Tag Archives: paint

Balloon Print Monsters

7 Feb

I’ve recently noticed that my darling Duckman is quite artistically inclined, which is something I wasn’t prepared for. Rooster, although he does enjoy art when he does it, he rarely seeks it out. Duckie on the other hand draws on everything, I am trying to teach him, with out much luck, that we only draw on paper, however he is rather free spirited and draws wherever and on what ever takes his fancy. Yesterday I discovered a master piece on our newly laid timber floor, thankfully it was done in pencil and will be easily removed.

balloon print

So with this new realisation, my February goal of more kid art and some one on one time with Duckie now Rooster is at school we embarked on balloon printing.

This is so simply and such fun.

All you need is



a small cup or bowl to hold the paint

goggle eyes (optional)



First of all you need to blow up the balloon, not too big as it needs to be easily handled by little hands and it also needs to fit into the bowl of paint.


Add some paint to your bowl.


Dip the balloon into the paint and press it onto some paper.


It does slip around so you need to be firm.



We placed the eyes on while the paint was wet so that they stuck once the paint was dry.


 You don’t need to use eyes, you could just draw them on.

Once the paint is dry use the markers to add personality.


Easy peasy isn’t it?


I am totally in love with the tie-dyed effect of this printing, and the texture of it. I think it would make some pretty rad wrapping paper.


Little Duckie had a great time. Watching his creativity is super awesome. He turned his prints into a mixed media collage with the addition of some washi tape.

DSC_1267 DSC_1271




Advent Calendar

28 Nov

This year has just completely gotten away from me, how did it get to be Christmas again already? I had such plans of Christmas craftiness and starting early but here I am in the last week of November and only just getting going!DSC_1061

So this year I wanted to make the Minimen an Advent calendar with a difference, instead of cheap chocolate or junky toys for the countdown to what is possibly the greatest day of the year for most kids, I decided to fill their days with fun (hopefully) events. Some of them are simple, like a trip to the movies or their choice of take out meal, others are much more exciting like a trip to an outdoor ice skating rink ( this is pretty special since Christmas is in the middle of Summer here) or visiting Lollipop Land.DSC_1053

To make the calendar I used a bamboo stick, any other type of stick would work just as well, DSC_1033paint,DSC_1034 glitter, DSC_1035string, Christmas ornaments DSC_1070and small cards and envelopes.DSC_1047

Even though it is the middle of Summer in Brisbane I love Winter themed Christmas decorations. I started by painting the bamboo blue, then once that was dry I painted some craft glue on the ends and in the middle and coated this with white glitter.DSC_1050

Using a silver marker I wrote each activity on a card and placed it in a numbered envelope.

I punched a hole in each envelope, attached a string and tied them to the bamboo. I added the snowflake decorations, hung it on the wall and took a bunch of photos of it.DSC_1068

I can’t wait to start opening the cards with the Minimen. I hope they enjoy this as much as I enjoyed making it. DSC_1067

Pinecone Art

9 Aug

Before starting this blog my Minimen showed very little interest in creative activities and when I started doing crafty things with them it could be difficult to gain their interest.

Now, after around six months later they are initiating activities themselves, like this afternoon on our way out of daycare, Rooster picked up a pinecone from the ground and while we were driving home he asked if he could paint it . Of course I was delighted and said yes.

As soon as we were home they bounded out of the car and ran upstairs to find some paints and brushes.DSC_0777

Rooster set everything up himself and both Rooster and Duckman happily painted away for all of about five minutes and together they created a lovely painted pinecone.DSC_0780

DSC_0786Duck man missed the pinecone occasionally, getting a bit more paint on the table






Duckman really hates dirty hands at the moment, this is him showing some concern over the paint on his hands.



This is the end result



Snap Painting

14 Jul

During the week I promised The Minimen we would do some snap painting, we ended up being to busy during the week to do it so from early this morning Rooster was onto me to do it today.DSC_0714

So after a visit to the farmers markets, a quick Facebook check in and a lot of nagging I finally set them up to do their painting.

Snap painting is so easy and you should have most things you need around the house.

Gather some rubber bands, something to wrap the bands around, we used a plastic container but a shoe box or even a cake tin would also work well, paper that will fit inside your chosen box and of course paints.DSC_0695

Put your paper in the bottom of your container then wrap the bands around the container at varying intervals.

At this point it the kids will love to explore the sounds the rubber bands make when being snapped. Both Rooster and Dukman are really into music, so they both had a blast playing their “guitars”.


