Monday, April 9, 2012

Homemade Puffy Paint

I hope you all had a nice Easter/Springy weekend. We had good weather and the kids ate a LOT of jelly beans.The Easter Bunny brought them some sweet Ed Emberley books to add to our collection.
This apparently is an idea that has been floating around for several years, but I just came across it recently here and here. Who knew you could make your own puffy paint? Now, don't be confused like I was and expect it to be similar to the stuff you squeeze out of a bottle. It puffs and that is about the only similarity.
It requires very few ingredients if you have self-rising flour. If you don't, it's only a few more.
Use equal parts self-rising flour and salt. Add just enough water to make a paste.
(To replace self-rising flour - One cup self-rising flour equals:1 cup all-purpose flour, plus 1 1/4 teaspoons baking powder, plus 1/8 teaspoons salt.)
Mix the dry stuff together and then add water.
We split ours up in a mini muffin pan and added food coloring.
We quickly learned that me making purple with food coloring pretty much just turned into various shades of gray.
Both sites recommended cardboard to paint on but we had none, so we used construction paper. It worked fine, but something thicker would definitely be better. We tried various ways to apply the paint; first toothpicks, then q-tips. Q-tips worked better for us, but next time we'll add brushes to the mix.
My older son completely filled his page. Depending on how much you paint, you are going to want to microwave it anywhere from 5 sec to a minute (like this one). Just do short intervals and check on your artwork to see it has puffed up.
Originally I though this project would work perfectly with the arctic animals theme I was doing at home with my younger son. 
Because the paint is puffy, I thought it would make a great polar bear, so I made one with the Northern Lights dancing above.
 They really did look so soft.
He was frustrated by the process, as the paint does not go on smoothly like regular paint, so he chose to draw.
And his polar bear was awesome.
Because it is a bit tricky (at least it was for us) to make nice smooth art, an effective way to paint was to just be totally abstract and sort of make splatters.
And once microwaved, the random wetness turns into puffy creativity. It's almost like a little hidden picture. I did this last one here and it was fun to turn the random globs into faces, fish and snowmen by just adding another little dot or stripe of color here or there. I find it quite enjoyable to sit down and do the art projects with my kids instead of just watching. It reminds me how much I miss this outlet of creativity. Maybe you'll find your inner artist, no matter how good or not, again.

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