Microwave Puffy Paint Recipe

We just love to try different kinds of arts and crafts around here, and it’s even more fun when you can make it yourself with ingredients you already have around the house! You can find all of my easy paint recipes for kids here. This puffy paint recipe is super easy, and the way it puffs and in instantly dry is a lot of fun! Today I will give you the microwave puffy paint recipe and give you all the tips you need to have a great afternoon creating puffy masterpieces. 

This paint recipe is one of our favorites! You are sure to have the necessary ingredients at home already, and it is magic watching this stuff puff in the microwave! Added bonus- the paint itself fully dries when you microwave it, so you have instant satisfaction. Links may be affiliate links, which means I earn a small commission with not extra cost to you. All opinions shared about materials are my own. 

This paint is just made from flour, salt, baking powder, and water! (The full recipe for microwave puffy paint and directions can be found at the bottom of this post.)

Pro Tip! I fully suggest using card stock rather than regular paper with this paint because it’s a heavy paint and tends to curl a bit when microwaved. Not a necessity, just a friendly suggestion. 🙂 

I like to mix this paint in disposable bowls to keep from having the clean them out. I don’t know that my septic system would appreciate being given the leftovers lol. I mixed them with a spoon but gave the kids q tips to paint it with. 

This paint is going to have a thick texture, similar to pancake batter. You can make as many colors as you want! We made just a few colors, but it was enough to have a fun time with.

I cut out some gingerbread shaped people (using our cookie cutters as templates) to let the kids paint their own people/clothing in. This was fun! Their limbs curved a bit when it was microwaved, but not in a bad way. 

It really puffs up quite a bit 3 dimensionally and takes on a stiff feeling once it’s puffed.

You can also see a project we did where we used puffy paint on printable cake slice templates. This was super cool and they really looked like cake when we were finished! You can find our puffy paint cake craft here.

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You can also color on your paper first with markers and just use the microwave puff paint as an accent. That’s what we did in the picture above. If you swirl one color on top of the other, that also looks super cool!

Anything with a polka dot pattern would be super awesome with this paint as the dots are easy to make with the q tips! Here’s a rosary I made. It came out really cool and 3D!

I also painted a monstrance. The kids weren’t the only ones having fun with this paint! lol

This would also be cool for any craft you were doing and trying to make it look like food because they really do have almost a cookie look to them when you’re finished. 

Microwave Puffy Paint Recipe

  • 1 cup Flour
  • 1 cup water
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp salt 
  • food coloring (I highly recommend using food color pastes– a great investment because the colors are a lot more vibrant than what you get from typical food coloring! Also, the bottles of gel food coloring last a super long time.) 

Also Needed:

  • card stock (recommended over flimsy paper- you could also use cut up pieces of card stock or cheap paper plates) 
  • several bowls
  • a microwave

How To Mix And Use Puff Paint

  1. Put all your dry ingredients in a mixing bowl (or a large measuring cup works even better!) and stir together. 
  2. Add the water slowly until it’s about the consistency of pancake batter. Mix well so there are no clumps. 
  3. Divide the paint into several bowls (one bowl for each color you want to make.)
  4. Use q tips to paint the card stock.
  5. Microwave on high for about 30 seconds or until it’s stiff and puffed. (the time could be slightly less or more depending on how thick your paint was on the paper, so start small- you can always add more time) 

I love how the microwave instantly dries these! The process is so fun it’s addictive! 

Alternately you can put the puffy paint into bags (like you would icing) and “pipe” it onto your paper. This is also fun, but with small kids, I found that q tips was a lot easier to mange. 

Be sure to check out all of my fun paint recipes for kids here!


  1. This is a fantastic idea! I am going to try it with my daughter and my TK students.
    1 question though. Might this attract little critters (ants, bugs)?

    • I never noticed that it did, but it will crumble over time, so it’s not something I would keep forever but something I would just display for a few weeks.