Homemade Puffy Paint

7 times out of 10, if you ask Gracen what she’d like to do, she’ll answer “Bike ride!” or “Park!” Guaranteed, the other 3 times you’ll get a very enthusiastic “Paint!”  So that’s just what we did today.  With G on my lap, we browsed my Toddler Activities Pinterest board looking for a fun and new painting method to try.  There were many options – wellie boot painting, muffin tin painting, fizzy sidewalk painting, salad spinner painting, bubble painting, and more – but the pin she selected?  This homemade puffy paint recipe.

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Though we stuck to the recipe fairly closely, we used a slightly different method to make it.  Here’s what we gathered to get started…  Water, salt, self-raising flour, food colouring, a zip-close bag, an ice cube tray, and some paint brushes.

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I of course had the help of this monkey too. (I asked her to do something funny and this was her immediate reaction… Good to have a solid go-to funny face on deck for moments just like these.)

Puffy paint

Though you really don’t need it, we used a mason jar to hold our bag upright and open for us (a cup would work just as well) so that Grae could add ingredients without having to hold the bag open at the same time.  First, she added the salt and flour to the bag.

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Then we zipped it closed and she gave it a good shake.

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Next, we added the water…
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Zipped it closed again {making sure all of the air was out first}, and she smushed everything together until it formed a goopy paste (this was her favourite part).
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Next, we cut the corner off of the bag.
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With just a tiny bit of help, Grae squeezed the mixture out of the bag and into our ice cube tray.
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Then she added several drops of food colouring to each compartment.
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Using our paintbrushes, we stirred the colouring into the paste.
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Then it was time to paint!
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Although most posts about homemade puffy paint instruct you to microwave your artwork, we rarely use ours and I really didn’t want Grae sitting in front of the microwave peering in while each of her pieces ‘baked’.  Instead, we popped ours into the oven for a few minutes on the lowest setting, and it seemed to work just as well (putting them in the sun to dry would probably work too and may give the paint more of an opportunity to rise also).
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The result? Fully dry, yet slightly squishy paint blobs that can easily be hung or added to a art portfolio without crumbling apart.
Want to try for yourself?  Here’s our recipe…
Homemade Puffy Paint
  • 2 1/2 tablespoons of self-raising flour
  • 2 1/2  tablespoons of salt
  • 3 tablespoons of water (you can add more or less depending on your desired consistency, just be sure to not make it too thin, otherwise it won’t ‘puff’ well)
  • food colouring
  • 1 zip-close bag
  • 1 muffin tin or ice cube tray
Place the flour and salt into the bag, zip closed, and shake well.  Add the water, zip close, and smush around until the mixture forms a smooth paste.  Cut the tip off of one corner of the bag and squeeze the paste into your muffin tin or ice cube tray.  Add food colouring and blend.  Create your puffy paint masterpiece making sure to lay the paint on thick.  Bake your artwork in a 150 degree oven for 2 to 4 minutes.
Have fun!

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