How to Make Painted Paper at Home
Making painted or decorative paper is one of the MOST engaging activities for young artists...but, it can be a real mess. The process of painting paper is very tactile and expressive with the added benefit of having a bounty of fun papers to use in art projects.
In this December's Primerry episodes, we use scraps of painted paper for many of our holiday projects. Of course, you can use plain paper or even craft paper, but there is something very special about a child using paper he created.
Here's how to prepare for a wonderful paper making activity at home:
SETTING UP YOUR SPACE
Because we are working with a wet media (tempera paint) it really helps to have a large placemat underneath the art paper. I love using 24 x 36 pieces of poster board or Bristol board that you can buy at drugstores, office supplies stores or craft stores. They usually cost about $3 and will last forever.
Set this placemat under the art paper to protect your table.
Set the liquid tempera paints on the table and squeeze about ¼ cup of paint into containers or into egg cartons. If your child is old enough to do this themselves, let them. Otherwise, I think it best for an adult to pour the paints into the containers.
The process of painting directly onto paper is all about mixing colors, so here’s a tip: to make the colors more vibrant and to keep the colors “friendly” while mixing —-add a teaspoon or so to the colors to brighten them up. I’ll show kids how to do that during the class, too.
Paper Drying Area: Please set up a space where your child can set wet papers to dry. Cover areas with old tablecloths, paper, etc. It will take about 8 hours for papers to completely dry.
Making decorative painted papers is more satisfying with liquid tempera paints or craft acrylic paints. Dry “cake” paints don’t work as well but if they are all you have, have fun with them. Applying any paint over paper is always a delightful experience.
You may live in an area where liquid tempera paints aren’t available. But most likely, you’ll have access to craft acrylic paints.
What to use:
Liquid tempera paints are by far the best media for making painted paper. It's creamy, opaque and mixable. If you don't have access to a good brand like Crayola or Faber-Castell, you can use inexpensive Acrylic Craft paints that come from a craft store.
Buy the ones on the small containers that cost a few dollars. Avoid the adult or artist quality as they are not necessary for this type of project.
I hope you enjoy making painted paper with your kids! If you are a Primerry member you can watch a recording of the LIVE class inside your membership portal.