We had to try this watercolor plastic wrap technique out after seeing it on Art Projects for Kids!
It looked like such a fun and rewarding project that even a toddler could do…
…and one that I really wanted to try myself!
Basically, the idea is to add watercolor paint to paper (generously!) and then press scrunched-up plastic wrap over the top and leave it to dry. The watercolors pool under the plastic wrap, especially at the edges, and create an interesting textured look when dry.
How To Do The Textured Watercolor Plastic Wrap Technique
- Liquid watercolor paint (or make your own by mixing water with watercolor paint from tubes)
- Watercolor paper
- Plastic wrap
Step #1) Add the paint.
Maia splashed, splattered, and dabbed the watercolor paint liberally onto the paper. I encouraged her to make big blocks of color the way the activity was presented, which she did to some extent but also enjoyed (as always) mixing the colors.
Step #2) Add plastic wrap.
Next, she added the plastic wrap over the watercolors…
She LOVED wrinkling and adding the saran wrap to the paintings!
Step #3) Let Dry And Peel Wrap.
We left them to dry overnight then peeled off the saran wrap. Cool, huh?
I just think these are great. They look kind of like salt crystals in 2-D form.
I would never have thought to combine saran wrap and watercolor paint, but it’s very effective.
Variations On The Technique
We loved this textured watercolor plastic wrap technique so much that we tried it with the toddler art group.
This is Thalia’s…
I also brought out some bubble wrap to try in place of the saran wrap.
I think I prefer the randomness of the saran wrap designs although this was fun, too. This one is Nathan’s…
And another day, Maia and I had just finished a nature walk and she had a basket full of leaves, pinecones, and acorns.
I wondered if the leaves would concentrate the drying watercolors much the way the saran wrap did, creating cool leaf prints.
We applied the watercolor paints to the paper very liberally, as before, but then instead of crumpled saran wrap, we set leaves on top of the watercolors.
The freshly gathered leaves didn’t lie flat for the most part, so we ended up adding saran wrap as well, then pressing the whole thing under a book overnight so that the leaves would have full contact with the paper and paint as the paint dried.
When we removed the saran wrap and leaves in the morning, the effect was very cool!
For a purer leaf print, I set flat (ie pressed and dried) leaves over the watercolor paint without the saran wrap cover and let dry overnight. It worked perfectly! So if you want just the leaf print, flatten them first. If you want the more artsy design use the leaf/saran wrap combo.
It was fun to experiment with the different materials like saran wrap, bubble wrap, and leaves for these watercolor textured art projects!
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