Wednesday, 17 May 2017

Bubble wrap wisteria - Art for kids

Wisteria is such a stunner, with its beautiful, delicate, cascading flowers. It can be completely magical, and I'm always looking out for it when we're driving along at this time of year. My daughter's doing the same now! We've tried and frustratingly failed to grow wisteria at home, so have to enjoy it elsewhere, like at the place we stayed in France after Easter. Thanks to the holidays being a bit later than usual it happened to be perfect wisteria time - all the flowers were out, buzzing with bees, just before the green leaves and whip-like shoots appear. I took so many photos! Don't think they completely do it justice, but we did enjoy sitting under such an amazing canopy of flowers - and the gentle scent was something else.

There are some wonderful art ideas for kids using bubble wrap and I thought it would be just the thing for a simple wisteria project.
All you need to do is cut some long triangles from the bubble wrap - round it a little at the wider top end. Cut a few different sizes too.

We used ready made purple poster paint. I've always had a lot of trouble mixing purple from blue and red, so I looked it up this time, and apparently you can only really mix purple from 'true' blue or red - that's when there's no tints of other colours like yellow or green in them. If they aren't true (and mine aren't), you end up with a rather disappointing murky grey-brown colour.

So, we used a good squirt of purple paint and about the same amount of white, with a dab or two of blue on the edge. Mix these with a brush, but it's much better if you don't mix them too well. Keep some swirls of white and dots of blue. This all helps with the paint effect.

Press your bubble-wrap wisteria shape into the paint - make sure it's all covered, but don't overload with paint, or it'll get very smudgy. A bit smudgy is fine, but it's good to see the bubble circles too.

We found holding the bubble wrap at the top and bottom helped a lot when we were placing it on the paper.

After you've printed a few flowers, add another few blobs of white, purple and blue, but don't mix them in this time, so you get clear splodges of the different colours on your wisteria shapes.

Keep the the colours topped up, so your flowers have more depth and look more interesting. Experiment with with your colour mix until you're happy with your wisteria.

Make the blooms hang down at different heights and overlap your flowers, layering the colours at the top - but remember to keep some of the pointy shapes at the bottom nice and clear.

wisteria - bubblewrap art

It took no time at all and Daisy's really pleased with her painting. She's planning to add a few bees. You could also add some green leaves or shoots when the paint is dry if you want. And, as someone pointed out on Instagram, turn the page the other way up and you've got a flowerbed full of delphiniums!


  1. What a great project, Daisy's painting is brilliant. Didn't know that you'd been to France too, looks like you had great weather. x

    1. really sunny weather - only away for 5 days but felt like longer. Lovely break. Feels like a very long time ago now! x

  2. Such a great idea, and so effective too! :)

    1. Thank you Emma! We've just tried another one which worked pretty well too I think :)