Salted Watercolors

“The Bike” by Dominic, Age 7

Last week we enjoyed an unusual watercolor project I found in The Artful Parent by Jean Van’t Hul.  The child dabs a bit of watercolor on a salt-covered glue design and the paints zips up the line of salt as if by magic.  It was great fun.

Only Lydia was initially interested, but as soon as Dominic and Claire caught sight of what we were up to, they were game!







Dominic’s favorite part was definitely the salt-avalanche he created.  “I need more salt, I need more salt” was he creative mantra:


Materials Needed:

Salt (I bought 2 containers of cheapo salt at Walmart for 50 cents each)

Craft or school glue

Liquid watercolor paints (not the cake type)



Baking pan for shaking off salt


1. Have child create a simple design with glue onto the cardstock.

2. Sprinkle salt liberally onto the design to completely saturate the glue with salt.  Shake off excess salt into the baking pan.

3. Have child dip her brush into liquid watercolor, then have her just dab that brush onto the salt — no need to “paint” the salt with strokes.  When she rests her brush onto the salt, the paint will travel up the design a bit.  Super cool!

4. Allow the child to use different colors on her design until she’s happy with her “salted watercolor.”

Ours turned out so beautifully I’m going to hang them up in the family room.

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