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Scrape painting

When we moved to California, we down-sized SIGNIFICANTLY. But, what we lost in square footage, we made up for in weather.


I was absolutely gutted not to have room for my super-amazing-ikea-hack-of-a-craft-table in our house here, but have started to look on the bright side, now that it’s warming up and we can take ourselves outside to work.

This weekend I got out the paints and braced myself for a mess. We’ve been busy the past few weeks, so I was feeling up for some good old art therapy. I definitely enjoyed it as much as the kids did.



Scrape painting is a technique that I love and tried long ago after seeing it around (blogs? Pinterest? my dreams?). This type of painting is all about PROCESS. That said, I rarely embark on something that’s going to be ugly, so keep in mind that if you exert a bit of control at the beginning, this project can be a free for all with pretty results as well (win win!).



  • Tempera paint – choose a couple colors + white to ensure a good end palette – we love neon
  • Thick white paper, or watercolor paper
  • Large baking tray
  • Old credit card, gift card, store card
  • Painters or masking tape (if your paper is much smaller than your tray)
  • Paper towels



1. Lay your paper flat in the baking tray. If it’s smaller than your tray, tape the sides down with bits of masking tape.

2. Squirt bits of paint toward the top of the paper (OMG, the kids love this part).


3. Use a credit card to scrape the paint around your paper. Add more paint where you want it – experiment, push paint around, go crazy.


4. We find that sticking to a couple colors at one time is best to avoid them getting muddy. But, the beautiful thing about this is that if you don’t like how it’s looking you can scrape the paint right off and start over (keep your paper towels handy)!


Though you can get VERY messy doing this if you want to, it’s also possible for (older) kids to be intentional in their approach and stay relatively clean in the process (less fun, but better for those of us with neurotic kids).



This one is a real crowd pleaser. The three older kids (6,4,2) totally get into this type of painting. This time around, we ended up leaving out supplies when friends came over for a BBQ, and everybody wanted a go (adults included).


5. Let your painting dry and ta-da! Instant modern art 🙂


And, because I’m never one to let artwork pile up (I’m totally the mom who throws it away once the front of the fridge is full – no shame!), we upcycled our day old artwork as gift wrap for a weekend bday party…


And created a mini modern art masterpiece for Ella’s minimalist doll house (maybe DIY furniture can be my next post?!).

Have you done this before? How were the results?!

-Mo x


Comments (7)

Esther in Amsterdam
April 6, 2016

I love this! So fun, and such cool results (the most stylish wrapping paper ever!). I once did something vaguely similar with my kids: http://babyccinokids.com/blog/2011/09/02/cardboard-painting/

April 6, 2016

Loving the wrapping paper!!!

April 7, 2016

I love this! And who wouldn’t be thrilled to receive a gift wrapped in that paper?! Could you share the paint colours you used? Thanks! Ex

Lizzy in Michigan
April 7, 2016

What a great craft! I love that you’ve also found a lovely way to upcycled their art projects.

My grandmother (a professional artist) used to do a semi-similar craft with us when I was little. She would put blobs of paint on thick paper (runny paints like watercolors work best), and encourage us to make designs by blowing air through a straw. We would experiment with thick or thin straws and with different colors. Once we got older, we tried to be more intentional with our artwork and make specific designs (which made it more challenging and more fun!)

April 8, 2016

I love the idea of scrape painting, and recycling the work of art as gift wrap. My little one is still tiny but I’m already looking for inventive ways to store/display/recycle his artwork (I store it all digitally on Artkive but still have a hard time chucking the originals!). How to deal with that would be a great blog post!

August 11, 2016

We love your blog… so many things to try. Oh – where is that dolls house from, very cute?

April 12, 2017

I didn’t realize you had relocated to California too! We moved to SoCal from London in September. Love this idea!

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