See-Through Paintings

see-through paintings
I love the idea of painting on windows with my kids, but the only child height window we have is… ahem… still not painted, so letting my kids loose near all that bare wood with paints that might stain aint gonna happen. I have given up waiting for the damn things to be painted (it’s a big fiddly job and no one wants to do it!) and found another way to make cool see-through paintings.

You’ll Need:

painting easel for see-through painting
An easel or surface that you can tape things to easily.
Contact/self adhesive book covering
Something to put your paints in.
Tissue paper or other scraps of paper/cellophane/tissue

You’ll Do:

see-through painting
We got out our easel for this activity because it keeps painting projects like this nicely contained as all the drips are caught on the tray or back in the paint pots, but you could easily do this on a table top or even outside if you don’t have an easel.

We collected out materials first, breaking out our new toddler sized brushes (a short handle is much easier for small hands to manage) and trying out a range of our new Micador paints. We used some fluro paint, a metallic blue and a regular purple, but you can use whatever paints you like. I also cut up some tissue paper and some paper streamers to add to the second painting since the contact paper is the perfect sticking medium too.

see-through painting

If you’ve ever covered books you’ll know that contact paper can be a tricky beast, so I found it easiest to lie the cut sheet of contact on the floor, take off the backing paper and put tape on the top corners and then lift and stick the whole thing in place on the easel. We only had one disaster doing it this way!

Now get busy with the painting and the sticking!

see-through painting

Because you are painting on plastic rather than paper that the paint can sink into a little, this project can get rather drippy so be ready with a cloth to catch any that escape!

Once you are done painting and sticking grab another piece of contact paper, take off the backing paper (again I did this on the floor) and carefully stick it over the top of your painting and you are done! That is one of the big plusses to this activity, because you sandwich your painting between two pieces of contact paper you don’t have to wait for it to dry!

These look great stuck up on our windows and hiding some of the filth!

see-through painting

Extra Tip:
Noah is all about slapping on lots of paint and mixing it all together right now, which is just what he should be doing. He doesn’t care about what it looks like in the end. This is ‘process’ based art – where the emphasis is about the doing rather than the end product, and this is my kind of kids art.

But, even if you love process based art, sometimes you are still hoping for something that doesn’t look like brown sludge at the end so you can display it. In that case pick colours that mix and blend well. Combos like pink/red – yellow – orange, or pink – blue – purple, or blue-yellow-green all work well. So while your child is busy exploring and doing and creating, you’ll also get something that grandma will be proud to put on her fridge at the end.

{disclosure: We were given a selection of Micador art supplies, including these paints and brushes. No other compensation was offered or received. Opinions expressed in this post are purely my own.}

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Read the comments or scroll down to add your own:

  1. says

    What a fantastic idea Kate….totally understand about the paint thing…we have been doing the kitchen lately and i am a bit over it!
    Just love how you sandwich the paint in between the contact…makes for such a different pattern too. We shall be trying this!
    Also love the look of those Micador colours…will have to check them out…off to pin now x

  2. says

    Oooo great idea about picking the colour combinations that will work as artwork in your house. Very clever! Such a nice arty activity!


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