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I think all kids should have the opportunity to engage in the arts. My favorite kind of art to share with my kids is process-oriented art that explores different artistic techniques and materials.
Recently we tried our hand at aluminum foil painting.
This was a brand new “canvas” for us, as we had never tried painting on foil. And we paired this new “canvas” with a new type of paint in the form of Thin Stix solid tempera paints.
The results of our artistic endeavors were quite gorgeous. And this is a project that would be enjoyed by kids (and grown ups!) from preschool on up.
Note: For more AWESOME art activities, see my Arts and Crafts for Kids page.
Disclaimer: I was compensated for writing this post. All opinions and ideas are my own.
How to make an aluminum foil painting
To make our aluminum foil paintings, we used the following materials:
- Rectangular piece of cardboard (the side of a cereal box would work well)
- Aluminum foil
- Thin Stix paints
We started by cutting small slits about 1-2″ apart all around the outside edge of the cardboard. We then wove yarn through the slits to make a series of lines across the front of the cardboard.
We cut a piece of aluminum foil a bit larger than the cardboard and wrapped it around the cardboard. We used tape to secure the foil to the back of the cardboard.
We then flipped the cardboard face up and used our fingers to press down along the lines of yarn. This created distinct 3-dimensional lines in the foil canvas.
This is what the foil looked like once the “canvas” was prepared.
We then used Thin Stix paints to fill in the various sections made by the overlapping lines of yarn.
Thin Stix are a lot like glue sticks. Kids simply twist the bottom to raise the solid stick of paint inside the tube. Then they rub the stick of paint onto their painting surface. We found the resulting colors to be much richer than what we typically get using crayons or markers.
We used a variety of colors, taking care that we did not use the same color in adjacent sections.
The Thin Stix created very vibrant colors on the aluminum foil. Best of all, the Thin Stix paint dried super fast – in less than 2 minutes!
The end results of our work were stunning.
A new art technique.
Overall . . . a perfect art project for us to enjoy together!
Normally I dread pulling out our tempera paints because there is always so much clean up afterwards. With Thin Stix solid tempera paints, however, kids get a painted art project and grown ups have no mess to clean up afterward. Can you say win-win?!?
And when you combine the fact that Thin Stix provide a no mess experience along with the fact that they dry super fast (like in 90 seconds), this makes Thin Stix ideal for doing last minute arts and crafts projects.
Looking for more hands-on activities that incorporate Science, Technology, Engineering, Art, and Math (STEAM)? Then you’ll love STEAM Kids! This book features 52 hands-on activities are helpfully identified by category (science / technology / engineering / art / math) so you know exactly what skills your kids are developing.
Grab a copy of the e-book delivered as a PDF download (or this e-book for EU residents) and in print at Amazon.
More arts and crafts resources
Popular arts and crafts activities from Gift of Curiosity:
- Cut up art
- Painting with strings
- Leaf collages
- Tape resist watercolor painting
- Crystallized snowflakes
- Seed medallions
- Trace the shapes art project
- Corn husk dolls
Note: For more kid-friendly craft projects, see my Arts and Crafts for Kids page and my Arts and Crafts Pinterest board.
I love your activities and printables.
I like the look of the aluminum paintings. I would love to win the Thin Stix paints so that we can try the technique.
Wow your aluminum paintings really look cool! Winning the Thin Stix would be fun to be able to try out different ideas.
I would like these for my kids to create art.
I’d like to win because both my kids are really into arts and crafts and they would love using these!
This looks so amazing! And easy enough for me to set up!
My preschool class would love this aluminum foil painting! Thanks!
This looks like so much fun. My grand daughters are always looking for artsy things to do with their homeschooing. Thanks you for showing us this!
I have 6 grandchildren and money is very scarce right now. We would love to win the Thin Stix. My grandchildren and I would definitely have fun creating and making some happy memories together!
Oh boy! We are about to trash paint (and maybe glitter) altogether. But I hate to take away their creativity. Thanks for sharing an alternative.
As an early childhood special ed teacher who loves doing art with my students, but who is usually the only adult in the classroom, it is often very challenging to paint with the kids. The quick drying time of the Thin Stix would help so much!
We have done this project numerous times with a Sharpie markers, and the results are gorgeous. And the kids love doing them. I’m curious what they would think of using Thin Stix. Thanks for another great idea!
I teach preschool students with special education needs and these paints look exciting and fun and something all my students would be able to enjoy!
Wow, those paints look like a lot of fun!
