Straw-blown Watercolor Painting

Oh, how I love an art project with unexpected results. We took your usual watercolor painting activity and added some straws to create this loopy, drippy beautiful mess. The fun was in trying to control the flow of paint with the droppers and straws, which was near impossible, but totally worth a try.

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  • Watercolor paper or card stock — we used 8.5 x 11 card stock from the office supply store
  • Liquid watercolors. We like to use Sax Concentrated Liquid Watercolors from Amazon. They’re washable and non-toxic.
  • Eye droppers or pipettes
  • Straws
  • Tray to hold the paper. This keeps the paint from blowing all over the table
  • Paper towels, sponge, or towels. Optional, but you won’t regret this insurance policy

Pull some watercolor paint into the dropper and then squeeze it on the paper.

Pick up a straw and start blowing. N tested a wide “milkshake” straw first, and this is what she thought about it…

Yeah, not so good.

She traded it in for a skinny straw and then turned into a straw-blowing paint machine. The skinny straw is the way to go (but I’d encourage you to try both and see what works for you, making it a true experiment!).

After about six straw paintings, my daughter got a brush and did some paint mixing experiments. Such a fun, easy, and not-too-messy way to spend an afternoon.

Have you tried straw painting?

Feel free to add a photo in the comments if you have! Or, give it a try and add your photo next time you stop by.

This post shared with It’s Playtime


  1. says

    i love that N used an analogous color palette for these paintings. keeps the results from getting muddy. N’s works of art are so lovely and what a fun process! we’ve only done the blown paint thing once two autumns ago to make trees — which is a timely application in the coming month’s too, so maybe we’ll do it again: — and i’ll try to add an image to my comment, too! :)

    • rachelle says

      Thanks for adding the art vocabulary bit, Jen :) I should have thought of that. I try to keep our palette tight when I can, but sometimes it’s impossible! I love the wind blown tree…perfect for fall and all the leaves that are currently shedding from our trees. Sniff sniff.

    • rachelle says

      You absolutely could do this with water and food coloring, and that’s where I’d start if I thought my child might suck the paint right up (it happened when my daughter was almost 2 1/2…how old is Jaycee?). Glad to find you on the Sit and Relax hop!

  2. says

    I’m not familiar with liquid watercolor paint. How does it come? Is it a powder that you mix with water or does it come in a bottle? Maybe a dumb question! : /