Lay your paper on the tray (we used a baking tray) and pour white glue onto your page. You could draw a picture or simply make patterns and shapes like we did. Go wild and cover as much of the page as possible for maximum effect.
Pour table salt over the glue. Be generous. You don’t want to skimp on the salt here. Once you’ve covered all the glue with salt, lift up the page and shake off the excess salt. Shake it into the tray so that you can recycle the salt for your next picture.
Now the REALLY fun part! Dip your paintbrush into the liquid watercolour paints and drop some colour onto the salt. You only need to drop a little colour in one spot. You are not actually brushing the colour over the page with the brush. Then sit back and watch the magic! The colour will spread and run along the lines of salt. R was entranced! (TIP: instead of liquid watercolours, use some water that has been coloured with food colouring. An eye dropper could be substituted for the paintbrush.)
This project was definitely all about the process, not the product (although the end product was pretty spectacular too!) R was mesmerised as he watched the paint travel along the lines of salt and glue. He would make a guess as to how far the colour would travel before stopping and whether one colour would reach all the way to “meet” another colour and when the colours did meet he literally leapt out of his chair yelling “It made it!”
That smile says it all! R kept at this activity for almost an hour – a very long time for him with painting. Painting is one of his favourite things to do but he usually only spends 10 to 15 minutes at a time on it. With salt painting, he just wanted to create more and more pictures. They turned out so beautifully too. The salt crystalises and sparkles - it’s pretty special. Here’s a close up.
This photo was taken while the painting was still wet. The colours faded a little as the painting dried. Something else to keep in mind – these pictures are not built to last. The salt will crumble and fall off the page as it dries. So, if you really love the masterpieces that your little ones create, take lots of photos!
Here’s a few of R’s paintings. They looked fantastic and I don’t think he’s ever had more fun producing a painting before!
Here’s one that we created together. I applied the glue and R applied the salt and the colour.
What’s your favourite non-traditional painting material?
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