How to Make Puffy Paint

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Parenting can be quite the hassle, especially for those with more artistically-inclined children. Little ones, in particular, want to leave their marks on whatever surface they can lay their hands on.

While you do not want to quash their efforts nor discourage their creativity, it is also a bit irksome to have to clean up after them every time.

what is puffy paint

It is easy enough to teach them how to apply their talents to more appropriate surfaces (construction paper instead of the walls, for instance), but even then, they can still make quite the mess.

Rest assured weary parents, there is a much cleaner option for your small children to use: puffy paint.

Glitter glue, paste, and, perhaps messiest of all, paint can muck up your child’s desk or workspace should any accidental spills occur.

What is puffy paint? Is it really safe for your children to use?

The answer is yes! There are plenty of DIY puffy paint recipes that are made specifically for children of all ages to use on their clothing, shoes, backpacks, or just to put on paper and hang up with pride.

Different Puffy Paint Recipes

Most puffy paint recipes are made with a combination of flour, food coloring, salt, baking soda, and water, so your more adventurous little ones won’t risk being poisoned should they decide to ingest (accidentally or otherwise) their puffy creations. They do look a bit like cookies when they rise, after all.

Of course, this type of puffy paint will start to rot and smell after a few days, so you should take pictures of your little one’s artwork while it is fresh before tossing it out. These pictures may also offer you countless future scrapbooking options as well, so that’s an excellent bonus.

Typically, this type of puffy paint will look like your typical acrylic paints when they are wet and you first apply them to your desired surface.

Other recipes might call for glue or shaving cream instead, so it is best advised to pay attention to which sort of recipe you let your child play with before they attempt to consume them.

This type of puffy paint looks thicker than any sort of normal paint. In fact, it appears more akin to whipped cream or frosting, but again, this type is not at all edible, so do not let your children attempt to consume it.

How to Make Puffy Paint

DIY puffy paint

DIY Puffy Paint Flour Recipe

  • 1 cup of flour.
  • 3 teaspoons of baking soda.
  • 1 teaspoon of salt.
  • 1 to 1  1/4 cup of water.
  • Food coloring (any kind).

Mix your dry ingredients (i.e. your flour, baking soda, and salt) together in a bowl. Add your water in gradually, mixing as you go, until your mixture reaches the consistency of cake batter or yogurt. Then mix in a few drops of your choice of food coloring until it is the exact hue you want.

It is advised you store your puffy paint in plastic squeeze bottles for your children to use when they please.

You can also make your own makeshift pastry bags by putting these mixtures in sandwich bags and cutting one bottom corner. This option tends to be a little messier, however, so it is advised you save that method for your older children.

Once your children have the colors they want, they can paint away with little spills. When they’re done, you can simply pop their creations in the microwave for about 30 seconds, and their creations will rise and puff up!

You can also choose to air-dry their creations overnight as well, and it will have the same effect.

Glue/Shaving Cream Puffy Paint Recipe

  • 3+ cups of shaving cream (make sure it is the foam kind, not the gel variety).
  • 1 cup flour.
  • 1 cup white glue.
  • Food coloring (any kind).

Mix the shaving cream, flour, and glue together, taking care not to over-mix this concoction. You want to keep the air bubbles in the shaving cream to allow for puffiness.

how to make puffy paint

Then you will want to divide this mixture into separate bowls to allow for different colors to be made. Again, do not over-mix the colors into this mixture, as we still need the air inside the shaving cream.

Finally, put your colors into plastic squeeze bottles or sandwich bags, and let your children have at it. Once they’re done, you can choose to dry them in the microwave (again, for 30 seconds) or to simply let them air-dry and puff up overnight.

Please note that any homemade puffy paints dried on clothing will most likely come off in the wash, as the materials used to make it are not as durable as more manufactured paints or substances.

Here’s a video showing an example of DIY puffy paint.

Have you tried making puffy paint?


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