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DIY Puffy Paint for Kids

by Jean Van't Hul
July 7, 2015

How to make DIY puffy paint for kids that is actually puffy! Here’s a simple recipe, a step-by-step tutorial, and photos. Homemade puffy paint is easy to make and lots of fun!

DIY Puffy Paint for Kids that is actually puffy

We’ve made homemade puffy paint many times over the years.

Only, what we have called puffy paint is not actually puffy at all, either before or after it’s dry. It’s made from flour and salt and dries as hard as a rock. It’s raised, yes. And lots of fun to make and create with. But puffy might be the wrong word for it.

Last year, we were introduced to the wonders of microwave puffy paint, which, lo and behold!, is actually puffy. It puffs up before your eyes and stays puffy to the touch as well as in looks.

We don’t actually own a microwave, though, so while this is one of my kids’ favorite art activities, it’s not a go-to one for us. (Who knows, though. Maybe I’ll break down and get a microwave for the studio one of these days.)

This past week, though, we tried a new DIY puffy paint recipe. One that is extra puffy and doesn’t require a microwave.

Here’s a video showing Puffy Paint in action! And don’t forget to scroll down for the recipe and lots of photos.

DIY Puffy Paint for Kids

DIY Puffy Paint for Kids

Note: I found this best homemade puffy paint recipe on Meaningful Mama. She tested a variety of puffy paint recipes for us. (I always love it when someone does that!) We found that making a larger batch made more sense for us, but if there’s just one kid doing this activity, you might want to look at her original quantities.

Ingredients for making diy puffy paint

DIY Puffy Paint Ingredients

  • 3+ cups of shaving cream (foam not gel)
  • 1 cup flour
  • 1 cup white glue, such as Elmer’s
  • Food coloring or paint
  • Ziploc-style sandwich bags
  • Sturdy paper or board (poster board, tag board, cardboard, watercolor paper, or paper plates)
Making homemade puffy paint with friends


  1. Measure out your ingredients.

    Add all the ingredients, except for any coloring, into a large mixing bowl.Mixing together shaving cream glue and flour to make homemade puffy paint

  2. Mix your ingredients.

    Combine the shaving cream, flour and glue together without over mixing. (You want to keep the air bubbles in the shaving cream.)Mixing color into homemade puffy paint

  3. Divide your mixture and add color.

    Pour the white puffy paint mixture between 3 to 4 small bowls and add a few squirts of food coloring or paint to each bowl, stirring in, but again being careful not to over mix.
    Note :: If you want to keep all or some of the puffy paint white (for making clouds, snowmen, or for working on black poster board, for example), then you can skip this step.Putting homemade puffy paint in a ziploc sandwich bag

  4. Spoon the puffy paint into sandwich bags.

    Seal each bag (add duct tape as well to help keep it closed if your kids are extra vigorous squeezers), then cut a small corner off.Creating art with homemade puffy paint

  5. Paint with your new puffy paint!

    Squeeze the foam paint through the small hole onto your paper or board, making puffy lines, dots, and designs as desired.
    Note :: A squeeze bottle works, too, and we did our first round of puffy painting with some. However, it was easier to squeeze out and use all of the puffy paint when it was in a bag and there was no clean-up of squeeze bottles necessary (they were not terribly easy to clean).
    Creating art with DIY puffy paint

  6. Let your painting dry overnight.

    You’ll notice the foam paint gets even puffier over time then sets, but is still puffy to the touch even after it dries.DIY Puffy Paint for Kids - Recipe and Tutorial

Pin It for Later 

How to make DIY puffy paint for kids with a simple recipe, a step-by-step tutorial, and photos. Homemade puffy paint is easy to make and lots of fun!

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