Creating art with homemade puffy paint

DIY Puffy Paint for Kids

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 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

DIY Puffy Paint Instructions

1. Measure out 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 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 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.

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!

5. Squeeze the foam paint through the small hole onto your paper or board, making puffy lines, dots, and designs as desired.

Creating art with DIY puffy paint

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).

DIY Puffy Paint for Kids - Recipe and Tutorial

6. Let 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.

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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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  • swapna
    July 8, 2015 at 6:32 am

    We just used shaving cream+paint! Its puffy enough! Plus super easy to wash off too :)

    • Jean Van't Hul
      July 8, 2015 at 10:13 am

      Yep, super puffy, Swapna. But the cool thing about this puffy paint recipe is that it holds it’s puffy shape after it’s dry. So if you ever want that sort of experience, give this one a try. :)

  • Manju s arora
    July 17, 2015 at 2:23 am

    It’s lovely and want to know more about ur work . As I work with special need kids it will be nice to have some tips from u .

  • grace
    July 24, 2015 at 6:07 am

    Does the paint last? Can we store it for a long time since it involves flour. Thanks, I love your work.

  • Marmalade
    July 30, 2015 at 8:49 am

    Hi! I tried it and the paint was all lumpy. I tried to smooth it out but it would go flat from over mixing so I ended up using tree times as much shaving cream and it still was lumpy. Next time I would mix the glue with the flour first and then add the shaving cream. Otherwise it was great! And I’d definitely suggest taping the baggies shut because our sandwich bags had two zips and they still leaked pretty quick.

  • Jen Marin
    October 30, 2015 at 12:10 pm

    How many cans did it take to get 3 cups of shaving cream?

  • Mandie
    February 19, 2016 at 3:07 pm

    Can’t wait to try this with the kids at church! I’m wondering though, if I made it the day before I want to use it and store it in zipper bags, will it last?

    • Jean Van't Hul
      February 23, 2016 at 7:39 pm

      I think it should, Mandie!

  • Michelle
    March 13, 2016 at 8:25 pm

    Thanks! Just wanted to let you know that I made this for a school event and it was well-received by kids of all ages (K-5 and even some younger and older siblings). The bags were made 1-2 days before the event and they stayed puffy. Recipe was great and I had no issues with it.

  • Natalie
    June 4, 2016 at 11:29 am

    This sounds awesome! Roughly how many ziploc bags can you get out of this recipe?

  • Kelsey
    June 22, 2016 at 7:33 pm

    This was wonderful! i just made it with an Art Camp I’m teaching and the kids loved it. They helped me make the mix and then all made a different color, then shared them. I think this was there favorite thing we have done this week.

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