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Food Coloring Art for Kids on the Cheap

Make food coloring art and have fun using inexpensive materials you probably already have on hand. It’s easy for kids of all ages and the results are stunning!

Food Coloring Art for Kids on the Cheap

Lately I’ve felt the need to put some color on my walls. But it’s hard to find art that’s in my price range and personal to our family. Since my preschooler and I enjoy doing art projects together, I thought it would be neat to frame some of our joint art ventures.

We’ve been celebrating summer by doing a lot of fun boredom busters, and this is one of those summer crafts for kids or winter activity for preschoolers you’re going to have on the greatest hits list. So how was it developed?

Right now my son is really into tie dying, but he’s not quite old enough to do the packaged tie dying you see at the craft store. So I came up with this easy and colorful dip dye kids wall art project. It was so easy to make and the results were quite stunning!

Food Coloring Wall Art for Kids

Materials Used:

  • Food coloring (or liquid watercolors)
  • Paper towels
  • Ice cube tray
  • Rags
  • Scissors
  • Tape
  • Large piece of paper
  • Frame
Food coloring with water in an ice cube tray

Create the Mixture

First you’ll create your dye by mixing together food coloring/liquid watercolors and water. (You’ll have to play around with the dye to water ratio).

We filled up each ice-cube holder ½ way up with dye, and then added a similar amount of water. The colors came out fairly vibrant this way!

Note: We’ve done this activity several times now and I love using an ice-cube tray to hold our dye. Once we’re done, we add more water to all the ice cube holders. Then we pop the tray into the freezer to create colorful ice cubes for later fun.

Paper towel folded into a symmetrical design

Fold the Paper Towels

Fold your paper towels before dying to create lovely, symmetric designs. Different folding patterns will result in different designs.

We did two types of folds – a rectangular style fold and a triangle style fold.

For the rectangular style fold, we simply kept folding the paper towel in half lengthwise several times. The result was a long thin rectangle. Then we folded that rectangle in half to get a shorter rectangle.

For the triangle style fold, we folded the paper towel in half lengthwise, then folded it in half horizontally, and then folded the paper towel along its diagonal. The result was a triangle.

Child's hands dipping a paper towel into the dye

Dip the Towels Into the Food Coloring

Dip your paper towels into the food coloring dye! Once you’re done dying, carefully open up the paper towels and place them on rags to dry.

Unfolded paper towel with a dyed pattern
Stack of paper towels dyed with food coloring

Step 4:
Once the paper towels dry, you can just hang them up as is! (My son used washi tape to tape a whole bunch to his wall. I love that it looks like a crazy, colorful paper quilt.)

Food coloring art in a frame made with paper towels

Or, you can cut them up and rearrange the designs to create abstract art. The result is quite magical!

You might want to highlight one particular design and frame it on its own. I fell in love with a blue striped design and put it in a white frame. Doesn’t this kids wall art look lovely?

Squares of paper towels dyed with food coloring
Food Coloring Art for Kids on the Cheap

I hope you enjoy this simple and lovely child-friendly art idea. To see more projects like this one, visit my blog Pink Stripey Socks. I’d also love for you to check out these other art projects:

Happy making, friends!


Tuesday 21st of May 2024

Thank you. This is GREAT. I am having as much fun as the kids are. I will introduce this to one of my kids teachers for arts and crafts. . Once again thank you for all these ideas they are fantastic 😊


Thursday 12th of January 2023

You can do this very easily after you've dyed all your Easter Eggs! The dye is right there for you. We do this every year after we dye the eggs.


Thursday 12th of January 2023

That's a great idea!

Kids Crafts by Three Sisters

Wednesday 1st of February 2017

These are such a great idea!. We're going to have to try it!