Try this no prep paper towel tie dye art with your kids. Have fun working on patterns as you create a tie dyed treasure using just paper towels, markers and water!
Did you ever notice that paper towels have a pattern art design on them? How they lend themselves to some amazing paper towel art?
It’s true and such a great opportunity for an easy tie dye art activity for kids (and adults). This color fun activity is so simple, yet so much fun.
This no prep activity only requires a few basic, household supplies.
Supplies to Tie Dye Paper Towels
Grab some Paper Towels & Make Design Patterns!
Grab some sheets of paper towels, either the bigger sheets or smaller half sheets are fine.
You’ll need one sheet to make the pattern art. It’s important to place another sheet underneath it, as the marker bleeds through the paper towel.
Find a well lit area either inside or outside. Better lighting makes it easier to see the paper towel design.
Choose a variety of marker colors and begin following the design on the paper towel.
Tip: It’s best to draw the pattern art with dots, versus tracing the lines. The dots provide spacing for the colors to blend.
Once you have completed one design area, move onto another. Try to copy the same pattern of colors as used before.
My daughter is very meticulous. So she wanted me to draw a pattern first and then she would try her best to copy that pattern.
Paper Towel Patterns are a Learning Opportunity
Learning Tip: Talk with your child about patterns. How they are designs that repeat, either with colors or shapes. You can even discuss number and letter patterns as well.
Don’t worry if the pattern isn’t perfect or if the colors don’t match. The design on the paper towel is actually an example of a patterned design.
Side note: if the paper towel you are using doesn’t have a pre-made design, create your own.
Follow the paper towel design until it’s full. Keep varying marker colors.
You may find that your child doesn’t want to fill-up the entire paper towel. That’s totally fine. Stop when they want to.
The tie dyed art will still work even if the paper towels aren’t filled up.
Time to Tie Dye Your Paper Towels
Making tie dye art can sometimes be a time consuming process, but not this type of tie dye.
Important Note: if your child wants to keep their patterned paper towel art, don’t add the water. The pattern gets lost in the blending of the colors.
My son liked his paper towel pattern art so much, that he didn’t want to add the water to his own creation. But, he liked adding it to mine.
Choose a surface that can get wet and place a few sheets of blank paper towels on top of the surface.
Then place your patterned paper towel on the top.
The colors will bleed through to create multiple tie dye paper towels! It’s like magic!
Fill a cup with water and show your child how to fill their dropper with the water in the cup. This is a great exercise to strengthen those fine motor skills.
Have your child slowly drop the water over the colored patterns.
You’ll notice that the colors will spread and create a tie dyed effect.
Add water to the full paper towel or just to one section, it’s up to your little artist.
Do not over water the paper towel. With too much water the designs disappear completely. And the paper towel gets soaked.
I encouraged my kids to squeeze droplets from the dropper as they moved across their paper towel art.
Ta-Da! Watch the magic of the Tie Dye happen!
When your child finishes adding water, slowly separate each of the paper towel sheets.
You’ll notice that the colors from the top sheet, soaked onto some of the blank sheets below. Providing you with even more tie dyed fun!
Once separated, let the wet paper towel sheets dry.
We brought our designs outside to dry and placed a rock on top of them so that they wouldn’t blow away in the wind.
Paper Towel Tie Dye Art Extension Ideas
Here are some more ideas for what you can do with your finished paper towel tie dye art.
- Cut out shapes and glue them on a piece of paper.
- Make a banner using the sheets of tie dyed paper towels with string.
- Frame and display as a piece of abstract art.
- Crumble up the paper towels and have a colorful “snowball” fight.
Remember to have fun and enjoy the time together. And be creative with this simple and fun paper towel pattern tie dye art activity.
What are some of your favorite art projects to do with your child?
Please share in the comments below.