I love your foil painting idea! We have 14 three and four year old students, with only 2 girls. They love painting, gluing, stamping (in other words EVERYTHING MESSY) needless to say things DO get pretty messy in our classroom. I would love to win a set of your Thin Stik paints.
These things are pretty neat! We’ve used many different mediums for arts and crafts but nothing like this. We would love to try these out! Thank you for the opportunity.
My boys love to paint and anything that is mess free sounds good to me!
I’d love to win! These look great for my little artist and the floor painting looks fun!
I love finding new ways to create art. The foil paintings are amazing! I have never heard of Thin Stix. They would be fun to experiment with our preschoolers.
My son is starting to become more into art, so this would be a perfect introduction to a different art form!
I love Kwik stix! I use them in my classroom, but would LOVE to win some for my own children at home. I love the idea of using them on foil. What a great sensory activity!
Where are the thin stick paints sold?
I’ve linked to their listing on Amazon.com in the post.
i love to do art projects with my kiddos but painting is always hard because it takes forever to dry and the kids keep going to the papers and playing in the wet paint! This paint would be great to help solve that!
I love this! I am always looking for new craft ideas to use at home. This would be great for my little budding artist! 🙂
Great idea! Love these paints for little hands and those who have trouble engaging in messy art due to sensory avoidance issues.
We love the regular Paint Stix but have never tried the Thin Stix.
I could come up with a lot of cool projects for these! I’d love to win. 🙂
I enjoy everything! Thank you for all the interesting ideas. Thank you especially for the freebies.
I have never heard of the Thin Stix but love the idea! Thanks for sharing.
I wish to do it together with my daughter. It will be a very sweet moments.
My daughter loves to paint and do artwork. I think she would love these markers.
The thin stix would be a great painting option that’s less messy!
Very fun and no mess??? Great!!!
I would love to try these with my preschool students with special needs! They look like great tools for working on their fine motor skills!
I love your weekly e-mails, please keep them coming! The tin foil artwork is something I haven’t tried before, and I agree with you getting the paint out is a huge pain! The Thin Stix look like the perfect solution and I would love to try them with my kiddos:)
My kids love crafts, and my daughter wants to do a new project EVERY day. This sounds perfect for those cold days when I can’t take them outside for the messy projects like painting.
I would love to win these. They would be perfect for my preschool 3 class that I teach. Less mess = Less stress! LOL!
We love all types of projects – even the messy ones! However, there are times when messy just isn’t practical, so these sound wonderful. They would satisfy my five-year-old’s desire to create, my four-year old’s desire not to have messy hands, and my need to put dinner on the table in a timely fashion 🙂
This aluminum foil painting will definitely create the kind of “masterpiece” that parents will want to frame and hang! I can’t wait to try it in my classroom with my PreK class. Thanks so much for the post on it!
The Thin Stix paints look incredible! I am a “roving tutor” who goes to children’s homes as part of a preschool tutpring program. I’ve avoided using paints because of the attendant mess, but these would let us include painting in our activities!
Fingers crossed! These look so fun!
Hot glue can also work instead of yarn but I always have trouble getting straight lines. I am glad to see a different option instead of the hot glue. Those Thin Stix are also pretty cool and are quick drying, great homeschool tool. Would love this for my classroom art center.
These would be a great addition to our recently growing supplies collection. We’ve just moved back to the US and had to leave all of our supplies behind!
These Thin Stix sound great, and fun for my 4- and 9- year olds!
My 2 and 4 yr old nieces would love using these.
I would LOVE to try these!
I would like totry Them. It sounds like a mess free way to paint with tempera!
I love trying new art out with my little friends and would love to give these paints a try. Thanks for hosting this drawing!
My kids love arts and crafts and love to try new techniques!
I’d love to win these to use in my homeschool for my special needs daughter. I think the sticks would be much easier than traditional painting for her.
What a great idea! Would love to have a “mess-free” way to paint!
Carrie Soria Kyte
I can’t to try using aluminium as a canvas. We love quik and thin at our house.
We have used Quik Stix, but It think the Thin Stix look even more fun and more manageable for my 5 year old!
Would Love to try this out his paint and activity in my classroom.
The paint stix look like a great way to have fun! The colors are so bright! I love the short drying time.
My 3 kiddos would love to play with and use the thin stix.
My kids would love to try these out! They love art activities.
These look super fun and different from all of the art techniques we are currently using! Would love to win, but regardless, I am excited to try these!
I would love to give these to my nephew. He loves art, and my sister would love a mess free option.
I would love a set of the Thin Stix to use with my special education preschool students – the short drying time would be perfect for them!
This is a great project. I teach 1-3 grade Art Class. I am going to try this with wikki sticks.