Puffy Paint Snowmen

What about making some homemade puffy paint to continue our Fireflies’ snow theme?  I wanted 3D snow for my kids to paint with – and I made it!  I could not believe how easy this was – promise (read on).   I was actually on my way out the door, when I decided to make my paint-snow and the project took all of 10 minutes from beginning to end (with no child involvement, however…).

I gathered my materials.  The recipe calls for equal parts flour, salt and water.

Easy – three ingredients that this non Julia Child had on hand!  I started with 2 T of each and came up with  a smooth runny paste (aka puffy paint).  Since I was going for snow paint, I didn’t add any food coloring, but you certainly could.  Wonder how glitter would have responded to this mixture?  Does it microwave?

So far so good…  Next I tried a small circle on a piece of cardboard I had nearby, and microwaved it for 30 secs.   I was so surprised when I removed my test “painting” from the microwave.  It was dry and puffy!  Oh me of little faith.  Surely it couldn’t be this easy.

I was intrigued and decided to go for the snowman.  I used a piece of blue card stock and painted my snowman – quickly. (Remember, I was on my way out the door…)

It took longer in the microwave – about three minutes.  Just make sure the middle is puffy and dry.  You can watch it dry from the outside in.   You can see how the edges of the paper curled up a bit.  Though not a deal breaker – If you have cardboard or foam board, use that, and have your child paint a background scene for their snowman.

For 2 regular sized snowman, use about 1/4 c of each ingredient depending on how big you plan on your snowmen becoming.  They will not spread out like cookie dough does while cooking.  It is okay to put it back in the microwave to keep cooking…  Again, for my full sized snowman, it took 2 – 3 minutes, but I kept checking throughout that time.  You want the middle to totally puff up.

Below is my finished 1st try awaiting some painted button eyes, a corncob nose and an old silk hat.   But that will have to wait for when my little ones come to visit.  Oh, how they will love to paint on something other than flat paper AND see their puffy creation come to life!
Here’s my latest try with my littlest one (4-years-old).
A perfect impromptu project to do at home if you have flour, salt, and water!
Deni Corbett
Find a copy of Lois Ehlert’s book, Snowballs to inspire the budding creative in your home.  Your child will enjoy poring over the illustrations and identifying the objects selected to adorn Ehlert’s snow family!



  1. I cannot wait to try this out with my little boys! They ate gonna love their textured creation. I wonder if glitter can be added for a touch of “glistening”?

  2. I’ve heard that another great puffy paint recipe is mixing equal parts shaving cream and Elmer’s glue. I haven’t tried this yet, but have been cautioned to make sure you add enough glue or the saving cream just flakes off the paper.

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