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Enjoying the Art and Science of Microwave Puffy Paint

puffy paint art for kids

Friends, I know it’s been relatively quiet here on the blog as I have not been able to share much past whole week. The ‘quiet’ here is being compensated with the extra buzz in our home,  what with new family members visiting us this whole month. Avie’s parents are here from down south (of India) and in a week my sis-in-law will arrive with her family and in-laws. It’s going to be a packed house – literally!

So, Diwali, (one of the most auspicious Hindu festivals) this year, is going to be twice as bright and shiny. I will do my best to write about our festive art and craft and celebration, but, friends, please bear with me if I am not able to share as frequently.

One place, where I try to be in touch with you all every single day and share ideas is on Mommy Lab’s facebook page. Hence, if you aren’t connected with me over there, you can do so by ‘liking’ my page.

Now, for the artsy activity we did this past Saturday. We’ve been wanting to make Puffy paint for a while now after I saw these beautiful creations over here. I mentioned about it to Pari roughly but did not show her the pictures as I wanted to keep the surprise element for the moment. Also, I think showing her before hand could influence her own process and imagination.

puffy paint art ideas to do with children

Making Puffy Paint is easy peasy and the result – not just fun and beautiful but also an interesting science experiment in itself.

All the ingredients are generally available in every kitchen.

Out of one batch, I intended to make four portions in four different colours.

I set aside one cup refined flour in a big bowl. Mixed three tea-spoons baking powder and one tea-spoon salt. To this I added enough water so as to get a thick pouring consistency.

making edible paint with flour

In the next step, I divided the batter into four smaller bowls and had Pari add food colours to each. She chose green and orange. She wanted yellow and blue too, which we didn’t have. Hence, we added blue poster paint and 1 tea spoon turmeric powder to get yellow paint.

edible paint art kids

recipe for handmade puffy paint

In the final step, I poured these into the cones that I had made in advance with transparent plastic sheets. I tied the top end with elastic band and also taped them so they would not leak.

cone painting with puffy paint

painting with edible paint

And then, Pari and her friend settled down to make these patterns by squeezing the cones onto cardboards that I tore off from old boxes. The frame-shaped cardboard was originally the inside packaging of a board game.

how to make puffy paint at home

cone painting with edible puffy paint

While, Pari’s friend made flower/leaf shapes, Pari did some abstract, free-flowing art. I think both have their own charm. I think Pari’s art looks more like mehendi/henna designs that we do on palms.

Besides painting with the cones, they also used buds/Q-tips to apply dots etc.

puffy paint edible paint art for toddlers

Once the artwork was done, it was time for the part that the girls were much eager for – the baking of their artwork.

The paintings were slid off into the microwave one by one and we ‘baked’ for 30-40 seconds at 200 degree centigrade.

When we took each out, they was greeted with eyes wide open and mouths agape!

puffy paint art painting

puffy painting

And, the comparison and analysis followed to see whose painting was more puffy!

microwave puffy paint art

The inference being that where-ever the paint was applied nice and thick, it puffed up better compared to the part that was thin.

We also discussed the science behind the art – as in how the baking soda made the painting rise and left tiny holes upon microwaving.

Check out another interesting version of art with the same puffy paint. We made this the next day!

Marbling with Puffy Paint

Have you done art with edible paint?

If so, we would love to know any more recipe for edible and/or puffy paint. Another one we are going to try soon is with shaving cream+glue. Keep an eye out!

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Comments on this entry are closed.

  • Esther October 10, 2011, 6:17 pm

    Wow! Beautiful! I love the colors and the puff paint idea!

    • Rashmie Jaaju October 11, 2011, 8:26 am

      Esther, so glad you liked this. Will now visit your blog to check out the Hula Hoop Spider Web. Sounds interesting!

  • Natalie October 10, 2011, 6:29 pm

    This looks fantastic! I really love it. Now only the only question in my mind is “when”. Enjoy this special time in your culture, I am hoping that you will share your Diwali traditions and crafts.

    • Rashmie Jaaju October 11, 2011, 8:28 am

      Natalie, Yeah, I know your schedule has been tight lately. Hope you get to do this over a weekend or on a holiday. I will love to share our Diwali traditions and the related crafts, cooking and other activities. :)

  • Jamie @ hands on : as we grow October 10, 2011, 8:41 pm

    We did an edible finger paint and this puffy paint has been on our list for quite some time! I love that she ‘piped’ on the paint! We may try that!

