Bubble painting is so much fun! Both kids and adults will have a blast experimenting with this unique way of painting without a paintbrush. Turn your bubble art into monsters, flowers, or leave it as abstract art – it’s so much fun to experiment with this technique!
To make these colourful paintings, simply combine dish soap, water, and paint. Then use a straw to blow bubbles in the mixture and press the paper onto the bubbles. It’s such an easy process, but it creates beautiful, unique patterns every time!
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How to Bubble Paint
Check Out The Video Tutorial:
Step 1: Find what you need
- Gather your supplies and materials.(The glue, Sharpie, and googly eyes are optional - see our bubble aliens picture below to see how they were used!)
Step 2: Mix the coloured bubble mixture
- Pour 1 Tablespoon of water into a small bowl.(You can also make bubble paint in larger bowls, or even on a baking tray. Increase the amount of water/paint/soap accordingly.)
- Add an equal amount of dish soap into the water (1 Tablespoon).
- Pour in another equal amount (1 Tablespoon) of paint into the bowl, creating an equal 1:1:1 ratio of water, dish soap, and paint.
- Stir the mixture well, with a popsicle stick or spoon, until fully combined.
Step 3: Add bubble impressions to the paper
- Put a drinking straw into the mixture. Keep your straw towards the bottom of the bowl and blow gently into the straw to create bubbles. Keep blowing until the bubbles overflow the top of the bowl.
- Remove the straw and gently press the cardstock onto the coloured bubbles. The bubbles disappear almost instantly!
- Flip the cardstock back over to see the coloured bubble impression on the paper.
- Blow more bubbles and press a different part of the paper into the bubbles.
- Repeat as many times as you'd like with the same colour.
Step 4: Add different colours of bubbles
- Choose a second colour of paint to mix with dish soap and water.
- Blow bubbles, big enough so they reach over the top rim of the bowl.
- Press the paper into the bubbles. Try to cover new areas of the paper, but it's okay for the colours to mix a bit.Repeat as many times as you'd like.
- Repeat again with a third colour. You could even add a fourth colour!Allow to dry about 5 minutes.
- Your bubble painting is complete!
- Safety Warning: Use non-toxic paint to create your coloured bubble mixture. Make sure that kids know they’re supposed to blow into the bubble mixture, not drink it. To help with this you can poke a hole near the top of the straw with a pushpin. This allows you to blow into the straw, but makes it more difficult to drink from.
- The bubble mixture will look darker than the colours appear on the paper. Add more paint to the mixture if the colours don’t come out bright enough.
- Add more soap to the mixture, a little bit at a time, if large bubbles aren’t forming when you blow through the straw.
Is bubble painting messy?
As long as you make your artwork on a baking tray or plastic tablecloth, it’s easy to contain the mess from bubble painting. Since you’re not blowing bubbles into the air, the only mess is from the tiny splatters around the bowl when the paper pops the bubbles.
If your kids are younger they can wear painting smocks, but older kids should be okay. Plus, since the bubble mixture is 1/3 soap, it’s very easy to wipe up using a bit of water on a paper towel or cloth!
What paper should I use for my bubble painting?
We used 65 lb white cardstock to make our bubble art. You need to use a paper thick enough that the bubbles won’t soak through, and that won’t curl up as it dries. (Regular printer paper is not thick enough.)
You can also use watercolour paper to make bubble paintings. The paint colours actually showed up a lot better when we tested it on watercolour paper, but it’s a lot more expensive than cardstock. You could also use a canvas from the dollar store if you’d like to give your bubble painting as a gift!
What paint works best to make bubble art?
Be sure to use non-toxic paint, such as washable tempera paint when you’re making this craft with kids. We used acrylic paint in the paintings you see in the photos because our kids are old enough to understand not to suck through the straw.
We found that cool toned colours (like blue and green) showed up better on the paper than warm colours (like yellow). If you want to make bubble art on fabric, like a t-shirt or a canvas bag, try adding fabric dye to the mixture, instead of paint.
What can I do with my bubble painting?
Leave the bubble art work as is, or add fun details with markers or paint. Try turning the bubble prints into flowers, balloons, cotton candy, or even aliens! We found it really fun to make a bubble painting and then imagine what kinds of things we saw in the painting, almost like gazing at the clouds.
You can also add painter’s tape to your paper before making the bubble art. Remove the tape after the paint has dried to create some fun tape resist art!
The colourful bubbles make a great backdrop for a lot of other things. Fold your bubble painting to make a homemade greeting card, or cut the art into gift tags or bookmarks.
Experiment with colour and make a unique bubble painting! It’s such a fun and magical process to watch the bubbles appear on the paper, and it’s a great art project for kids.
Here’s even more fun ideas:
Our book Low-Mess Crafts for Kids is loaded with 72 fun and simple craft ideas for kids! The projects are fun, easy and most importantly low-mess, so the clean up is simple!