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How to Make Colorful Papers with Exploding Paints

How to make colorful papers with exploding paints

If seeing paint drip makes me happy, imagine my joy seeing it explode!  All of my family, even my husband…who you can see make his first art journal page in this video here, wanted to join in on this play!

This definitely falls into the “Act like a Kid” theme for this month’s Let’s Play all about rediscovering the ability to play. Each month I share a specific strategy that helped me recapture the freedom and fun of play.  This month’s theme is act like a kid. You can see more of the Let’s Play series here.

Putting Alka-Seltzer in paint isn’t my idea, it is in all sorts of videos on the internet.  Don’t know who originated it, but they are a genius!  Thank you Linda O’Connor for being the first to introduce me to this fun!

Watch Making colorful papers with exploding paints on YouTube

What is Let’s Play?  It’s all about

Now you’ve seen my play, let’s see yours!  Share what you’re creating with us all in the Facebook group and be inspired by what others are creating! And be sure to leave a comment here to get entered in the monthly $50 Dick Blick gift certificate giveaway!

Here’s what you need for exploding paints

  • Paint (the wetter or runnier the paint the faster it pops)
  • Film canisters (which you can buy online if you don’t have easy access to them)
  • Alka-Seltzer tablets broken in half
  • Paper to catch the high velocity paint explosions

Safety! We treated these like fireworks, and used common sense precautions that respected the physics of the pressure that builds up in the canisters.  Have plenty of open space, stand back and don’t point a loaded one at anyone.

How to make colorful papers with exploding paints

We filled up all the containers with paint first.  We found the containers about a quarter of the way full had the best color explosions.  Also, if a paint was on the thicker side, we mixed in a touch of water at this stage.  The more liquid, the faster the Alka-Seltzer fizzes.

How to make colorful papers with exploding paints

I have seen videos online with the caps up and the caps down.  We tried it both ways in the video, and I have to say, I love the splatters of the upside down ones the best.

For the canisters where we put them lid up, it can easily fall over on it’s side, just spilling paint in a blob.  A bit of tape on the bottom of the canister kept them from tipping over.

For the canisters where we put the lid down, we did nothing to it, just put it top down on the paper.

No matter which way we put them, they had power.  The lids and canisters had some serious height to them.

How to make colorful papers with exploding paints

There is a lot of paint on here, so it took it quite a while to fully dry, but now I have giant sheets of paper that can be cut up and used for anything mixed media!

How to make colorful papers with exploding paints

When playing with the rainbow, even cleaning up can be colorful!

How to make colorful papers with exploding paints

Now you’ve seen my play, let’s see yours!  Share what you’re creating with us all in the Facebook group and be inspired by what others are creating! And be sure to leave a comment here to get entered in the monthly $50 gift certificate giveaway!

Let's Play August Theme with Carolyn Dube

Want to see more Let’s Play videos? You can find all the weekly posts here.

Sharing your play:   I, and a whole bunch of others, would love to see what you’re creating!  We’re sharing it in the Facebook group called A Colorful Place to Play. Why Facebook?  I’ve listened to your feedback about how and where you’d like to share your play instead of the link parties.

Monthly giveaways:  Leave comment on any (and all for more chances) of the weekly Let’s Play blog posts to be entered and one winner each month will be chosen by random.org.  Want more chances to win a $50 gift certificate to DickBlick.com?  Pin any of the images from the page or share about it on Facebook- then come back and leave a comment telling me what you did and you can have more chances to win! Giveaway closes the Sunday, September 4th at 11 pm EST and the winner will announced on the blog the following Monday.

Congrats to Kristiina, last month’s winner!

{ 29 comments… add one }

Leave a Comment

  • Jeanette Jones August 30, 2016, 6:36 am

    This looks like so much fun. And I love all the colors. That alone is inspiring.
    I look forward to all your blogs. And get so much out of them and your videos.

  • lou August 30, 2016, 12:09 pm

    Cool! I would love to see you use them.

  • LynneP August 30, 2016, 5:54 pm

    I have never seen anything like this before. What a fun thing to do with kids-old and young alike!

