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Make Rainbows with Scraper Art for Kids

by Jean Van't Hul
February 4, 2022
rainbow scraper art featured

Scraper art is a fun process art activity for kids and can be used to create a variety of textures and looks, including scraper art rainbows.

Updated April 2022

We’ve experimented with scraper painting a few times over the years, using handmade cardboard scrapers, old credit cards (actually just the fake ones you get in the mail sometimes and store loyalty cards), and combs and kitchen tools.

It’s always a fun process!

Kids either tend to make abstract art with the scraper technique or something realistic.

This time we made rainbows.

Here’s a video showing Scraper Art in action! And don’t forget to scroll down to get more detailed step-by-step instructions.

Making Rainbows with Scraper Art

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*Note about paint: We have used tempera, acrylics and BioColors for this activity and all work well. Anything that’s not too watery should work fine.

**Note about scraper art tools: You can also use old gift cards, store loyalty cards, combs, kitchen tools, spatulas, index cards, and commercially available scraper tools.


  1. Make your scraper tools

    First, if you don’t already have some scraper art tools, you’ll want to make some out of cardboard. Cereal box cardboard works fine, although we used something a tad thicker in these pictures.

    Cut the cardboard into rectangular pieces small enough to hold easily in the hand. Keep some with flat edges and add notches along others, so you’ll be able to scrape through the paint in a variety of ways.

    Make Your Own Scraper Art Tools

  2. Add paint to paper

    Transfer a dollop of paint to your paper. If you have squeeze bottles of paint, simple squeeze a bit directly onto the paper. We used spoons to transfer our paint to the paper.

    Instructions for Doing Scraper Art with Kids

  3. Scrape!

    Use one of your scrapers to scraper the paint across the surface of the paper. Continue adding paint and scraping as desired, experimenting with different marks and combinations.

    Experimenting with different scraper tools and paint

    You can try your hand at abstract scraper art. Or making something specific like these flowers with the scraper art technique.

    Scraper Art Flowers

Or you can use the scraper technique to make rainbows!

Dots of Paint for Rainbow Scraper Art

To make the rainbows, we added dots of paint in rainbow order along the bottom half of the paper, then took a larger scraper (piece of cardboard) and gently scraped / pulled the paint into an arc.

Rainbow Scraper Art
Photo by Jean Van’t Hul

All in all, whether you make rainbows or experiment with other scraper art techniques, we recommend giving this a try with your kids!

More Painting Ideas for Kids

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Make Rainbows with Scraper Art for Kids

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