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Double, double, toil, and trouble…bubble, sparkle, fizz, and blob! Set up your own paint potions mini art lab, then make your own 2D potion compositions with this project that packs a mad process art punch!
Use the links below to jump straight to a specific topic of interest in this article…
I consider our paint potion exploration a two-part project and you can stick to part one, try both pieces, or come up with your own clever variations – once you begin playing with the possibilities it’s *truly* difficult to stop.
Part one is all about encouraging kids to experiment with the different supplies to create their own magic paint “potions”.
Press play on the video to see our paint potions in action…
Part two is a great way to expand on the project (especially for older kids) and present an invitation for children to design their own paper potion bottles (using the painted papers from step one) as well as put together a two-dimensional potion composition.
For the little mad scientists in your life who love pouring, mixing, and following their curiosity, this invitation is sure to be a hit. And even though it’s perfectly suited to October and Halloween, it is outrageously entertaining whatever the season.
To make your own paint potions art lab you’ll need:
Note: We prefer to shop locally or use what we have at home, but this list contains Woodpeckers Crafts, Etsy, Blick Art Materials, and/or Amazon affiliate links for reference. As Amazon Associates, we make a small commission on qualifying purchases.*
- Watercolor paper
- Liquid watercolors (I used this kind you can buy from Amazon or Blick Art Supply or water + food coloring
- A variety of paintbrushes, eyedroppers, squeeze bottles, etc.
- Trays or cookie sheets
- Our potion bottle and label template set (free through October 31st!)
- Empty spice or jam jars, cool apothecary jars, beakers, test tubes, etc.
- Scissors and a glue stick
BUBBLE PAINTING SUPPLIES:
- Dish soap
- Straws or a bubble wand
SPARKLE PAINTING SUPPLIES:
- Table, rock, or ice cream salt
FIZZ PAINTING SUPPLIES:
- Baking soda
BLOB PAINTING SUPPLIES:
- Cooking Oil
How to Make Paint Potions Art Lab – DIY Instructions:
- Fill a tray with your various potion painting supplies
Gather your potion supplies and set them up on a tray, tabletop, or similar dedicated area.
Our potions lab is really the MOST fun when everyone can go a little crazy and embrace the messiness of it, so make sure you’re working in an area you can easily clean up afterward.
- Lay a piece of watercolor paper on a tray
Grab another tray, an old cookie sheet, or something similar with low sides. Having that bit of a lip is important as it will help to catch any drips or fizz, salt sprinkles, or other potion ingredients that may stray beyond the paper.
- Start experimenting with your potion supplies!
You can watch the process video above, scroll down to see the paint potion recipes we used, OR come up with your own!
You can also try mixing more than one of the potions together or try them ALL on the same piece of paper. Add empty bowls or bottles to your lab space so ingredients can be mixed together before they hit the paper.
- Trace a potion bottle shape over the art and cut out
Here’s where we start Part Two – our 2D potion collages. Draw a potion bottle shape or use one of our potion bottle templates to trace the shape of a bottle onto your (fully dry) artwork.
- Design your own potion label
No magic potion would be complete without a fun name and cool label – come up with a great name or description for your potion and paste it onto your potion bottle art with a glue stick.
You can use our potion label templates or draw/cut out your own label shapes.
- Create a composition with your painted potion bottles
Once finished you can arrange your potion bottles on a piece of paper, then use a glue stick to glue your composition down.
We’ve done it again, Igor! The ultimate experiment….mwuhahahaha!
Paint Potion Recipes and Processes
A little intro describing the various options…
How to Make a Fizz Painting Potion
Baking soda and vinegar are often used to demonstrate erupting volcanos (or fizzing pumpkins, this time of year) but you can get the same reaction on paper and turn it into art!
How to Make a Blob Painting Potion
The blob painting potion and process is my personal favorite! Drizzle oil onto paper and wash with watercolors for an AMAZING effect…!
How to Make a Sparkle Painting Potion
Salt is the secret to our sparkle painting potion. Typically, artists brush watercolors onto paper first and then sprinkle them with salt for a fun effect, but our potions lab is all about breaking the rules!
Try sprinkling salt on the paper then using an eyedropper to add watercolors over top. What happens?
We used table salt and ice cream salt for our sparkle paintings – experiment with any types you have around the house. Our ice cream salt left shimmery, iridescent outlines when we let it sit with the watercolors for a while, which was a very exciting discovery!
How to Make a Bubble Painting Potion
Mix about a tablespoon (or a few squeezes) of dish soap with a quarter cup of liquid watercolors or dyed water.
ALL of these ideas are with our free printable kids’ art challenge for an epic exploration of art mediums!
*A note about affiliate links: We strive to use simple, earth-friendly supplies that can be purchased locally whenever we can, but sometimes we find the best universally available options, a rare eco-friendly find, or a niche product only available on Blick Art Materials, Amazon, Etsy, or Woodpeckers Crafts. When included in our supply list, these products are affiliate links, and if you click through to make a purchase we receive a small commission that helps us re-order these supplies!