Paint by Marble

Marbles in cake tin with paper on bottom painted by rolling balls around

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Unique Art for All Ages

Marbles in cake tin with paper on bottom painted by rolling balls around

  • What: Paint by Marble
  • When: Two years and up
  • Why: Entertaining, inexpensive, fun
  • Where: At home

Looking for a novel arts and crafts activity to keep your kids busy? Want a project where you already own all the materials? Give kids a try at painting with marbles.

Cake pan, paper painted by rolling marbles, cups with spoons in red blue and yellow paint, paper towel with marble on it
Everything you need to create marble art.

Take any sheet of paper, and a container you don’t mind getting covered in paint. We used an aluminum cake pan, but a pie pan or Tupperware or anything else with a flat bottom with work just as well. Then have your child trace the bottom portion of the container onto the paper. Cut out the shape so it fits inside the bottom of the pan, and collect your painting supplies.

Red paint in empty yogurt cup with plastic spoon
The spoon makes it easier and less messy to get the marble out of the cup.

I find it best to use non watercolor paints. Washable paints work great, but even paints from your own craft projects can work. We pour a bit of paint into containers big enough for a marble. In this case, we reused some empty cleaned yogurt cups. I also find it handy to have a spoon for each color you’d like. You can use one marble in each color, or the same marble for all the colors.

Painting done by five year old using marbles
My five year old’s finished marble painting.

I like to use red, blue, and yellow for young kids so they see how the colors mix together, but almost any color combination works. Drop the marble into the cup of paint, roll it around to get coated in color, and use the spoon to get it out and place it into the pan. Then tilt the pan back and forth to make the marble roll, painting as it goes.

All three of my kids still love this project whenever we whip it out. It makes lovely art that can easily be shared with family, or mailed long-distance to brighten someone’s day and let them know you’re thinking of them. All of the materials clean up easily with water before the paint dries, and depending on the type and quantity of paint used, the art dries quickly, too.

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