Microwave Puffy Paint

Microwave puffy paint is totally magical! They are so much fun to paint with and are easily made using just flour, salt and water. The 'magic' takes place when this recipe is placed into a microwave and puffs up in seconds to create beautiful 3D art work. What a fun painting technique for kids! 
Homemade microwave puffy paint recipe

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We love experimenting with different painting techniques and we had lots of fun with this technique. Harry loved the sensory element as he played with our homemade paint and he was totally amazed as the paint puffed up in the microwave.

To make homemade microwave puffy paints you will need:

  • Self-raising flour
  • Salt
  • Water
  • Food colouring in your chosen paint colours

Microwave puffy paint recipe

  1. Mix together equal amounts of self-raising flour and salt.  We used 1 spoon of each. 
  2. Slowly add a small amount of water and mix together.  You are aiming for the paint to be able to drip off your spoon.  Keep adding water until you get a paint consistency you are happy with. 
  3. Mix in your chosen food colouring. 
  4. Paint patterns or simple pictures onto card (cut up cardboard boxes or paper plates work well). You could paint using brushes, spoons or fingers! 
  5. Put your artwork into a microwave for 20-30 seconds (timing will vary for different microwaves)
  6. Watch the paint puff up! Magic! 

painting with homemade puffy paints

Harry loved the sensory experience of playing with the paints. I had provided paintbrushes, spoons and a few other painting tools,  but he liked using his fingers best. He also had fun using the spoons to pour the paint onto the card and swirl the paint colours together.

process art: homemade puffy paint recipe

Harry enjoyed making colourful patterns rather than painting pictures, but I had a go at using my fingers to paint a few flowers. 

fun painting techniques: microwave puffy paint

We put each of our pieces of artwork into the microwave for 20-30 seconds and watched as they puffed up.  Harry was totally amazed by this and wanted to keep touching all the pieces of artwork.  We found the paintings where we had used loads of thick paint really puffed up!

 Homemade microwave puffy paint recipe (fun process art painting technique for kids)

This painting technique is one of 101 painting ideas being shared at 'Emma Owl' this month as part of their Paint-A-Thon. New activities will be added daily so do keep checking back by clicking here.  

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  1. We've just had great fun doing this. My boys (3&5) enjoyed the mixing as much as the painting! Waiting for the ping of the microwave on the first go was extremely exciting. Thank-you - a great activity.

  2. The last time we tried puffy paint it turned into body paint, lol! Looks like we'll have to try it again!

  3. Do you have to use the food colouring or is it optional?

    1. You don't have to use colouring, but it looks prettier if you do.


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