• After School Kid Crafts: How to Make Milk Art

    diy milk art

    After a snack and homework, Henry loves doing art projects after school. It’s good timing since Edie is often down for her afternoon nap and we have a little one on one time together. I usually get him started on a project on the kitchen table and then try to squeeze in some dinner prep while he finishes it up. We’ll be sharing a few of these easy projects and activities on Say Yes as a new series focused on after school kids crafts (which will become holiday kids crafts soon enough!). The first one today is this fun milk art. His friend Viv was over as well for a playdate so she was able to join in on the milky, swirly, colorful fun.

    how to make milk art

    how to make milk art

    Keep reading to see how to do this project at home with your kids…

    Photography by Liz Stanley

     This post is sponsored by Pediasure. Fueling after school projects and activities to create more fridgeworthy moments. 

    how to make milk art

    Supplies: almond milk, liquid dish soap, watercolor paper, tray, food coloring, q-tips

    how to make milk art

    We fueled up with some yummy PediaSure shakes in chocolate. The kids loved them! They taste just like chocolate milk but have a super nutritious blend of 25 vitamins and minerals including DHA omega-3 and antioxidants.  A great after school snack to keep them energized for the rest of the day. School days are long for these young grade schoolers and they’re often too picky to eat those nutrients in vegetables, which of course would be ideal.

    how to make milk art

    Directions for the milk art:

    1. Step 1: Pour almond milk into a tray, just enough to cover the bottom.

    how to make milk art

    2. Drop some food coloring around, 3 or 4 drops of each color.

    how to make milk art

    3. Dip your q-tip in the soap and touch the colored milk with it, watch the colors start to expand and swirl.

    how to make milk art how to make milk art   how to make milk art

    Step 4:  Once you’ve swirled to your liking, you can ‘preserve’ your design by transferring it onto some paper. Stick a piece of watercolor paper on top and press down very gently. Lift and shake off excess lightly.

    how to make milk art

    Step 5: Flip quickly back so design it right side up. Let the designs sit out to dry overnight.

    So pretty! The milk swirling part is fun enough for an after school kid craft!

    how to make milk arthow to make milk art   how to make milk art


    1. KC said… September 27, 2014 10:14 pm

      I work with children at a gym while their parents are working out (max time we have them is two hours) so Im always looking for fast and easy art projects for a wide age range of kids.
      This was by far one of the most impressive projects that I’ve done with kids, and I’ve been working with children for over 30 years!
      I used shaving cream, liquid water colors and photo paper which was awesome because after pulling it off of the paint and shaving cream I rinsed it under water and then dried it off with a towel, mounted it on card stock and the kids were able to take it home right away. I did this project with 3 thru 12 year olds and each one was amazing.

    2. G. Willems said… September 18, 2014 5:24 pm

      Hey there! Did this and it was fun. Thanks for sharing it. Just one question…Even with shaking it and flipping it quickly, it was hard to get anything resembling the original pattern. Any other paper or tips you would have for getting a better “snapshot”?

    3. Lindsay L said… September 13, 2014 9:46 pm

      Oh, Lilly, no use crying over spilled milk.

    4. Lacey said… September 13, 2014 12:14 am

      Ther is some great science vocabulary to go with this. Our local news channel had a video of it. Spangler science on 9News I think. Anyhow not familiar with watercolor paper can someone clarify? Love it! Great science and art combo to throw in the homeschool roster.

    5. Christina said… September 12, 2014 10:52 pm

      I love this idea! TIP: If anyone is looking for a substitute for the milk use shaving cream…. works great!!!

    6. Rebecca_FeltBallRug said… September 12, 2014 7:07 am

      Oh! This brings back such great memories as I did this in high school art class (but with special oil and special paint). I love that you can do it with milk and food coloring, it makes it so much easier!

      I’m definitely going to try this sometime soon.

      And an idea if you want to take it one step further; we made this paper in my calligraphy class to use as a backdrop for write quotes in calligraphy. I eventually turned all the pages into a book but they would be beautiful hung individually on the wall as well!

    7. Emily said… September 11, 2014 1:29 pm

      Going to try this with my kiddos for sure! So excited about this new series!

    8. PCAppliancerepair said… September 11, 2014 7:19 am

      What a great way to make affordable art work too.

    9. lilly said… September 11, 2014 1:18 am

      Really? Wasting food for an arts and crafts project? Sorry, but I think this is not setting a good example … Why not use wallpaper paste instead? Works just as well.

      • Liz Stanley said… September 11, 2014 9:19 am

        Hey now. It’s only about 1/2 cup of milk. Not sure how that’s different than ‘wasting’ glue?

      • Teresa said… September 11, 2014 9:57 am

        I think part of the idea of these after school projects is to use normal household products we have on hand. I don’t think many of us have wallpaper paste on hand and would require a trip to a specialty store. If you’re worried about food waste, then maybe you could use a smaller pan/tray and make 4×6 cards. That would require a minimum amount of milk and the kids would still have fun getting their hands in it.

        • Liz Stanley said… September 11, 2014 1:58 pm

          I agree, it can be small! we of course make larger ones for the purpose of the photos. Another idea: use the leftover milk from the morning cereal bowl 🙂

      • Annie said… September 12, 2014 7:56 am

        I’d rather “waste milk” than expose them to chemicals in harsh glues.

    10. Beatrice b said… September 10, 2014 7:23 pm

      Great project, love the series idea!

    11. Teresa said… September 10, 2014 11:55 am

      Thanks for posting such a cool activity. Its perfect! Can I use any milk? Whats the significance of almond milk? Thanks!!

      • Liz Stanley said… September 10, 2014 1:56 pm

        You want milk with some fat in there to agitate the colors. Almond milk or whole milk is great. Probably 2% would be good too

        • Teresa said… September 11, 2014 9:51 am

          Thanks Liz! Can’t wait to try it!

    12. Rachel said… September 10, 2014 10:41 am

      Awesome craft idea! I remember doing this at summer camp when I was a kid, but didn’t remember the exact details of how we did it, so thanks for reminding me! Two quick questions: Wondering if the food dye stained your lovely white tulip table? Also, to be preserve the design without too much dripping, do you slide the paper off the top of the milk or lift it? Thanks!

      • Liz Stanley said… September 10, 2014 1:57 pm

        We cleaned it up right away with a counter spray and it was no problem at all! You do kind of have to shake it off when it’s upside down so it doesn’t run too much when you flip it over. Have fun trying it out!

    13. chrissy said… September 10, 2014 10:35 am

      I used to babysit some kids that loved these. They taste just like chocolate milk to me too and it’s a great way to get all those nutrients in

      • Liz Stanley said… September 11, 2014 9:20 am

        I agree!

    14. Sandy said… September 10, 2014 9:34 am

      I like the craft idea for my kids but I won’t be feeding them Pediasure, that’s for sure! IMO, kids should get nutrition from whole foods not chemical cocktails.

      • Liz Stanley said… September 10, 2014 9:42 am

        I agree, ideally that would be the case. Unfortunately I think a lot of kids won’t eat enough of the healthy stuff. Sometimes you have to squeeze in the nutrients where you can!

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