I opened a package with a piece of bubble wrap in it, and 30 seconds later, I was making bubble wrap heart art. These are THE BEST and your kids will want to make a bazillion of them!
Bubble wrap heart art is the easiest
For real – these are easy! You just need bubble wrap, paper, and paint, and you’re off to the races. Plus, I have a trick up my sleeve to make them even easier than you even think.
In the classroom, we ask our preschool families to save and send in any bubble wrap from packages they get in the mail because there are so, so many ways to use it.
PLUS, when you reuse your bubble wrap, you’re giving it a second purpose and modeling to the kids that we can use our hands and minds to provide otherwise trash-bound items with new life and purpose.
Related: With Valentine’s Day in the air, we know you’ll love our giant 10-foot Valentine’s Day coloring banner. It’s enormous and endlessly fun!
Easy art activities (like bubble wrap heart art) are our favorite kinds
We love projects where you can quickly grab supplies and set up. This one checks all the boxes.
We also love projects where we have an excuse to buy more nail polish, because nail polish comes wrapped in bubble wrap, so now it’s a purchase for the children. 😂
It’s a win-win all around, friends!
Looking for more bubble wrap projects? Look no further:
- Bubble Wrap Winter Tree Craft – Happy Toddler Playtime
- Bubble Wrap Runway – Hands On As We Grow
- Bubble Wrap Stomp Art – Lemon Lime Adventures
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- Bubble wrap – use a piece from any packages you receive, or purchase a small roll for this and other bubble wrap activities
- Paint – any of your favorite kids’ paint. We used BioColor here, but tempera works, too.
- White paper
- Cut out hearts – use your scissors to cut out hearts from the white paper. Have fun with the shapes! Make sure that your heart fits on the bubble wrap when laid flat. Simply trim the heart down if it goes over the sides of the bubble wrap.
- Paint the bubble wrap – but before you do, read this tip! Examine your paints and rank them from lightest to darkest. I had red, light pink, and purple for my paints, so I ranked mine in this order: first light pink, then red, and last was purple. This is an excellent opportunity to introduce the concepts of light & dark with your little artists.
- Pull prints – After you have painted the bubble wrap entirely with your lightest color (for me, light pink), lay your white heart paper on top. Rub the paper, then lift it to reveal your print. Paint your next color directly on the bubble wrap (for me, red), not cleaning it in between colors. Continue until you’ve worked through all of your colors and have a multi-color bubble wrap printed heart.
Fun note: years ago, we attended a conference where brilliant art teacher Cassie Stephens spoke, and she shared that as her students rub papers when pulling prints, she calls it a “massage” and has the students say, “Ooh, aah!” while they rub. It’s stuck and I love it!
Ta-da! Watching the heart get more and more colorful as you go is SO FUN.
I know some of you are wondering how it didn’t turn brown, and I’ve got you covered!
How to avoid the paint turning brown
Because we’re removing the paint from the bubble wrap between prints, the paint isn’t mixing that much. BUT, it is still mixing and could turn muddy between colors.
To avoid the paint becoming brown, we’ll use what we know about color theory, specifically analogous colors (ooh, we love a good vocabulary word to teach the kids!).
Analogous colors are those near one another on the color wheel.
Check this out:
POOF – color wheel.
Let’s look at yellow. The colors next to yellow on the color wheel are green and blue. If I were to get a jar, add yellow, green, and blue paint and swirl them up, it would turn green – not brown.
Next, let’s look at orange. The colors next to yellow on the color wheel are red and yellow. If I were to get a jar, add red, orange, and yellow paint and swirl them up, it would turn orange – not brown.
If, however, I were to get a jar, add red, green, and purple paint – not near each other on the color wheel – and swirl them up, it would definitely turn brown.
Knowing what colors “go together” (aka are analogous) is transformative in art!
Conversely, if you ever need to make brown paint and don’t have it on hand, choose any two colors opposite of one another on the color wheel (ex: red & green or yellow & purple), mix them up, and ta-da, brown.
What if I have many students doing this project – then should I clean the bubble wrap?
Yes! If you’re using the same piece of bubble wrap repeatedly (which is excellent!), wipe it clean occasionally so it doesn’t get too thick and crowded with paint.
Here’s a trick: sometimes we leave a wet sponge at this art station and after a child makes their artwork, they quickly wipe off the bubble wrap, rinse off the sponge, and then it’s ready for the next child.
It doesn’t need to get squeaky clean between kids, but a simple wipe-off is VERY helpful.
Any that can enjoy the activity without eating the paint and supplies. We love doing these types of projects with our 2.5-6 year old preschoolers!
YES! Printmaking is one of my favorite art techniques.
We rinse ours under the sink until it’s clean, dry, and save to use again for another printmaking project.
It’s hard to stop making bubble wrap heart art once you start
They’re really fun, you guys. I LOVE doing this project myself, too (as evidenced by my smiling face in these photos!).
Since you don’t need many supplies and they’re quick to do, this is a beautiful activity to set up at home or in the classroom for little artists to create to their heart’s content. Once you’re done with these, check out our DIY heart stamps that ALSO uses simple materials.