Learn how to paint fireworks with acrylic paint and paper rolls. The perfect kids craft for the summer holidays, these fireworks paintings are absolutely gorgeous, and they’re SO EASY to make!
How to Paint Fireworks with Acrylic Paint
Who knew that a cut up paper roll could create such beautiful fireworks?! These firework paintings are so colourful and impressive looking, yet they’re incredibly simple to make!
We chose seven different colours for our fireworks, but you can make it even easier by choosing three or four of your favourite colours – they’ll still look awesome. Try red, white, and blue to make a 4th of July firework painting!
I love the contrast of the colourful and glittery fireworks against the black cardstock background. They really do look like fireworks shooting off in the night sky!
This is a great art project for all skill levels, because you can be so creative with the colours and placement of the fireworks. No perfect painting skills required!
Check out our Firework Painting video tutorial:
*Note: Scroll down for the step-by-step photo tutorial.
Looking for more painting ideas? Here’s some of our favourites:
Here’s what you’ll need:
This post contains affiliate links. If you use these links to buy something we may earn a small commission which helps us run this website.
The full printable instructions are at the end of this post, but here’s a list of products on Amazon that are similar to the supplies we used:
What type of paper works best?
We used black watercolor paper (because that’s what I had on hand), but you could easily use black cardstock or black construction paper.
Just remember that construction paper fades quickly, so if you plan to keep your fireworks painting for longer than a few months, you’ll want to use something more substantial than construction paper.
Do I have to use a toilet paper roll to paint fireworks?
Toilet paper rolls, paper towel rolls, or cut up wrapping paper tubes work best for this craft.
If you’d like to try something different, you can dip the tines of a plastic fork in paint and press them down on the paper in different directions to make your fireworks.
You can also tape flexible drinking straws together and separate them into a star or sun shape before using them to paint. Pipe cleaners twisted together and spread out in the same shape will also work.
Can I use a different type of paint?
We like using acrylic paint because the colours are so bright and they stand out wonderfully on black paper. Acrylic paint also has a nice glossy finish and it holds its texture well.
If you’re worried about messes (acrylic paint isn’t washable), you can use tempera paint instead. Tempera paint is non-toxic and washable. It dries matte (not shiny), and is a bit thinner than acrylic paint, but it will still work well for this craft.
How do I contain the mess?
You’ll definitely want to cover your work surface with newspaper or parchment paper while you’re making these. We made our paintings on an oversized piece of white printer paper so when we painted over the edges it was easy to clean up.
We love the sparkle that the glitter adds to the fireworks, but if you’d prefer to skip the glitter, it’s completely optional.
How to Paint Fireworks
- toilet paper or paper towel rolls (1 per paint colour)
- acrylic paint (acrylic or tempera)
- 1 piece black cardstock
- paper plates
Step 1: Prepare paper rolls and paint
- Make vertical cuts all the way around the paper roll, spacing them at least 1/4 inch apart. Long cuts that are around 2 inches work the best. Smaller cuts that are 1 to 1.5 inches long are also good for the inside of the fireworks.
- Bend the cut pieces of the paper roll so they're facing outwards, making a sun shape.
- Pour paint on a paper plate and use a paintbrush to spread it out. The paint circle needs to be large enough that it will cover the fanned out paper roll.
- Repeat the last step with the remaining paint colours. We used seven colours for variety, but you can choose to use fewer (or even more!) colours.
Step 2: Start painting
- Dip the fanned ends of the paper roll into your first colour of paint. Bounce the roll up and down and rotate it to make sure you have good paint coverage.
- Stamp the paper roll onto your cardstock. Lift up the paper roll and rotate it slightly before stamping it down again in the same place. This creates a fuller firework.
- Using a fresh paper roll, repeat the previous steps in a new colour.
- If using a smaller cut roll, stamp inside of the larger ones to create two-toned fireworks.
- Sprinkle glitter onto the freshly painted firework.
- Fill up the rest of the cardstock with fireworks.
- Be sure to add glitter after every 2 or 3 fireworks. If you wait until all the fireworks are stamped, the paint dries too much for the glitter to stick.
- When you are finished painting and adding glitter, pick up your painting and tap off any excess glitter. This can be done on a paper plate, newsprint, or over a garbage can.
- Your fireworks painting is complete!
These fireworks paintings are so beautiful, and glitter is the perfect finishing touch! We sprinkled glitter onto the wet acrylic paint, but you can add glitter to your fireworks in a different way.
Try putting glitter glue on your painting after the acrylic paint has dried! You can even stick sequins in the glue for extra sparkle. Or why not use glitter acrylic paint to start with? There are so many possibilities to make these fireworks paintings shine!
Here’s even more painting 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!