After the musical diversion we used our fingers to smother the bands in paint, DSC_0699

then it was time to flick away!DSC_0704



Even Duckman joined in with this activity, usually he is distracted by being outside when we paint, but this one

was right up his alley.



Both Minimen really enjoyed this art activity and stayed focused the whole time and they ended up with some really great paintings! I had been expecting this to be really messy with all the flicking bands flinging paint everywhere, however, it wasn’t any thing like that. All the paint managed to make it to its desired destination, which left a super easy clean up. This is something I really like.

This was a great activity. It provides tactile and musical experiences and it was really interesting to watch the way the paint splattered when the band was flicked and it will be engaging for a range of ages.

Here’s some of the art works The Minimen created



Home-made Water Colour Paints

20 Jun

There are an abundance of home-made paint recipes on Pinterest and since our store-bought water colours have been destroyed due to a little over zealous water adding and then subsequent colour mixing I decided to give one of these recipes a go.

The one I chose comes from All Parenting. It seemed easy enough and they had very pretty pictures, which was what drew me to that particular one.

What You’ll NeedDSC_0701

  • 1 cup of baking soda
  • 3/4 cup of white vinegar
  • 2 tbsp of corn syrup (this is not available in Australia so I used glucose syrup, which is made from corn so I guess it is similar)
  • 1 cup of corn flour
  • food colours
  • a jug with a spout
  • ice-cube tray

How to make it

  • Put the baking soda in the jug
  • Add the vinegar slowly as it will bubble and you don’t want it to overflow
  • Wait until the bubbling stops and mix well
  • Add the corn syrup
  • Add the corn flour and mix wellDSC_0708

It is quite thick and gooey!

Carefully pour it into the ice-cube tray, don’t over fill it or your colours will mix together.DSC_0709

I used a toothpick to scoop up a little bit of colour and mix into each cube, some of my cubes were too full and they overflowed into the cube next to it.DSC_0711

They need to sit over night or maybe as long as a few days before they are able to be used.

After sitting overnight they had firmed up and were the consistency of firm jelly, not quite as wobbly as jelly but they are not chalky like store-bought water colours can be, which is sort of what I was expecting. They also had a thick layer on top that had not set so I used some absorbent paper towel to soak this up. Then it was time to try them out. I also think they must expand a bit as they set because some of our colours had migrated to the cube next door.

You can see here the colour migration, but this was almost completely fixed when I blotted the top layer

You can see here the colour migration, but this was almost completely fixed when I blotted the top layer


I must say I wasn’t really expecting much but I have to tell you my expectation were far exceeded!DSC_0719

These paints are wonderful! We just dipped our brushes in some water dabbed them on the paint and away we went creating fabulous stories! (that is how Rooster likes to paint, we I make a series of pictures that tell a story) Today he told a story about an alien that was walking past a tree, then he went to a party and danced and ate party food, then went to the playground with his new friends! DSC_0730


Any way getting back to the paint, the colours were vibrant and they behaved exactly how water colours should. I love, love, love them and will never go back to store-bought paints again.

They were easy to make and Rooster had fun helping to make them, he especially like adding the vinegar to the baking soda. The paints themselves were easy to use and you can make your own custom colours and another big plus, you know exactly what has gone into them and can be assured that they are 100% non-toxic! so what are you waiting for go and make your own!


Autumn leaf Printing

30 May

Autumn is just about over here and sadly, unlike other parts of the world, in Brisbane we don’t get the explosion of red and orange leaves all over the ground.

This week we wanted to make our own Autumn inspired paintings.DSC_0633

A few days ago I took The Minimen down to the park to collect some leaves of different shapes and sizes. It was a really wonderful experience for them running through the field and looking at the different plants and their leaves, they even encountered a dog on the walk which as always is a highlight of any day with these boys.DSC_0559DSC_0562










As we were too late getting home and it was dark outside we were unable to make our prints right away so I pressed the leaves in a book to keep them from curling up.

This morning we set our printing up, we lay out several sheets of paper on the table, squirted acrylic paint onto plastic plates (each colour got its own plate to avoid mixing them)DSC_0617

and we had a rolling pin.

