Painting Projects

Children of all ages love to paint, and should be given lots of opportunities to do so, even though it sometimes seems a lot of effort (especially the clearing up). We have many painting projects and ideas here for inspiration, many of which can be done outside in the garden to minimize mess!

Painting Projects for Kids

Mirror Image Painting

Mirror Image Painting

Paint your design on to one half of the paper. Fold the paper in half and press down. Open out the picture and leave to dry.

Splatter Painting

Splatter painting

Water your paint down a little to make it runny. Dip a brush in, then hold it above the paper and tap so the paint splatters over the paper. Keep adding more colours until you are happy with your picture.

Blow Painting

Blow painting

Water your paint down a little to make it runny. Pour a couple of drops of paint on to your paper, then use a drinking straw to blow the paint in all directions.
Keep adding more paint and blowing until you are happy with your picture.

More Painting Projects

Autumn Sticker Tree

Autumn Sticker Tree

This is a lovely craft for younger children, who will enjoy both the hand painting and printing and the sticking on of stickers! You could adapt the craft for spring by using pink "blossom" stickers.

Bleeding Tissue Paper Hearts

Bleeding Tissue Paper Hearts

This was an experiment to see how the ink in our tissue paper would transfer itself to the lovely, textured watercolour paper. We ended up with some very pretty brightly-coloured paper which we cut into hearts for our home-made Valentine's Day cards.

Blob Monsters

Blob Monsters

Kids of all ages will have great fun painting these blob monsters, but of course the idea is primarily aimed at younger children, who will be delighted with the results! Why not paint lots of blob monsters then cut them out roughly and hang or display them around the room...

Bonfire Painting

Bonfire Painting

Here is a clever technique which will allow children to create a really effective bonfire painting for Bonfire Night (or Holi, or Fourth of July, or Diwali) or a campfire for summer...

Bubble Painting

Bubble Painting

Bubble painting is a fascinating crafty activity for kids, which produces different results every time. It can be a bit messy though. Take it outdoors and it makes a great outdoor summer activity!

Bubble Wrap Snowy Picture

Bubble Wrap Snowy Picture

This technique is a fun way for younger children to add some textural snowflakes to their winter pictures! Our photos aren't great but hopefully you can see the effect.

Colour Mixing Leaf Display

Colour Mixing Leaf Display

Learn about mixing colours and create a pretty autumn display with this fun painting craft. We've lined up our leaves across a strip of card to make a display, but you could hang them in graduating order too.

Colourful Bunting

Colourful Bunting

Here's a quick technique for making some really fun, bright and original bunting, perfect for all sorts of occasions. But beware - cover your surfaces, and your children, well!

Conker Painting

Conker Painting

Conkers are such a part of the British autumn that we thought we'd find a slightly different use for our conker collection! Younger children will enjoy the randomness of this painting activity, and rolling the conkers around is fun!

Dolphin Watercolour

Dolphin Watercolour

This lovely painting project has a suitably watery theme given that the subject matter is a dolphin! Children will love how the colours blend together and enjoy watching the effect that the salt sprinkle has on the finished picture.

Dove Silhouette

Dove Silhouette

Once the dove template is cut out this is a simple craft that even the youngest children will enjoy. The effect is surprisingly effective and satisfying!

Eid Silhouette Picture

Eid Silhouette Picture

This is a simple technique for children to master but the resultant Eid silhouette picture is beautiful. Use for a special Eid card, or put your picture on display.

Felt Tip Watercolour Tree

Felt Tip Watercolour Tree

We enjoyed watching how the colours from the old felt tip pens used in this craft spread, and the resultant picture is very pretty. Make sure you use a good thick paper though, or the result might be disappointing.

Fire Engine Poster

Fire Engine Poster

Let your little ones be fire-fighters! This was a big hit with my boys and still graces our walls nearly a year after we made it. While we made a very large version, the same idea can be made smaller for a special card.

Fireworks Paintings

Fireworks Paintings

Kids will really enjoy making these glittery fireworks paintings (but please make sure that the kids, and the house, is well covered up first!)

Glitter Glue Window Display

Glitter Glue Window Display

This craft can of course be adapted for all sorts of holidays and events, but we've done it here for Valentine's Day. It produces a lovely 3d "artwork" which can be adapted to so many different uses.

Golf Ball Painting

Golf Ball Painting

A fun but extremely messy way to create your own piece of modern art, which involves rolling a golf ball around! If you have a large box lid you can contain this painting project safely - otherwise, beware!

Halloween Prints

Halloween Prints

This is a simple technique for making prints which children of all ages will be able to have a go at, and it is a good "quiet" activity for a Halloween party (although we wouldn't advise trying it with a large group of kids as things can get messy!) The finished Halloween prints loo

Halloween Wax Resist Paintings

Halloween Wax Resist Paintings

It is always fun to watch the paint pull away from your wax drawings when doing wax resist paintings, and the effect with a wash of black paint for Halloween is suitably gruesome and spooky!

