Dip Dye Art

Looking for a fun easy art activity your family can do together? School holidays are upon us again and finding an activity that caters for children of mixed ages can be tricky but this simple colourful activity was one everyone will enjoy and has a certain amount of wonder built in to keep children of all ages engaged and experimenting. Easy to set-up with materials most people have at home and quick to clean up, dip dye painting combines maths and art perfectly in one colour filled art activity.  


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Dip Dye Art - Easy to set-up with materials most people have at home and quick to clean up, dip dye painting combines maths and art perfectly in one colour filled art activity children of any age will love | you clever monkey




Most people have done drip painting onto paper towel using fine pipettes. My kids love it and it remains a great way to explore primary colours and how they make other colours.  


Dip Dye Art - Easy to set-up with materials most people have at home and quick to clean up, dip dye painting combines maths and art perfectly in one colour filled art activity children of any age will love | you clever monkey

Last year I wrote about teaching shapes in early childhood and how paper folding can be used to explore shape. We adapted that idea so instead of painting on the square shaped paper towel we folded it over and over on itself until it was a fraction of the original size before dipping a corner at a time into the paint.




Dip Dye Art - Easy to set-up with materials most people have at home and quick to clean up, dip dye painting combines maths and art perfectly in one colour filled art activity children of any age will love | you clever monkey



Dip Dye Art - Easy to set-up with materials most people have at home and quick to clean up, dip dye painting combines maths and art perfectly in one colour filled art activity children of any age will love | you clever monkey

The watery paint is quickly absorbed by the paper towel and where the colours meet, new colours form just as they do when you're drip painting.

Dip Dye Art - Easy to set-up with materials most people have at home and quick to clean up, dip dye painting combines maths and art perfectly in one colour filled art activity children of any age will love | you clever monkey

The wow moment comes when you unfold the paper towel and you see the new shapes and patterns formed by the paint because of the folds in the towel. Very kaleidoscope!

Dip Dye Art - Easy to set-up with materials most people have at home and quick to clean up, dip dye painting combines maths and art perfectly in one colour filled art activity children of any age will love | you clever monkey

Depending on how you fold your paper towel, different shapes and patterns appear which lead to much exploration. Make it all triangles or mix it up with some squares then triangles. Try bigger and smaller or concertina for a rainbow effect like my 8yr old did. 

After using liquid water colours to start, we changed to water coloured with food colouring so you can easily do this activity at home yourself and the colours are just as vibrant as the paint versions but much cheaper as you will use a lot doing this art activity with more than one child.


Dip Dye Art - Easy to set-up with materials most people have at home and quick to clean up, dip dye painting combines maths and art perfectly in one colour filled art activity children of any age will love | you clever monkey


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18 comments

  1. Looks like lots of messy fun!

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    1. Not too bad Kate - at least by our standards ;)

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  2. Oh my goodness, I really must try this. Looks like great fun!!!!

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    1. So easy to do Kate and all my three loved it!

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  3. Love LOVE the patterns! Looks so amazing. Pinning this.

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  4. What awesome, messy fun! Great post.

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  5. They came out so lovely! What a great idea. ;)

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    1. Thanks PinkStripeySocks! Yes, such a simple change but they turn out spectacularly well :)

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  6. The end product is amazing! So, so bright and vibrant. I love the messy fun too, especially the use of flowers!

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    1. Thanks Penny! I'm keeping an eye out for spotty leaves now too thanks to your post ;)

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  7. What a clever art project idea. It looks like a lot of fun!

    Thank you for stopping by the Thoughtful Spot Weekly Blog Hop this week. We hope to see you drop by our neck of the woods next week!

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    1. Happy to have found your site Jill :)
      Yes, this activity was great fun and not even that messy.

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  8. Oh I love the bright colours!!! I really need to order some liquid water colours for Christmas!
    My kids are keen to have a go at this with fabric dye... messy but fun!!!

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    1. We're running out of some of our colours in our imported liquid water colours so that's why we swapped to food colouring for this time of project. We've tried tie-dying with fabric dye but the colours were very muted. Sometimes bright is best :)

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  9. Very fun! I love all the different designs you made.

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    1. They were lots of fun Maryanne :) And the designs were the result of the kids experimenting with different folds - very interesting to observe especially with the different ages of my children to see how they each approached it.

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