Bubble Wrap Painting and Printing

If you order things online as much as I do, you are bound to end up with some free bubble wrap.  Now, you could just pop it, throw it away, or reuse it to wrap another package, but wouldn’t it be more fun to paint it???

That’s exactly what we did.  I actually lucked out enough to end up with sticky bubble wrap.  It came wrapped around a glass jar of vitamins I purchased.  One side is sticky and the other side is your typical bubble wrap.  It was great since it stuck to the table nicely without moving around.

Here’s what we did:

1. Stick bubble wrap to table.  You could always tape the edges of regular bubble wrap to keep it from moving around.

2. Put out paint and paintbrushes.  I put out primary colored Crayola washable tempera paint on a plastic lid (from a big yogurt container) for each child.

3. Let the children paint the bubble wrap.


4. Lay pieces of paper on top of the painted bubble wrap ever so often and press down.  Then carefully peel off.  We used thick watercolor paper, but anything should work.  We found that smaller pieces of paper were easier to get better prints than full sheets. 

5. Lay your bubble wrap printed paper someplace safe to dry.  Admire it.




This was our first attempt at bubble wrap painting and it was lots of fun.  There are definitely some things I’ll do differently next time to increase our chances of getting better products (see the bullet notes below), but the process was great and the kids LOVED it!

Ideas, Notes, and Extensions:

  • The wetter the paint, the better the print.  I think it’s best to try doing lots of prints during the same painting session.  Don’t let the paint dry out.  Paint, print, paint some more, do another print, and so on.
  • Try to do different areas of the bubble wrap different colors, or put out fewer colors.  Since we did all 3 primary colors, a lot of ours mixed all the way to brown without a lot of color variation. 🙁
  • Use paper cut into different shapes for printing — a heart, a circle, an animal, the front of a card, etc.  We found smaller pieces of paper tended to make for better prints.
  • What do you do with the printed paper?  Well, that’s up to you, but here are some ideas: 
    • Frame it.  
    • Cut a shape out of it and glue it to a card.  
    • Use heart shaped paper or cut out heart shapes afterwards and create Valentine’s cards.
    • Mount it on coordinating, colored card stock so that the card stock makes a colored border around the art.  
    • Photograph it and use it as a background on your computer.  
    • Add it to your child’s art portfolio.
    • Mail it to a relative to hang on their refrigerator.
  • This would be a fun art project to do when learning about circles! 🙂

Here’s the pin on Pinterest where I first saw this idea!  Thanks for the inspiration, The Honorable Mention Preschool Blog!  Be sure to check out the link for even more bubble wrap inspiration, like Hopscotch Pop! 🙂

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Genny Upton

A former teacher turned stay at home mom to two preschool aged children. Creator (and writer) at In Lieu of Preschool and Parent Teach Play. Currently publishing my first children's picture book!

  • This is a great activity for kids. Together with their artistic development they would learn to innovate using items in art like bubble wrap that was really created for packaging.

  • Urwiskowo says:

    Great idea! I really like it!

  • […] Bubble Wrap Painting and Printing […]

  • Wow this is such a good idea. im sure my kids will love this. thanks for sharing.

  • Love this! I featured your post in a round-up of Fun Ways to Play with Bubble Wrap. You can check it out http://pinspiredhome.blogspot.com/2014/05/tips-tricks-thursday-bubble-wrap.html
    Thank you so much for the inspiration! 🙂

  • www says:

    Good share, thank you !

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