    • Rashmie Jaaju October 11, 2011, 8:31 am

      Jamie, your edible finger paint sounds lot of fun. Especially for toddlers. I might try that for the two little girls who will visit us soon.
      And yeah, piping the paint gives better control to a child.

  • Neera October 10, 2011, 10:09 pm

    Have started following your blog recently and love it. Shall surely do it with my kids. The creations look absolutely stunning and vibrant. :)

    • Rashmie Jaaju October 11, 2011, 8:33 am

      Dear Neera,
      Welcome to Mommy Labs. I am so glad you stopped by to connect… :)
      Thank you for the sweet words. Yeah, do try this with your kids. They will love the process as well as the result….

  • Stacy October 10, 2011, 10:12 pm

    I love to see all of Pari’s artwork! I wish she could come to our home sometime (with you of course!!!) to do art with my guys. Her patterns are so fun. I am really excited to hear more about Diwali!!! I’m reallly interested in your holiday and would love to incorporate some of the traditions in to our holiday celebrations as well. Happy Holidays Rashmie :)

    • Rashmie Jaaju October 11, 2011, 8:46 am

      Stacy, my dear,
      It’s lovely to hear from you always. :) I am sure Pari and I will have a blast with you all. Hopefully soon we get to visit your country and meet you guys.
      I will definitely share photos and tid-bits about Diwali. So glad you are interested to know about and incorporate some of the traditions from this part of the world. :)
      I am always curious too – about festivals and traditions from around the world.

  • Melissa @ The Chocolate Muffin Tree October 10, 2011, 10:20 pm

    This is just wonderful! We’ve done homemade puffy paint back when C was probably age 2.
    I don’t remember baking it though. Does the baking make it more permanent? I remember it cracking off with just a flour recipe. Maybe this recipe with baking powder helps! to prevent this and the extra step of baking? We can’t wait to try this….the photos are so inspirational! Thank you for such a great post! We used squeeze bottles and iI bet piping is so much more easier to control.

    • Rashmie Jaaju October 11, 2011, 8:38 am

      So glad you liked this. Yeah, baking it will make more permanent. It’s been nearly four days now and the painting looks rock solid. No cracks whatsoever. Neither has the paint slid off the cardboard sheet.
      Off to check out your slime exploration!

  • shalini October 11, 2011, 4:11 am

    Hi Rashmi,
    Taking from this inspiration, why don’t you get Pari to do puffy art on clay diyas and pots (in lieu of the arriving festival of lights)? You could then put them in the grill mode and bake them at 200 degrees for about 5 minutes? Same effect and you could extend science to exploring whether this reaction works on other materials or not :)
    (Let me try this at home too)
    Good luck and Seasons best greetings!

    • Rashmie Jaaju October 11, 2011, 8:40 am

      You read my mind! This is what I exactly thought of after seeing the results of painting on cardboard.

      I think, for Diyas, I will make the batter thicker so it doesn’t drip. It should be interesting to try this. Let me know how yours turn out. You can even share your photos on Mommy Labs FB page.
      Thanks Shalini for stopping by with your ideas. :)

  • Toddler Approved October 11, 2011, 7:04 am

    This is beautiful! I am going to have to try it now. I love your detailed instructions and photos. I also loved seeing how different each girl’s approach was to the designing.

    • Rashmie Jaaju October 11, 2011, 8:42 am

      @Toddler Approved, so glad you stopped by to share your thought and that you are going to try this. I would love to see how yours turn out.
      Today morning, we tried another version with the same puffy paint and it was a very interesting experiment. Will share it soon.

  • Terri October 11, 2011, 5:16 pm

    This looks like a lot of fun… and I love the “magic” that happens when you microwave it!

  • Marilyn October 12, 2011, 12:10 am

    These are so lovely..What an awesome blog,,Im officially following ya with smiles.. Found ya on linky and had to stop in.. So much creativity dwells here.. Im Marilyn via http://theartsygirlconnection.blogspot.com ..Hope you can stop in sometime..TY

  • Melissa @imaginationsoup October 12, 2011, 1:15 am

    This is amazing, Rashmie! I can’t wait to try it!!!

