homemade puffy paint for kids

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I had seen a few versions of this homemade puffy paint floating around pinterest, and I knew my kiddos would love it. We decided to make some of our own, and the kiddos had a blast. They seriously didn’t want to stop and pretty much used every last drop of it. Once your kids have completed their artwork, you just pop it in the microwave for a few seconds and it rises right off the paper. It is so cool. This was a craft that we made and tossed because I really didn’t think I wanted to keep anything with cooked flour in it (ewww, mold). I made sure to take pictures of all their lovely creations though. This just requires a few simple ingredients to make, and I definitely think it will be one we make again and again. Here’s what you’ll need:

What you’ll need (to make 6 rainbow colours like I did)

6 wilton squeeze bottles
6 bowls and spoons
canvas (without staples in it) or heavy cardstock

For each colour (so if you’re making 6 colours, you’ll need to multiply these ingredients by 6):

1/4 self-rising flour – the self-rising part is important!
1/4 cup salt
4 tbsp water
gel icing colour


1. In a bowl mix 1/4 cup self-rising flour, 1/4 cup salt, 4 tbsp water and a bit of wilton gel icing colour (just 1 colour at a time!).

2. Mix the above all together until smooth and runny.

3. Pour your mixture into a wilton squeeze bottle.

4. Repeat the above process for each colour you make – we made a beautiful rainbow of colours.

5. Give the paints to your kiddos and let them go wild.

6. When they are finished their masterpieces, pop them in the microwave for about 20-30 seconds, or until the artwork starts to rise off the paper.

7. Admire your artwork and check out how cool the 3-dimensional-ness is!

And here’s a little picture overload of some of my kiddo’s masterpieces:


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30 thoughts on “homemade puffy paint for kids

    1. Jill

      I honestly don’t know Lyds. When you pour the paint on the paper, it’s quite liquidy. You would have to wait until it dries completely to be able to tell. The microwave “cooks” the flour and that’s what is making it rise.

    1. Jill

      Ha! You’re probably right. That never even crossed my mind. Same concept as those salt dough christmas tree ornaments us parents keep for years and years. Thanks!

    1. Jill

      I’ve got to be honest with you, this is not a craft I kept. I can’t tell you how well it held up because I don’t have it anymore! I have heard from others though that it will actually last awhile. The salt in the recipe helps “preserve” it.

    1. Jill

      I honestly don’t know because my kids used ALL OF IT when we played with it. They were having so much fun with it, they emptied the bottles. I think as long as you have lids for the bottles and no air is getting in, it might last a little while, but I can’t say for sure.

    1. Jill

      Absolutely! If you want to make your own – for every 1 cup of all-purpose flour add 1 1/2 tsp of baking powder and 1/2 tsp salt. Mix it well and then you can use it! I hope that helps!

  1. Julie G

    Would love to do this craft but we do not have a microwave. Is there a way to do it with a conventional oven?

    1. Jill Post author

      I think you could probably do this craft using an oven. You will probably have to bake it for a longer time period though. It’s the self-rising flour that makes it puffy, and there aren’t any ingredients in it that can’t be baked so I can’t see why it wouldn’t work. If you try it, let me know! Good luck!

  2. Jeanine

    Hey Jill! I have also seen tonssss of Puffy Paint ideas and recipes around Pinterest as well but, never decided to try til now. I actually just wasn’t sure my LO would sit through the creative process with having to wait for the microwave lol! I think the Wilton Colors AND Cardboard are KEY! Ps am I right, are you all Canadian?

    1. Jill Post author

      Thanks Jeanine! I am definitely Canadian! I’m assuming you might be too?! I hope you and our LO enjoy the craft!

    1. Jill Post author

      I don’t know for sure, but I’m thinking it’s probably not washable because gel colours can stain. I also didn’t use a lot of the gel colours – just enough to get the shade I liked.


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