Handprint Goldfish

Handprint Goldfish

Quick, easy and fun for little kids, this handprint goldfish nevertheless looks effective on display! Of course you could make a whole school of fish this way for an underwater scene, too.

Happy Holi Painted Card

Happy Holi Painted Card

We've used a paint drizzling technique to make this Happy Holi card, and then glued on some craft foam letters. Of course you could make a card like this for any occasions - I think it would make a great birthday card.

Heart Template Card

Heart Template Card or Picture

This simple idea is great fun for the kids, and of course can be adapated using all sorts of templates. How about a Christmas tree, a flower, a simple butterfly or a summer sun?

Hot Glue Stencil Heart

Hot Glue Stencil Heart

We've always been a bit nervous about hot glue, but as long as you supervise very carefully - and for younger children do all the gluey bits yourself - this is a great craft to tie into different themes and holidays, or just experiment with.

Ice Painting

This was a fun experiment, and Sam liked the way the colours turned out. It might be a fun winter craft because of the ice - but we originally came up with it for Holi. You will need to freeze the water earlier in preparation for the craft.

Icicle Bunting

Icicle Bunting

Turn your room into a winter wonderland with the help of this shivery cold icicle bunting! Children will enjoy splodging on the runny paint and watching the colours merge.

Lacquerware Spoon Craft

Lacquerware Spoon Craft

Lacquerware painting has been traditional in Russia for centuries. Papier mache boxes and panels were lacquered and painted with intricate designs and scenes from folk tales.

Leaf Plate

Leaf Plate

Stencil this pretty leaf plate to use (or display) during autumn - or give as a gift. Of course you could adapt the idea for all sorts of occasions.

Marble Effect Painting

Marble Effect Painting

Real marbling takes quite a bit of effort and requires oil paints, tray, water and mess! Here is an easier version for younger children which still produces a very pretty effect.

Marble Heart Card

The finished card is so pretty, I wish our photos did it justice! Swirling the paints around on the paper plate to make the marble effect on this Valentine's Day card is great fun, and it does mean that the paint is relatively easily contained.

Marbled Clouds Craft

Marbled Clouds Craft

This simple craft idea resulted from an experiment, with Sam dropping watered food colouring onto kitchen towel to see how the colours intermingled. We turned the result into some cloud "suncatchers" and put them on display on our window.

Marbled Eggs

Marbled Eggs

Marbled Eggs are fun for kids to make - and pretty to display at Easter, too. You will need marbling inks, which are available in most craft stores. We've used bright colours but pastel colours would make pretty Easter eggs.

Marbled Heart

Marbled Heart

Sam enjoyed watching the paint colours run together when we were doing this Valentines craft. It was a bonus when we discovered the heart looked pretty in the window as a suncatcher!

Marbled Heart Plate

Marbled Heart Plate

We've tried an unusual technique for this plate which made the design rather exciting! Of course you could adapt this for all sorts of events and use different shapes and pictures. A butterfly would look pretty! Remember, this plate is FOR DISPLAY only.

Marbled Holi Plate

Marbled Holi Plate

Children enjoy watching the different colours used on the plate merge into one another and create an unexpected design - although they can end up a bit murky! This plate is for display purposes only.

Olympic Stadium Craft

Olympic Stadium Craft

Sarah has come up with another idea for an Olympics craft, using recycled polystyrene, finger painting and your felt tip pens. It looks great for an Olympics display...

Opening Ceremony Silhouette

Opening Ceremony Silhouette

This Olympic craft idea can be adapted to suit the age of your kids. We've used an old painting technique to create the dramatic background, and cut out a fairly detailed silhouette of athletes carrying their country's flag.

Paint Your Own Whistler's Mother

Paint Your Own Whistler's Mother

This is a super idea for Mother's Day, or all year round! You'll end up with a one-of-a-kind painting to treasure, and your child will remember the real Whistler's Mother forever!

Painted Hand Stamp

Painted Hand Stamp

This is a handprint painting idea for slightly older children. Rather than using one colour of paint on your hand and manipulating the stamp to form shapes on the paper, this time Sam painted a design on his hand first. The result wasn't perfect, but it was fun.

Painted People

Painted People

This lovely craft is perfect for Holi, but it is also fun for a Colour topic or, to be honest, any time! Imagine a whole family of painted people decorating the kitchen or classroom...

Painting with Natural Paints

Painting with Natural Paints

Make the most of your outdoor time by collecting some materials together for a painting session later - using paints that you make yourselves with nature's offerings!

Paper Plate Marbling Tree

Paper Plate Marbling Tree

This is a simple technique which involves a paper plate (one of our favourite crafting ingredients!) and lots of colourful paint. You will need some patience while the "tree" dries!