We pressed leaves into paint and then onto the paper leaving colourful impressions when we peeled the leaves away.DSC_0618

We also sandwiched painted leaves between two sheets of paper and rolled with the rolling pin.DSC_0622

The prints worked best when the leaves didn’t have too much paint on them and had already been used for several prints.DSC_0625

I ended up doing most of the printing as The Rooster, although initially very excited about the project, once he had had a turn,  became distracted by creating “prints” with a wet washer on the deck instead and Duckman showed no interest at all, preferring to jump on the trampoline in the rain.DSC_0630

This project gave us some wonderful bonding time during our walk through the park and the printing allowed colour experimentation and gave them some simple print making skills.


We Heart Dinosaurs!

15 May

Do you remember a few weeks ago we made Salt Dough Dinosaurs? Well, they have been sitting in a box waiting for me to go buy some paint to pretty them up since then. Finally I decided it was time to finish what we started and create the art work for The Minimen’s future bedroom, bought some paint and pulled out the dinosaurs.


I sometimes have trouble letting go of my artistic vision when creating with The Minimen and allowing them to enjoy the experience and make something that pleases them, rather than what I think they should be making. This dinosaur artwork was no exception. I had an idea in my head of how I wanted it to look, that is each dinosaur a single colour, so when The Rooster started mixing colours and applying them liberally I had to take some deep breaths and just let go and enjoy his creativity.



We had a great time doing this and the art work turned out just fine.

This is how we did it.

We chose some deliciously bright colours of acrylic paint.


Using a variety of sponges and brushes we applied the paint to the dinosaurs and stars, then set them aside to dry.




While they were drying I painted random and uneven chevrons in the same colours we used for the dinosaurs onto a canvas we had.


We left our painting over night.

The next day we found that some of the dinosaurs had gone soft and the paint bubbly and cracked.



I’m not sure why this happened, or why it only happened to some of the shapes, maybe the wetness of the paint got into the dough and effected it. So if you are doing this  putting some sort of sealant over the salt dough before painting might prevent this.

I gave all the shapes a coat of clear nail polish to protect the paint and give them a glazed look. You could use any sort of clear varnish/finishing product to do this, I just happened to have nail polish at hand so that is what I used.


I used a hot glue gun to fix the shapes to the canvas. There was some conjecture on the placement of them. The rooster wanted a more camouflaged look with a dinosaur placed on a chevron of the same colour while I wanted them to stand out by placing them on a different colour. I won out since I was the one handling the glue gun.

Here is our finished piece.

DSC_0506I can’t wait to hang it on their wall, it is going to look fantastic and it will be even more special because we made it together!


Pop, Pop, Pop….bubble painting

27 Mar


Today, after asking Mr 4 which activity he would like to do, it was decided that we would try bubble painting. I hadn’t done this since I was his age so we had a little Google to get the method and here is our efforts.

                                               1. What you will need

  • acrylic paint
  • detergent or bubble mix
  • straws
  • paper
  • water
  • plastic containers

2. Make a mix of water, paint and detergent.


I found the best pictures came when there was a lot of paint and detergent and just enough water to make the mix liquid. If you make the paint too dilute with water the pictures will be very faint.

3. Blow through the straws to turn the mix into some lovely bubbles.


  We got the best bubbles from the mix in the small container as it was deeper and we could really go to town with our blowing. The mix was shallower in the larger container and splattered a lot when we were blowing in them.Image

4. Gently press the paper onto the bubbles, I found we had to work quickly doing this as the  bubbles decreased quite rapidly.

5. Do it again with another colour!



 You could use this technique to decorate a variety of paper crafts, from wrapping paper to cut out shapes. It was fairly easy, a little messy and can be done quite quickly, which is good for kids as they sometimes don’t have the patients for longer craft activities.

A word of warning, this may not be suitable for younger children. I tried to involve Mr 1 in this activity also, with disastrous results…first he shoved his hands in the paint and spilt it everywhere and then to top it off he sucked through the straw rather than blowing and got a mouthful of paint and detergent. I think he ended up with more colour on him than the paper did!


Fun with wax and paint

21 Feb

Today the mini men and I decided to do some art. Mr 4 has been having fun with mystery letters at daycare lately, so he wanted to continue that at home. We took the always eventful trip to the supermarket for supplies and after a sushi detour we made it home to start creating!

While the mini men had a snack and watched a cartoon I drew some words, letters and pictures on some paper with a candle, then using sponges and paintbrushes we covered the paper with water colour paints to reveal the mystery images. Mr 1 was much more interested in drinking the painty water and there was some spillage but over all the activity was a success and fun was had by all!



Wax candles or crayons

Water colour paint


Draw on paper with candle


Mini men painting away


Finished product



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