Spin Art

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My daughter was glued to the spin art table at a carnival that we went to a few months ago, so when I saw this easy spin art machine from Crayola I couldn’t resist purchasing it. I found another kid-powered (no batteries required) spin art machine for a less money (by ALEX) that’s also worth checking out.

This is the same set-up we had at that carnival, and it’s an amazing low-cost, upcycled option with great results. I bet you could find a salad spinner at the dollar store if you didn’t want to run yours through the ringer.

Here’s what we did:

We added paint…

what can we spin

and gave it a few spins.

what can we spin

Added more paint

what can we spin

And sat back to watch the magic happen.

what can we spin

Like marble painting, once N got going there was no stopping her. She made MANY of these beauties and I’m thinking of turning them into bunting for her birthday. Any ideas?

what can we spin

I wish I could remember how it came up, but we started musing on what would happen if we used ketchup instead of paint. I’m not an advocate of playing with food, but I am an advocate of experimentation, so we brought out the ketchup to see what would happen.

ketchup and spin art

It was a slurry of a mess, that got even more sludgy after we added ranch dressing. Sorry I missed snapping that…it all happened pretty quickly. The next morning, N requested eggs and ketchup…

in the spinner. Of course.

This is a totally reasonable request, right?

So we cut some plates down to size.

cutting the plates

Scrambled up some eggs.


Squeezed the ketchup on.

spinning eggs

And spun it around until it was good and messy. As you can imagine, the eggs flew around the spinner in every direction. Because of their flatness, I bet pancakes and maple syrup would work beautifully. What do you think?

spinning eggs

Aesthetics aside, it still tasted good.

spin art breakfast

If you want to go the salad spinner route, check out this article: Salad Spinner Spin Art.

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  1. One of my classes favorite activities is salad spinner art- I am sure you have heard of it- it is just like this but using a salad spinner instead of an electric one. It doesn’t come out (in most cases) quite as pretty as theses but they like the tactile experience of it and experimenting with different speeds, adding colors all at once or between spins, etc.

    • Yes! We had fun with salad spinner art too. I love that you don’t need anything super-fancy to make spin art.

    • Melissa, This is way too cool! You’ve got me thinking that I could cut these circles down to postcard size for thank you cards, postcards, or invitations too.

  2. A few years back I made invitations out of the spin art. My spin art machine allowed me to secure rectangular pieces of paper to it. Then I printed the info on clear overhead transparency and secured that to the art for a very cute invitation. ….Also, a few years back we picked up a spinner in the Easter section to to the same with hard boiled eggs. We pull it out every year. It lets the boys experiment with color and is a surprising clean project. I bet the salad spinner would work great for that too 😉

    • What a great idea. I wonder if I can rig our little machine to hold different shapes of papers? And I’m keeping an eye out for an egg spinner!!

  3. I came over from Make and Takes today and took some time to explore your blog. AMAZING!! What a fun parent you are. =) Not afraid to get things a bit dirty! We will have fun following your blog.

    • Hi Laura! Thanks for the really kind words. I try to keep an open mind about allowing for messes to happen, but believe me when I say it’s often a huge exercise in restraint! I look forward to chatting with you here!

  4. Ooooh and they brilliant!!! And what fun! They are excellent!

    Thank you for linking up to Kids Get Crafty! Always appreciated!


    • I love that too. I’m so happy when our activities cross disciplines: in this case…art, science, food. It’s all there! And thanks for stopping by. I checked out your blog, and it’s great! We can all be reminded to slow down and be present.

  5. This is such a wonderful activity. Thankyou for the clear description of the process, and the beautiful photos of this. I have just subscribed to Tinkerlab., and look forward to much happy reading. This is a wonderful resource! Thank you for checking in with me on my blog, and your suggestion of Pinterest, as a resource, I plan to learn more, it seems like a very helpful way to keep a record of ideas, etc.
    All the best!

    • Hi Brenda! Thanks for popping over and subscribing to the blog. It’s great to have you here.

  6. Did you know you can use fabric paint and then “stamp” your spinart on a t shirt or onesie? Black makes great spiderwebs (we did it at a halloween party) and cow spots (for chickfila dress up day) but red- well, look bloody and gory- like gunshots- try to avoid it. Make sure to have newspaper or cereal box piece inside shirt to avoid leakthrough.

    • Great suggestions! I bet a spin art t-shirt or onesie would be adorable. And thanks for the tip on staying away from using red for spin art t-shirts 🙂

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