Puffy Paint Ghost

Puffy Paint Ghost

You can see that Sam really enjoyed using this puffy paint technique to paint his ghost - and the finished picture is fun, too! There is something very satisfying about a textural painting project!

Puffy Paint Heart

Puffy Paint Heart

Puffy paint is always a fun activity, especially when you mix it up yourself! And a heart is a simple shape for all children to manage. Of course you can use this technique to make all sorts of paintings...

Puffy Paint Picture

Puffy Paint Picture

Making your own puffy paint and painting a puffy paint picture is fun for kids of all ages and uses basic supplies only. Have a go and see what the kids can create!

Puffy Paint Pumpkin

Puffy Paint Pumpkin

Puffy paint is fun to work with, and kids love watching it expand in the microwave. Here's a Halloween craft idea with some orange coloured puffy paint...

Puffy Paint Snowflakes

Puffy Paint Snowflakes

Create some pretty, textural snowflakes with our puffy paint recipe, made from kitchen ingredients. Watching the paint puff up in the microwave is always exciting!

Puffy Paint Snowman

Puffy Paint Snowman

There is something so satisfying about crafting with shaving foam - and the kids love it! This puffy paint snowman makes a perfect winter activity, and the 3d finished result is lovely on display.

Russian Cityscape Silhouette

Russian Cityscape Silhouette

This beautiful silhouette picture will look stunning on display at any time - but of course it is particularly appropriate for a study of Russia. The silhouette draws its inspiration from the outlines of St Basil's Cathedral, in Moscow.

Salt Snowflakes

Salt Snowflakes

Here's a quick and fun snowflake activity - and you almost certainly have everything you need easily to hand! The finished snowflakes are really lovely so the kids will feel they have made something special.

Seasonal Tree Canvases

Seasonal Tree Canvases

This lovely craft idea can be undertaken in one go as a project on the seasons - or in four parts over the year as each season arrives. However you choose to do it, the canvases make an eye-catching display.

Shaving Foam Marbled Hearts

Shaving Foam Marbled Hearts

Traditional marbling is fun but, with the oil paints involved, not at all suitable for younger children. Marbling with shaving foam is a great alternative - and so much fun!

Shaving Foam Painting

Shaving Foam Painting 1

Sam really enjoyed our shaving foam painting experiement. The method means that there's always a certain amount of excitment about how the painting will turn out!

Shaving Foam Painting

Shaving Foam Painting 2

Shaving foam has a soft soapy texture and kids love to play with it straight as it comes out of the can - but stirring in powder paint adds an extra element of fun! Make sure to cover the work surface and the child before you start!

Squeezy Bottle Painting

Squeezy Bottle Painting

This is definitely an outdoor project! Protect the kids' clothes well (or take them off on a summer day!) and be prepared to hose the children down well afterwards.

Stamped Leaf Tree

Stamped Leaf Tree

Use a lovely leaf and some twigs collected when out walking and turn them into a picture of an autumn tree with this fun stamping craft. Scroll down to see what the leaf looks like when it is ready to make the print - such fun!

Sunflower Handprint Painting

Sunflower Handprint Painting

Celebrate the summer with this gorgeous sunflower handprint painting, which is fun and simple for kids to make as a summer painting project. Imagine a whole "field" of these on display!

Sunflower Handprint Painting Height Chart

Sunflower Handprint Painting Height Chart

Children will be thrilled to use their own artwork to make a height chart to display on the wall - and the sunflower is a usefully tall flower, so perfect for making this height chart!

Tennis Ball Painting

Tennis Ball Painting

Here is a fun outdoor painting project where the results are unpredictable but effective! Even the youngest children can create some great results with this idea.

Washing Line Display

Washing Line Display

We all love to display our child's best school work and art work, but sometimes the fridge will only hold so much! A "washing line" is an original way to display work and can be used flat against a wall or across a room.

Watercolour Leaf Bunting

Watercolour Leaf Bunting

Sam had a lot of fun creating the mottled watercolour paper that we used for this leaf bunting, watching how the colours mixed together. Make sure you put down plenty of plastic sheeting before you start this craft!

Wax Resist Painting

Wax Resist Painting

Wax resist painting is always a fun techinique to try with the kids and you can get some great results. It helps to have a topic to start with and in our case we were looking at Paul Klee's "The Goldfish" and decided to have a go at our own version.

Wax Resist Snowflakes

Wax Resist Snowflakes

Although our photo doing do this craft justice, it's worth having a go at these wax resist snowflakes.

Willow Pattern Plate Craft

Willow Pattern Plate Craft

Willow pattern is actually English in origin, designed by a man called Thomas Minton in the late 18th Century, although it was based on traditional Chinese one colour pottery.

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