Bubble Painting & Drip Art Tutorial
My kids love process art. They love getting messy and they love making up their own rules. They also love painting and, like most kiddos, they especially love bubbles. What do all these things have in common? TikTok. Well, more specifically, an art tutorial by Andrea Nelson on TikTok. When I saw her demonstrating a kids craft for Father’s Day that involved blowing bubble art, I knew we had to give it a go. (Psst, while you are rushing over to follow Andrea on TikTok, don’t forget to give us a follow too!)
As soon as I finished watching Andrea’s video, I started gathering up our supplies. And then, as every mother does from time to time, I completely forgot about it. Having kids is hard, y’all. There is a lot to keep track of.
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Blow Bubble Art Supply List
You don’t need many supplies to create your own blow bubble art, and I am willing to wager that you probably already have most of these lying around your house. Anything you don’t have, you can easily pick up anywhere, including the grocery store. So, here’s what you need:
DIY Bubble Solution
For this project, I decided to purchase a set of bubble containers. I knew my kids would want to do this project over and over again, and I also knew that they would want to use more than one color. But I fully understand that not everyone has an emergency bubbles stash, and that’s why I am including a super easy DIY Bubble Solution recipe right here. Combine the following into a cup or bowl:
- 1/2 cup of dish soap
- 1 1/2 cups of water
- 2 teaspoons of sugar
And then mix it all together very gently. You don’t really want to shake or agitate your bubble solution too much or you will have a harder time getting some nice bubbles. You can skip the sugar, but your bubbles will be more fragile without it. You know what though? Even if your bubbles aren’t perfect, it is going to be fine. Bubble art will happen. Drip art will happen too. It’s all part of the process.
Store your bubble solution in whatever container you have on hand, and then portion out a little bit to use for your blow bubble art! Using smaller containers will allow you to use less food dye and save the extra bubble solution for another day of bubble play!
Tip: If you do not have any small plastic containers, a small jar can work just as well. I suggest grabbing an old sock and dropping your jar down into it. It will be less likely to break if it gets knocked over during your art play.
Paint, Markers, and Paper
You will only need acrylic paint and markers if you want to paint or draw on top of your bubble art. We LOVE Americana Acrylic Paint. And I will say that our Sharpie Limited Edition Set gets used for pretty much every project we work on. You just can’t go wrong with Sharpies.
For the paper, it was basically a “use whatever is lying around” supply for us. We used our favorite cardstock. As you might notice in the pictures, the paper did curl a bit because our bubble art ended up being a marriage of blowing bubble paint and drip art. Watercolor paper would be ideal for wet projects like this, but whatever you’ve got on hand will be the right paper for today!
Time for Process Art!
I highly recommend wearing some art friendly clothing and doing this art project outside to manage the mess. If you or your littles have an aversion to discolored hands, you might also consider some plastic gloves. We did finish the afternoon with blue and red fingers, but everyone’s hands were back to normal by the end of the day.
Mix up your bubble paint
Pick out the food dye you want to use and add it to your bubble solution container(s). It is completely up to you and your crew if you want to mix only one color or create several bubble paints to work with. When you are adding the food dye, use more than you think you will need and then use a little bit more. I think I did 3 or 4 big squeezes to get the color saturated enough in our small bottles so that the bubbles would make a colorful impact when they hit the paper. Remember to stir gently so you don’t compromise those bubbles.
Now you are ready to dip your bubble wand in your new bubble paint and blow those bubbles! Whew, that sounds easy, doesn’t it? I mean, truth be told, it didn’t all work out exactly as we had expected. But that’s okay. Repeat after me: it’s all about the process. It really is. There is no wrong way to do this.
Blow Bubble Art VS. Drip Art
First of all, blowing bubbles isn’t exactly a super straightforward task for a kiddo. I mean, it’s not exactly a perfect art for anyone, is it? Your bubble art is going to get a little drippy. Matter of fact, my advice is to make drip art your expectation. When those bubbles land just as you had hoped, it will feel like a gift instead of a goal.
In the meantime, you can make all sorts of gorgeous drip art with those splatters. My son thought he was some kind of magical paint conductor, and, well, I guess he was! The kids had a blast, created beautiful art, and learned a lot about leaning into the mess and trusting the creative process.
Mother Nature Chips In
Shortly after we began painting, the wind started blowing like crazy. That extra breeze kept us cool for our outdoor art in this oven we live in called Texas, but it certainly did not help our bubbles hit the paper. So what do you do when you’ve already prepped for process art but Mother Nature is being a little wild? You do your best and try to laugh through it. That is actually part of the process, my friends.
Speaking of laughing, if you happened to drive by my house during Art Time, I really hope you noticed my two kids having a blast making Blow Bubble Drip Art (emphasis on the drip) more than you noticed their mom in her PJs holding up a large board to block the wind so they could focus on blowing their bubble art. Nothing to see here, folks, just another day in the life of an Art Mom.
Turning Our Drip Art Into Cards
Once the blow bubble art drip paintings dried (which took about 15 seconds in this heat wave), we carried their art back inside and trimmed their cardstock into 5 X 7 cards. Then it was right back outside to keep the process art going. For us, that meant it was time to paint some hands!
My kids were really excited about including their handprints on their handmade Father’s Day Cards. We used our golden yellow acrylic paint and a paint brush to apply the paint directly their hands. Once they were both all yellow’ed up, they started stamping the cards.
My kids had so much fun getting their hands dirty, but keep in mind that not every kid enjoys the sensation of wet paint on their hands. You can skip the handprints or you can simply trace their hands and paint the paper together. Lots of options here, but the goal here is to make the process as enjoyable as possible.
Once their handprints were dry, we pulled out the sharpies and they put the finishing touches on their cards. You can see their decorating styles are very different, but all the cards turned out beautifully. I know my husband will love all the time and effort they put into them.
I have to tell you, my absolute favorite part of this entire process was when everyone looked up from their cards and noticed, for the very first time, that all of our faces were also speckled with red and blue food dye. We looked like a riff-raff cast from a Dr. Seuss book. (Don’t worry, the food dye wiped right off with a wet washcloth.)
The kids are so excited to give these cards to their Dad. I am wondering if they will even be able to wait until Sunday. As for my husband, he has been banned from social media until after Father’s Day, so if you see him, don’t spoil the surprise!