I’ve been trying to come up with more fun, age-appropriate Halloween art ideas for kids and I think these skeleton paintings are a really great one.
Maia and I made full-sized tape resist skeleton paintings a couple weeks ago and have been LOVING them as spooky cool Halloween decor.
The process was fun but not without its faults—we have some refining to do next time around.
How To Make Tape Resist Skeleton Paintings
- White butcher paper (or you could tape two pieces of easel roll paper together)
- Black marker
- Painters tape, masking tape or washi tape
- Black paint, such as tempera paint or BioColor paint
1. Trace person
First off, Maia and I traced each other onto the butcher paper.
2. Add bones with tape
Then we worked together to add pieces of blue painters tape for the bones.
Maia mostly wanted to add the bones to my body, so I added many of them for her body. As you can see from the book in the upper right hand corner of the photo, we referred to our much-loved copy of See Inside Your Body by Katie Daynes.
3. Paint over skeleton
Once the tape bones were in place, we painted over the whole skeleton (and much of the paper) with black tempera paint and then black BioColor paint when we ran out of the first.
4. Let paint dry
We let our skeleton paintings dry.
5. Remove tape
And then pulled up the tape skeleton.
This step was actually trickier than it sounds.
In the past, we’ve done tape resist paintings on canvas, which worked great. The tape pulled right off.
But the tape was harder to pull off from the paper and in some (ok, many) spots pulled up parts of the paper with it, which was frustrating. But I went back over the skeleton with a glue stick and glued the paper bits (that you can see above) back down.
And the skeletons DO look pretty great.
However, next time I would either try to do this on an old white sheet—maybe with watered down acrylic paint.
Try it on paper but use washi tape instead of masking tape. Washi tape is definitely more expensive, but it wouldn’t stick as much, and if you come across three packs for $1 clearance at the Habitat for Humanity store as I did, then it’s easier to justify using them this way.
UPDATE :: People have said to try pressing a piece of tape to your jeans first before placing it on the paper to make it easier to remove later.
Despite our difficulties removing the tape, in the end I think the tape resist skeletons worked well. We hung ours in our hallway.
I LOVE how they look and spend too much time looking up from the computer at the one I can see through my office door.
And besides making spooky, cool Halloween decor, the tape resist skeletons are a good way for kids to learn about the bones inside their body. And as Halloween art ideas for kids go, this one is pretty awesome.
More Body Art Ideas for Kids
- Body Tracing and Painting on a Rainy Day – Try splatter painting & collaging items in this hands-on project. Learn about the body along the way!
- Learn to Draw the Body – using a miniature body model helps kids learn how to draw the body.
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