homemade microwave puffy paint in fun designs and colors
DIY paint that puffs up in the microwave? Sounds like a surefire hit to me! I saw this idea on Mommy Labs awhile ago and filed away for a rainy day. Today just happened to be the perfect combination of rain and bored kiddos, so I whipped up a batch – quick, easy, and SUPER fun!
puffy paint puffed up
children playing with puffy paint in bag
We started with one cup of flour and mixed in 3 teaspoons of baking powder, 1 teaspoon of salt and enough water to make it the consistency of pancake batter. We divided our mix into four parts and put them into snack size Ziploc baggies along with some food coloring. Part of the fun was squishing it all around to mix up the colors!
bags of colorful homemade puffy paint
Rubber band the baggies like you would if you were icing a cake and snip off the teeniest little bit of the tip.
child using bag to pipe paint onto paper
Paint away! When you’re finished, pop the painting into the microwave for 30-45 seconds and watch the paint puff up and grow – such fun! I loved that it was completely dry out of the microwave so we didn’t have to worry about any extra messes or accidents as our pile of paintings grew.
piped yellow paint puffed
piped red paint puffed
We made about ten paintings this morning, and we still have plenty of paint leftover so that Sawyer can have a chance to try it when he gets home from school too. Nothing beats cheap entertainment, especially with some fine motor skills practice and a built-in kitchen science lesson!

signature from Heidi, at Happiness is Homemade

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  1. I shared this activity with day care staff during my training on Art in Early Childhood Education. It was a BLAST! The day care staff had so much fun as they made the puffy paint, created works of art and zapped in the microwave. We did an exhibit of their artworks at the end of the training. THANKS!

  2. We used this to decorate applesauce cinnamon dough ornaments last year and they still look just as fresh and new. I love it! We are doing it again this year. Do you know if you could get the same rise out of baking soda instead of powder?

  3. I just tested this to do later with my kiddos. So. Cool! I felt like a kid again doodling away on a paper plate and my face lit up when I saw the magical effect of the microwave. My kids will have a blast for sure. (Probably not as much as mom though) LOL! Thank you for sharing!

  4. Just wanted to say how awesome this is! Did this activity with kids I was babysitting this morning (rainy day), it worked great and they loved it. One piece of advice for others – if you are using cheap snaplock bags, as I was, it’s a good idea to sticky-tape the 2 edges either side of the point, as the bags can burst at the seams if the kids squeeze them too hard (learnt that the hard way lol =P), the taped bags were perfect though =) Thanks so much for the great activity idea!

    1. I’m so glad to hear that you all loved it! It’s one of our favorites too! Thanks for the tips about taping the edges of the bags – that’s great advice! 🙂

  5. Great Blog!
    So excited to try stuff with my daughter!
    We just did the puffy paint and she loved it:) just wondering how long you should keep it for, will it smell or get moldy quickly?
    Thanks so much Jessica

    1. Thanks, Jessica! My son kept his puffy paint masterpiece up on his bulletin board for at least 2-3 months, and it never got moldy or smelly in that time. I honestly haven’t kept any of our pieces for longer than that though, so I’m not sure about super long-term shelf life 🙂

  6. Hi Ruby! Normal photocopy paper will work, but don’t allow the wet paint to sit on the paper for too long before microwaving it or you might have an issue with the paper getting soggy or wrinkled. Have fun!

  7. Great source for drawing art for children have to look everyone.Children are enjoying doing this work,there is most improtant thing is color how to choose a color for them this is important task for their family.This homemade microwave puffy paint is right source get right things for their child.

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  8. Hi, Heidi! Would you be okay with me sharing a link to this post on a July activity calendar I’m putting together? It will say something like “Make homemade puffy paint (from Mom’s Crafty Space) and be linked to this post! Let me know! (Sorry, I couldn’t figure out how to contact you besides writing on this post!!)

  9. i just found your blog… i LOVE it! so so many fun things to do! these are exactly the types of crafts we enjoy.. some for mom and some for kiddos! i’m following you now.. excited to try some of your things. i think we will do this puffy paint this weekend. thanks! if you would like, you can stop by my blog- not awesome like yours, but trying! http://www.todayis-amie.blogspot.com

  10. This is too fun and my boys would be all over it!! Your lil guy looked like he loved it too! Thanks for sharing… bookmarked this fun one for sure! TY!