun!

  4. We did this about a year ago and my kids loved it. I'm going to do it again. Thanks for the reminder.

    I love all of the creations M made!

  5. Very cool! Does it still look this pretty dried? Is is dry or wet in the pictures?

  6. What a great idea! I would have to find a safe place to let it dry or JDaniel would redesign it.

  7. This looks like so much fun!

  8. You are a good mumma - this looks fun& kinda messy!!


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