This cool volcano craft is made using washable kids’ paint mixed with baking soda. It’s so fun, and the end result definitely deserves a place on your wall! Plus, the included printable makes this a super simple project to do with your kids. Just add drops of vinegar and have fun watching it bubble and fizz!
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A little while back, I decided to try making baking soda paint with my kids.
We combined some baking soda and liquid watercolours, took out some paintbrushes and white cardstock, and had fun watching our paintings fizz as we dropped some vinegar onto them. The result wasn’t exactly something you’d want to hang on your wall, but the kids had a lot of fun, so I made a mental note to try it again.
The biggest problem we encountered was that the baking soda and liquid watercolours didn’t mix very well.
I tried experimenting with different ratios, but I was never able to achieve a paint-like consistency. The mixture always felt more like a paste, which was not great to paint with. And no matter how hard I tried to combine them, the baking soda always seemed to sink to the bottom if we weren’t actively using the paint.
It also had a tendency to flake off once the artwork was dry, which was far from ideal.
Since it was a lot of fun for the kids, I started thinking about how we could improve this activity to produce results that we’d love. And since liquid watercolours didn’t work very well, I wondered whether we could simply use washable kids’ paint.
We tried it, and as it turns out, washable kids’ paint produces way better results! It’s also cheaper and more widely available, which makes it so easy to do this activity with your kids.
About this Project
You can easily use the process described in this article to create abstract art. Just squirt some paint into small containers, add in some baking soda and let your kids paint as they normally would. Once they’re done creating their work of art, add drops of vinegar to the painting and watch it bubble and fizz!
Personally, I couldn’t resist using baking soda paint to create a volcano. It just seemed like the perfect craft for fizzy paint, and the end result was so pretty!
To make things easier, I even created a free volcano printable, which you can download at the bottom of this article!
How to Make a Fizzing Baking Soda Paint Volcano
Here’s what you’ll need to make your very own fizzing baking soda paint volcano:
- Blue cardstock (I love this set because it includes a lot of different colours, but for this craft, I ended up using some pastel cardstock I had leftover from my Easter crafts)
- Brown cardstock or construction paper
- My free volcano printable, which you can download using the form at the bottom of this article
- Stick of school glue
- Washable kids’ paint in black, white, red, orange and yellow
- Small containers (for mixing the paint)
- Cotton balls (we got ours at the dollar store)
- Baking soda
- Droppers (we bought ours on Amazon, but I can’t seem to find an equivalent product anymore—just make sure to use plastic instead of glass if your kids are young and/or accident-prone)
- White vinegar
Note: For the blue background, you’ll need to use cardstock rather than regular paper or your artwork risks turning into a soggy mess once the vinegar is added. As for the volcano printout, if you don’t happen to have cardstock in the right colour, construction paper will suffice.
Looking at the list, it seems like this project requires a lot of materials, but most of them are basic supplies that you probably already have on hand.
It’s also really quick to do—it only took me about half an hour despite the fact that I kept stopping to take pictures of every step. This makes it a great craft to entertain your kids that doesn’t require a huge time commitment on your part.
And while younger kids will need help with some of the steps, older kids should be able to do this whole project by themselves!
1. Print Template
Start by printing the template on brown construction paper.
Depending on the type of printer you use and the size of your construction paper, you might have to cut the paper down to size. Mine turned out to be a little larger than Letter-sized and it wouldn’t fit in my printer’s loading tray. I didn’t this time, but I typically use a paper trimmer to cut paper down to the right format. I love how quick and easy it is, and how clean the cuts are!
If you do use one, make sure not to let your kids anywhere near it while you’re using it, and store it out of reach when not in use!
2. Cut & Glue Template
Once the template is printed, cut out the volcano and glue it onto the blue cardstock background.
3. Create Smoky Sky
Mix a small amount of black and white paint in a container and experiment with the quantities until you’re happy with the resulting shade of grey. Then, dip a cotton ball into the paint and dab it onto the blue background to create clouds of smoke above the volcano.
4. Make Baking Soda Paint
It’s time to make the baking soda paint! Squirt some red, orange and yellow paint into small containers and add a generous amount of baking soda, mixing until well combined.
The paint will be a little thicker than normal, but you should still be able to apply it smoothly to the paper using a paintbrush. Children are likely to want to mix the paint themselves, which is totally fine!
5. Paint Lava
Next, you (or your child) will be using the baking soda paint to create lava.
Start by painting some red lava coming out of the volcano’s mouth and flowing down its sides and its front. I would have liked to show you what it looked like with just red paint, but apparently I skipped that step when I was taking pictures. You’ll be able to see it for yourself when you do the craft!
Once you’re done painting everything in red, add depth using orange and yellow paint. The paintbrush strokes don’t need to be super intentional—just don’t cover the red completely and the colours should blend together nicely.
I was actually surprised at how nice it turned out. The added thickness of the paint helped create textured layers, which added a lot of depth!
6. Add Vinegar
Now comes the really fun part! Place a little bit of white vinegar in a container and let your child add some to the painting using a dropper. When the vinegar and baking soda come into contact, the painting will start to fizz!
It’s better to add a few drops at a time. Cardstock is thicker than regular paper, but it’s not waterproof, so it will still get soggy if you drench it. We actually added a little bit too much vinegar and dabbed off the excess using a cotton ball.
7. Let Dry
Once you’ve added vinegar to all the areas you can, let the painting dry for a few hours and it will be ready to display.
If you look at the pictures below, you’ll see that the baking soda and vinegar reaction gave the paint a really cool texture once it dried! Tiny little bubbles are visible throughout and it doesn’t look like washable kids’ paint at all.
And unlike the artwork we made using baking soda and liquid watercolours, this one wasn’t flaky in the least and you could easily hang it on a wall without having to worry about it making a mess!
Isn’t that just gorgeous? We can’t wait to try other projects involving baking soda paint!
Related Crafts with Free Printables
Looking for more easy craft tutorials that include free printables? Check out these fun projects:
- Bubble Wrap Butterflies (with Free Butterfly Printable!)
- Colour-Changing Snowflake Window Clings (with Free Snowflake Printable!)
- Scratch-Off Car Card (with Free Car Printable!)
- Scratch-Off Ladybug Card (with Free Ladybug Printable!)
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