I'm all about celebrating process oriented art, especially messy tactile experiences! My Cuisinart has been roaring away this past week shredding soap and mixing paint as I perfected this recipe for bathtub puffy paint. Using a cake frosting tip and a squeeze bottle, my three year old daughter created some fantastic 3D art in the tub! Clean up was a cinch. Handling the shower head and watching the colors run under the water spray was part of the fun!
I’ve got a kiddo with sensitive skin so I used her Johnson’s Buddies soap to yield 1 cup of finely grated soap flakes. A lot of recipes call for Ivory soap, but I don’t think this is a brand specific thing – especially if you gradually add the water in the next step. Make sure it’s hot!
Use your blender, food processor or mixer to get a thick and sticky consistency. A bit of foam is fine, but slowly add the water or else you’ll wind up with bubbles…and only bubbles. The 3/4 C of water is a suggestion, stop once you’ve got a thick but squishy texture (I know, I’m just SO technical and descriptive).
I tried two methods for mixing the dye in – ziploc bags and tupperware with popsicle sticks. Take my advice and put the frosting tip in BEFORE you mix it if you are going to ziploc bag route.
Mixing in the tupperware allowed Claire to slowly watch colors blend, a practical lesson in color theory. We used our trusty liquid watercolors to dye the paint. Food coloring would work just as well but these watercolors seem to wash off everything and I wasn't taking chances with white marble tile.
I took the picture below standing on the edge of the tub and looking down. Look at those colorful snakes and flowers! The thickness of the paint really let the texture stand out.
Claire seemed to find the most success by moving the paint towards the tip and then using her thumb to push it out. Pipe away kid!
Once the paint was emptied from the bags, Claire went on a fingerpainting bonanza happily squishing colors between her fingers and smearing large circles on the wall. She then hosed down the tiles with the shower head and I'm happy to report (to my husband's delight) that no colorful stains were left behind.
What a fun afternoon activity! I wound up with a clean kid AND a clean tub after a painting session, how often can you say that?
If you try this, don't forget to share your photos on the Chalk In My Pocket Facebook page, I'd love to see your twist on our projects!
And PS - if you haven't seen it already I had an EPIC CRAFT FAIL when I tried to turn this recipe into molded bath soap. It's rather hysterical and if in need of a good laugh that's the place to get it! Looking for more artful adventures and craft tutorials? Check out my C R E A T E tab above.