  • Sandra L. August 30, 2016, 6:48 pm

    Oh my this looks like so much fun. I must give it a try and have all the needed supplies on hand. Great idea!

  • Jean Marmo August 30, 2016, 7:03 pm

    This just made me smile!!!

  • Sandee Setliff August 30, 2016, 7:28 pm

    OK, that was a new one for me! Exploding paint, every kids dream! lol

  • kathleen codyrachel August 30, 2016, 7:46 pm

    Oh Carolyn – and I threw most film containers away! But I’m determined to find some (even if I have to buy back the ones I got rid of!) – what fun for making backgrounds ! Wonderful !

  • Elaine FITCHPATRICK August 30, 2016, 7:49 pm

    Can’t wait to see how you use these. Beautiful colors. Had never seen or heard of this technique before. Thanks for sharing with us.

  • Cathy August 30, 2016, 9:27 pm

    FUN, cannot wait.

  • Amy Hodgson-Smith August 30, 2016, 10:45 pm

    Super fun!

  • Dottie Lou August 31, 2016, 12:05 am

    I laughed so hard while watching this, I woke up my grandchildren!! This is play to the max!!

  • Barbara Hauenstein August 31, 2016, 4:07 am

    You are too funny! I love this and I love all your wonderful ideas! I’m still working on doing the workshop but have all my cardboard cut up. I’m looking forward to continued play ideas 🙂

  • Kathy Gledsdale August 31, 2016, 7:18 am

    Oh my that is so much fun, just wish I had some film canisters! Just imagine if you used paint tins instead of the canisters!!!!!! Watch out aeroplanes, Carolyn is around. You might be the first one to get paint on the moon. x

  • Mary Thoma August 31, 2016, 8:53 am

    Fun, cannot wait to try this at work and watch the faces of the adult day center participants when the canisters start to explode!

  • Ridgely Johnson August 31, 2016, 9:52 am

    This got my day off with a POP of color!! Cannot wait to try this- Thanks Carolyn

  • PhyllisY August 31, 2016, 12:25 pm

    What fun! I have paint, paper, and film canisters. Off to buy Alka-Seltzer!

  • Geri August 31, 2016, 1:33 pm

    How fun is this! Kid friendly & easy to do. I think I might try this using liquid watercolor paints 😀

  • Kristiina August 31, 2016, 2:31 pm

    This was something totally new! Looks like fun, it’s a pity those film roll tubes are hard to find nowadays…

  • D.Ann C August 31, 2016, 4:45 pm

    What fun!! Guys aren’t the only ones who love to watch things get blown up! What terrific splats!!

  • Laurie Q August 31, 2016, 5:14 pm

    OMG!!!!!!!! I have not giggled so hard in a long time. That was terrific. Thanks so much.

  • Reen Lee September 1, 2016, 12:34 am

    Hysterical! Flying paint! I’m so glad you video’d this as for sure I won’t be trying this technique myself. No space outdoors for it, but I loved watching the cans pop!!

  • Annie September 1, 2016, 11:39 am

    That’s fun! Thanks for sharing!

  • Becca A September 1, 2016, 11:01 pm

    What a super fun project!! I need to dig out some paints.

  • Debra Griest September 2, 2016, 10:11 pm

    Loved the exploding paint idea. Gotta try it. Thanks

  • loey September 3, 2016, 2:20 pm

    OMG!!! The sound of canisters popping & landing was just as amusing as the actual flying paint!! I see you doing this as an art is wkshop. in the future!! 🙂

  • Cindy September 12, 2016, 9:25 am

    Aw, sweet memories of childhood play AND film canisters. Thanks for sharing your fun creations.

  • William Charlebois September 12, 2016, 12:08 pm

    That was so much fun to watch. I don’t know where I can get away with doing that. I seriously see no reason why the kitchen shouldn’t work. I think my wife would disagree, though. 🙂

  • Violet September 14, 2016, 5:23 pm

    I have never seen anything like this!! I LOVE it! Leave it to you Carolyn to find something so creative and FUN to try!!

  • gabrielle phillips July 8, 2021, 1:36 pm

    i was wondering if the lids to the cannisters survived or were able to be reused?