Join our newsletter and get your FREE eBook of the most popular Artful Parent activities!

How to Make Easy DIY Scratch Art for Kids

by Jean Van't Hul
March 29, 2015
This post contains affiliate links.

I’ve always known you could make your own scratch art but for some reason thought it would be too much work and kept buying premade scratch art paper.

But we finally did it ourselves and it was so easy! And fun.

I wish we had tried this years ago.

Here’s a video showing DIY Scratch Art in action! And don’t forget to scroll down to get the step-by-step instructions.

DIY Scratch Art Step By Step

Easy DIY Scratch Art for Kids


Making our own scratch art paper with oil pastels and paint


1. First we covered paper with oil pastel drawings until the entire sheet was full of color.

Making our own scratch art paper with oil pastels and paint

2. Then we painted over the oil pastel with a layer of black BioColor paint.

Making and Using Our Own Scratch Art Paper

3. Finally, we scratched our pictures and designs through the surface of the wet paint with toothpicks and Q-tips.

DIY Scratch Art with Kids

We made lots!! The kids were so into this!

DIY Scratch Art Examples

What makes this scratch art process easier than most… We used oil pastels rather than crayons and scratched our design through the wet paint which was both easier and quicker than if we had waited for the paint to dry.

Here are some more tips and notes

  • Paper size :: Smaller sheets of paper will be quicker to fill with color. I cut our paper in half, but you could go even smaller.
DIY Scratch Art Paper
  • Age :: It’s important to fill the entire sheet with color, so this project works better with preschoolers on up who can/will do that. For toddlers, you can make the scratch art paper for them and let them do the final step of scratching designs in the paper.
  • Oil pastels vs crayons :: You can also use crayons, but oil pastels are easier and quicker, especially for younger kids.
DIY Scratch Art with Kids
  • Q-tips and toothpicks :: We started with Q-tips in the wet paint for a wider line. Maia preferred the toothpicks…
DIY Scratch Art

and Daphne liked to use both the Q-tips and toothpicks together.

DIY Scratch Art Tips and Notes
  • Wet vs dry :: We made our scratch art pictures and designs while the paint was still wet and it worked great. We tried letting some dry first and found that the paint flaked off more unevenly (see the lines I did at the left of the face above).
Testing Different Paint Types with DIY Scratch Art
  • Paint type :: The BioColor paint we used needed two layers to coat the oil pastel layer perfectly. We didn’t usually do two layers though and liked it fine with a bit of color peaking through. You can add a couple drops of liquid dish soap to make it coat the oil pastels more evenly although we didn’t at the beginning. We also tried acrylics, which coated better than the BioColor, and tempera paint.
Testing Paint Types and Soap with DIY Scratch Art

In this photo above, we tested tempera paint vs BioColor paint with and without dish soap and did all the scratch art designs after the paint dried. The three at the top were made with tempera paint and Daphne did the scratch art, which as you can see is barely visible. The three at the bottom were made with BioColor paint and Maia did the scratch art.

We didn’t try doing the scratch art through wet tempera paint, though, which I think would work just fine. So if tempera paint is what you have, I’d suggest making your scratch art designs while the paint is still wet.

I recommend giving this DIY scratch art activity a try with your kids!

Pin It for Later ::

The Easy Way to Make Your Own Scratch Art Paper with Kids

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

10 Best Kids Art Ideas
10 Best Kids Art Ideas

Join our newsletter and get our FREE Creative Activities

Where can we send you our FREE Creative Activities?

Join our newsletter and get our 10 Best Kids Art Ideas eBook as a gift from us

Your privacy is our top priority and we promise to keep your email safe! For more information, please see our privacy policy.