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.
Easy DIY Scratch Art for Kids
- Sturdy paper (we used ultimate art paper)
- Oil pastels (you can also use crayons)
- Black paint (we liked black BioColors the best but also tried acrylics and tempera)
- Foam brush
- Toothpicks and/or Q-tips
1. First we covered paper with oil pastel drawings until the entire sheet was full of color.
2. Then we painted over the oil pastel with a layer of black BioColor paint.
3. Finally, we scratched our pictures and designs through the surface of the wet paint with toothpicks and Q-tips.
We made lots!! The kids were so into this!
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.
- 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.
- Q-tips and toothpicks :: We started with Q-tips in the wet paint for a wider line. Maia preferred the toothpicks…
and Daphne liked to use both the Q-tips and toothpicks together.
- 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).
- 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.
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!
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