Paint with glue, and how to make your own colored glue

My 2-year old is going through the phase of wanting to squeeze all the life out of any tube of paint, toothpaste, or glue that crosses her path. Have you had, or do you have, a child in that phase as well?

Paint with glue | Tinkerlab.com

I remember this phase well. When my older daughter hit it, I made up a big batch of flour + water paint so that she could squeeze all she wanted. It was an economical solution that allowed her to squeeze, squeeze, squeeze without multiple visits to the art store for more paint.

In a similar vein, we recently made colored glue when we added liquid watercolors to some simple white glue. The girls love it, especially the younger one, and it’s now a staple of our creative zone. The colors of the glue are rich, the consistency is easy to squeeze, and it doesn’t break the bank, especially since we stock up on glue with a gallon-size bottle of Elmers Washable School Glue.

Paint with colored glue | Tinkerlab.com


  • White glue such as Elmer’s
  • White glue bottles or other empty squeezable bottles
  • Liquid watercolors or food coloring
  • Cardstock or other heavyweight to squeeze glue onto
  • A tray to catch the drips
  • Sequins and other treasures (optional)


Add a few drops of food coloring to the glue, cap the bottle, and shake until well-mixed.

paint with glue2

Glue as you wish!

Learning outcomes

Yes, learning is embedded in this experience! This activity is great for developing hand muscles, problem solving, making aesthetic choices, and exploring the limitations and possibilities of glue. It also teaches children how to control the flow of glue, which is a fantastic skill that will transfer over to squeezing shampoo and ketchup bottles.

Note: Links in this article may lead to an affiliate site. I only share products that I love and/or think you’ll find useful. 




  1. I love how vibrant the colors turned out with the glue! Where did you get the wooden trays used under the paper? I love the idea of trays underneath art projects.

    • Hi Ana,
      The wooden tray is from a second-hand store, and the other tray is from IKEA. If you have an IKEA near you, they have an enormous selection of colorful trays in different styles.

  2. We made a lot of flour+water+paint squeezy paint with my older daughter too. Maybe we need to revisit that this week!

    • Katherine, Isn’t that flour+water paint the best? I think we may need to revisit it as well!

  3. Wow thanks. It really inspired me. Since we only have a bottle of glue, i put colorful glitter beside him. He sprinkle the paper with glitter, do the finger painting and also use brush. At the end i shake the paper to remove unsticky glitter back to the bowl. Then it turn out to be a very quickly dry painting. So many time you safe my day. Many thanks!

    • Thanks for sharing your experience with this, Mirna. We’re fans of glitter too!

  4. Have you tried squeezing on to cling-film. I did this years ago while Nannying in US. When glue dried we peeled it off cling-film and we could stick/ unstick/ re-stick onto the fridge, a mirror, window. The kids loved it. I’m guessing this would work now. In US we used pre-coloured glue.

  5. I am so glad my child is not the only one that has went through this glue obsession phase. She wants to “play glue” EVERY day!!! I added glitter to a bottle of glue and she knocked it out in a day.

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