Autumn · Craft · Messy Craft

Firework Salt Painting

So while the world concentrates on Halloween, I have been planning a Light Party at my church (a Halloween alternative that focuses on light over darkness). The big event was yesterday and it was an amazing success (yay)! We had a range of crafts, from sparkly pictures and glow in the dark pictures, to Autumn lanterns, candles and candle holders. We also ended up with a large number of firework-themed activities (with my thinking/teaching here being along the lines of the fact that, as fireworks light up the sky at night time, we should try to shine God’s “light” to those around us).

I am going to share a few of these activities over the next few posts. The first being firework salt painting.

For this you will need:

Black card, PVA glue, pipe cleaners (as many as you like, but a minimum of four), salt (I experimented with both normal salt and flaky posh salt and came to the conclusion that cheap table salt gave the best results), pipettes/small paintbrushes, watery watercolours, and glitter (for the younger ones).

The main salt painting activity was aimed at the older attendees (over 7’s) though anyone who wanted to have a go was able. Some of the younger children made very beautiful pictures, though it was tricky. I did have glitter for them as a backup in case the salt painting was too advanced; the glitter was very popular (as always)!

And this is how we did it:

We started by making a number of shapes with the pipe cleaners in advance (it would have been nice for the children to make their own but there just wasn’t time at the event so we made these in advance). For my practice attempts, I twisted four pipe cleaners together in the middle, bent them in half, twisted again, and then splayed out the ends to create eight ‘legs’. For the real thing we created a few different ones in different shapes and sizes. These are the firework shapes.

Once the firework shapes were created, we then dipped the pipe cleaners into the PVA glue and dabbed them over a piece of black card until we had shapes we were happy with (it is important that the quantity is just right; if it is too thick the glue simply dissolves the salt, but if there is not enough glue you don’t get enough salt sticking).

Next it was time to add the salt and shake off the excess! (I want to say we sprinkled the salt, but that really would have taken too long. We just poured it liberally and shook off the excess to get the best coverage)!


Finally, we added the watercolours to the salt and watched the colours mix as the wet paint dissolved the salt.

(The results in the above photos were made with the cheap table salt. For some reason this salt produced the most vibrant results and allowed for better colour mixing – probably because it was more easily dissolved).

In my practice I used a paintbrush and simply dropped on the watery paint, but it was important not to brush/touch the salt as it would have come away from the card. I decided that this might have been too tricky for the young children, so used simple pipettes for the real thing instead.

And for the younger children there was glitter!


This was a really successful activity:

The children ended up producing much better work than my initial practices, but sadly I didn’t have time to take any pictures of the actual results!

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