Guest Post: Frugal Summer Art Project

Please welcome Melissa from The Chocolate Muffin Tree! She is a former elementary art teacher turned SAHM with a talent for finding frugal ways to create with her daughter. Today she is here to share a tutorial for making Salty Watercolor and Glue Painting. Take it away, Melissa!

My daughter and I have been doing quite a few art projects with glue…this is one of our favorites.  A Salty Watercolor and Glue Painting! Most everyone should have all the materials for this project on hand:

  • cardboard/matte board
  • white glue
  • salt
  • watercolors and paint brush

To begin this project youʼll need a piece of thick cardboard or matte board. We used scrap matte board that you can always get free at a frame shop. Matte board comes in several different colors too. After you have your thick cardboard, you need to draw directly on the cardboard with white glue. Make sure the glue lines are thick…not too thin or this project will not work.

My daughter loved drawing with glue!!!!

After we had the glue drawing completed, the next step was to sprinkle the salt. We used a spoon and completely covered the glue. The salt needs to adhere to the glue!

After sprinkling the salt all over the glue, we carefully tapped the excess salt off the cardboard into a container. Now our glue drawing looked like a salt drawing!

Now the fun part…it is truly MAGICAL! My daughter took a paintbrush dipped in water and mixed it into one section of watercolor paint and gently touched the tip of the brush to a part of her salty drawing!

The color slowly seeps into the salt and glue drawing!!! Keep adding colors and wash your brush between colors!


Here is my daughterʼs finished drawing using a rainbow of colors. So FUN that she wanted to do two projects! After finished, make sure to let it dry because the salt will easily crack off. You may want to frame the dried project or cover with plastic wrap so that it is protected.

Have fun! I know you will!!!

What are some of your childrenʼs favorite frugal art projects using materials around the house?

Melissa Jordan blogs about her creative adventures that she has with her almost 5 year old daughter at The Chocolate Muffin Tree. She has had several years of experience teaching Art to Elementary Children and enjoys creating her own Art too. Melissa began The Chocolate Muffin Tree as a creative outlet and to inspire a creative life with children. If you would like to see more inexpensive and fun art projects stop over to check out her blog The Chocolate Muffin Tree!

I am sharin the love with THESE fun parties.


  1. Thanks Lori for this opportunity! Hope your fans enjoy the post!

    • Thanks for sharing it Melissa – my kids just got home from the last day of school (1/2 day) and they’re already asking when we’re going to do this ;)

  2. So FUN…thanks for sharing this great idea!!

  3. I was wondering if you should let the project dry after you add the salt but before you use the watercolors? I love this idea!!

    • @ Meaghan—you do not need to let the glue dry… just add the watercolors after the salt is added! I’ve never tried letting the glue and salt part dry and then adding the watercolors. (who knows what might happen?)

  4. I love this idea! My kids both love to paint and I like the simplicity of the project since we have all the materials on hand and can do this whenever we get a rainy day here.

    Thanks for sharing!

  5. We ysed to do this, but we colored the salt first with sidewalk chalk. We put salt in a bowl and took side walk chalk and rubed it into the salt until the salt was the color of the chalk then we sprinkled in onto the drawing. It came out really puffy.

  6. How creative, and it turned out beautifully!