Textile Art with Toddlers (aka PUFFY PAINT!)


Remember puffy paint from the 80s? If it doesn’t conjure up visions of Debbie Gibson and girls shaking their bedazzled rhinestone tushies DSC_0521you must have been born on another planet.

Claire is into squiggly drawing right now so I thought this would be a hit. Turns out I was wrong and she used the bottles in an entirely different way.

She made tall puffy paint piles. In every (rockin’ 80s teal, purple and gold) color. As this was going to be a gift, I decided that we would try another option because these swirly creations would never dry. I ran around the kitchen looking for something that would work as a spreader (note to self, better prepare the art environment so you’re not scrambling mid-project with a very messy situation unfolding). I finally came up with a few pipe-cleaners and twisted them together to make an impromptu paintbrush.


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I also grabbed some birch trimmings from a jar and used them as stamps. The bag came out really cute, and very colorful to say the least. I attempted some iron on letters (sparkly ones to please Claire) but they were a disaster so we went with a rhinestone butterfly instead. I’ll have to bully Bella’s Mom for a photo since i forgot to take one of the finished bag 🙂


Some things I learned from this experience:

  • Puffy paint is messy and sticks to skin just as well as fabric (I still have a purple smudge on my arm!)
  • Drying time always takes longer then the Puffy Paint folks tell you.
  • Remove puffy paint from your child BEFORE putting them in the bathtub or your tub will be as messy as your child.


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