Tape Resist Paintings for Kids
Kids Arts and Crafts Activities Painting

Tape Resist Paintings for Kids

Tape Resist Art for Kids

We’ve done various versions of tape resist paintings over the years, starting with the toddler art group when Maia was little.

Tape resist paintings are a great standby art project for kinds to approach in different ways with different materials over time.

We’ve used masking tape, painters’ tape, contact paper shapes and initials, washi tape, and stationery store stickers.

We’ve used tempera paint, watercolors, activity paint, BioColors, and acrylic paint.

And we’ve made abstract art, buildings and cityscapes, words/banners, trees, and human skeletons.

Here are the basic instructions, photos from our most recent tape resist painting exploration, and some fun ideas for variations.

Tape Resist Paintings for Kids

Tape Resist Paintings for Kids

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Applying Tape for Tape Resist Paintings


Tear or cut off strips of tape and press to the canvas or paper in the pattern or image desired.

Note :: For a toddler, you can cut or tear the pieces of tape for them and either adhere them lightly along the edge of the table or around the perimeter of a can for them to use.

Press the edges of the tape design down securely (to prevent paint from seeping under the edges as much as possible).

Painting over tape in the tape resist paintings

Paint over the entire canvas, including the tape design, as desired. We used activity paint this time, as well as some BioColors. Basically, just what we had on hand in the colors the kids wanted to use.

We’ve done this in the past with tempera paint, too, and even with liquid watercolors (on paper).

Tape Resist Paintings for Kids

You can lift the tape right away or let the paint dry first.

Removing tape from tape resist paintings

We’ve done both.

By the way, these are the art mats pictured. (I always get asked… You can find out more about them in my post about the best kids art tools.)

Adding detail to tape resist paintings with permanent markers

If desired, add detail to your artwork with Sharpies or other permanent markers.

Add detail to tape resist painting with permanent markers

Daphne added a variety of patterns to each place the tape had been.

Add detail to tape resist painting with permanent markers

I traced my tape resist areas and added a few striped circles to my painting.

Tape Resist Paintings - An easy and fun art activity

And Maia turned her tape resist trees into birches with strategic dashes and lines.

There’s so much potential with tape resist art! So many ways you can do this. I hope you and your kids give tape resist painting a try sometime and experiment with the general technique.

Tape Resist Painting Variations

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A tutorial for tape resist paintings plus fun ideas for variations on this simple kids art activity.


  • Reply
    January 11, 2016 at 11:03 am

    That’s a great idea! Can I use scotch tape or duct tape instead?or maybe I have the insulated tape too.

    • Reply
      Jean Van't Hul
      January 12, 2016 at 8:26 am

      Thanks, Sonal! I haven’t tried scotch tape or duct tape, but here’s what I think… Scotch tape probably wouldn’t adhere well enough to canvas to work for tape resist. It would adhere to paper but might not be easily removable afterward. I don’t think duct tape would be as easily removable from either. (And I don’t know what insulated tape is.) However! You could experiment and see what happens!

  • Reply
    August 11, 2016 at 5:54 am

    Will be trying this soon! What kind of paint brushes are you using in these pictures? I’m having the hardest time finding quality brushes where the bristles don’t fall out and the kids actually like painting with them.

  • Reply
    Tammy Graham
    January 15, 2021 at 11:41 am

    This never works for me. The tape comes off just fine until it is painted over then it tears the paper. Any suggestions?

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