  • Pritam October 13, 2011, 3:48 am

    Wonderful! Can’t wait to try this with my kid.
    Also, loved ur idea of making diyas……

  • Brooke @ Let Kids Create October 15, 2011, 5:11 pm

    Wha t a beautiful experiment! I love the way she was able to pipe the paint and then watch it puff up once it was heated. So cool, we need to do something like this. Thanks for sharing it on Monday Madness, hope to see you again next week!

    • Rashmie Jaaju October 17, 2011, 5:16 am

      Thank you, my dear, for stopping by to share your comment. I would love to see your puffy paint photos when you do it with your kids.
      Happy to link up on Monday Madness. :)

  • Akane October 17, 2011, 4:57 am

    I did this activity with my kids…but we used Q-tips. I love how you added them into piping bags….I’ll have to try that next time. By the way I love your blog…. I’m forwarding this award on to you: http://www.jugglingwithkids.com/2011/10/i-got-award.html

    • Rashmie Jaaju October 17, 2011, 5:21 am

      Welcome to Mommy Labs and thank you so much for the award :) It’s an honour!
      So glad we are able to connect with each other.

      • Akane October 17, 2011, 5:31 am

        =) Your welcome. Thank you for your inspiring blog! I really love how you categorized everything into “labs”. Can’t wait to read more!

  • Laura@art4littlehands October 17, 2011, 12:05 pm

    I have been quiet on my blog a bit with lots of visitors too! It is a good thing. Fun to have visitors. I love this idea and of course her art work is so beautiful. I am featuring this today.

  • Kim curic October 19, 2011, 2:22 am


    This is such a nice activity. Will be trying it out soon.

  • Kristina October 29, 2011, 5:42 pm

    So neat! We’ve done Puffy Paint Paintings before, but never thought to put it in baggies– great idea!

    • Rashmie Jaaju November 3, 2011, 7:21 am

      Thank you for stopping by and welcome to Mommy Labs :)
      Yeah, piping them is so much fun and good for developing their hand muscles..
      Glad you liked this project.

  • Kidworldcitizen January 4, 2012, 5:13 am

    love it- I’m going to come up with an art project for this:).

  • TheBoyandMe March 2, 2012, 9:02 pm

    This is brilliant, I’m going to be trying this with The Boy over the weekend. He’s two and a half so I think the piping of the paint will be quite challenging, but he loves painting so I know it will go down well. Many thanks for such a great idea.

  • Suchita March 26, 2012, 8:49 am

    This is really amazing.. Even i tried making puffy paints..

    But my 3 YO would pour out the color from cone, all at once..so, could not do..so much of this brilliant activity..Will try again soon…

  • Kuhoo August 16, 2012, 2:43 pm

    This is a novelty for me! Thanks for the post Rashmie!
    Please tell me is this puffiness permanent? I mean how long does this art work survive? I saw one of your comments above that it was good to go after 4 days of creation.

  • Linda May 15, 2013, 7:06 am

    Hi, wondering how the beautiful pictures have lasted? We’d love to make some as gifts for grandparents if they keep their shape etc!

  • Mansi@experimenting mom September 13, 2013, 7:46 pm

    Hi rashmie,
    It worked!! M is thrilled to see the magic!
    Thank you so much for the recipe.

  • Akanksha December 9, 2013, 6:11 pm

    Hey Rashmi! How have you been? I would love my kid do this..Could I use any other colour instead of edible colour for the paint?

  • Leslie February 14, 2014, 8:00 am

    This is really, really beautiful! Thanks for sharing the tutorial!

  • Bridget Ilene Delaney July 14, 2014, 10:56 am

    An extremely easy edible paint is made by adding food coloring to vanilla pudding. It’s a great edible finger paint. It looks awesome on the shiny side of parchment paper, but can be used on any paper. If the art is to be kept, since it is vanilla pudding, you should probably spray it with shellac.

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  • Kate October 7, 2014, 7:56 am

    Hi, i did this this morning with my two and a half year olds. They loooved making the paint – im never buying paint again! But i think i made it too runny – can you clarify how much water you would add please for us novices? And any other tips to make this work for 2 year olds – the paint didnt go very puffy, not enough for them to get excited ,… Any suggestions on how to get more texture into it? Thanks

  • Luisa February 15, 2016, 8:44 am

    So fun! Turned out awesome! Can’t wait to use when babysitting! Thanks!

  • Christine Best November 13, 2016, 11:48 am

    Hello. I’m inspired! Do you know what number on a 800w microwave I should use?