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Salt Painting Process Watercolor Art

Now that winter is here and there is plenty of snow on the ground we’re sharing some fun winter activities to keep your kids busy when the weather is cold. Salt painting is a fun process art activity to do with kids. It’s easy to set up and the results can be so beautiful! It’s also really fun to watch the watercolors run along the salt as you paint!

RELATED:  How to Make Fake Snow

Salt Painting

We made salt painted snowflakes, but this activity can be adapted for any art image you’d like! And you can grab our free printable to trace at the bottom of this post, or you can hand draw your own snowflakes!


We love how vibrant and crystallized these salt painted snowflakes look. Adding the watercolors to this salt art makes these snowflakes just pop! And what better image to create with salt than a snowflake since it almost makes it look like a large snowflake on your paper!

Supplies Needed for Raised Salt Painting

White thick cardstock

– Liquid watercolors – we like this brand

– Salt (any kind will do)

– White glue – this bottle size is the best for tracing our template as the nozzle is small. When you add the salt on top of your glue tracing it will keep the snowflakes a good size.

– Paintbrush

– A little bit of water

Snowflake template – get the free printable template by subscribing to our newsletter on the form with the preview of the template

Salt Art Craft


Watch the full tutorial video here before you get started!


Watercolor Salt Painting

1. First, print off our template on cardstock paper (you can grab the template by subscribing to our newsletter on the form with the preview of the template). Alternatively, you can print off any image to trace or free hand the snowflakes yourself!

Snowflake Art Template

2. Begin by tracing the snowflakes with your glue. We like to use this bottle of glue since the nozzle at the top is smaller. The larger bottles have larger nozzles and will let out more glue when you use them making the snowflakes too large.

Watercolor Salt Art

Finish tracing every line and dot on your page, or make your own snowflakes!

Watercolor and Salt

3. Now is the first fun part – sprinkle on your salt! We like to keep a separate stash of salt for art activities. So when you’re done you can scoop off the remainder and store again for another salt craft.

Pour A LOT of salt over your image to ensure you coat every small piece of it. If you miss a piece then the color won’t run over that part.

Salt Drawing

4. Now shake off your excess salt from your page and you should have something that looks like this:

Raised Salt Painting

5. Now you can begin to paint with your watercolors! We like to use liquid watercolors as they are easy to use and more vibrant than food coloring, but food coloring would also work. If you’re looking for a low cost brand of liquid watercolors we like these ones.

Salt Watercolor Painting


  • Use a highly concentrated solution of your liquid watercolors. Only add a small amount of water to your solution to keep the color vibrant.
  • Dip your paintbrush gently into your liquid watercolors to get only a little bit of watercolor at a time. If you have too much water when you’re painting the water will spill over and get your paper very wet. This is fine if you’re doing this art activity for fun but if you want to keep your art or are doing this with older kids we found it works best with just a little bit of paint.
  • You can paint after the glue dries or right away – it shouldn’t make a difference!
  • Use some cardboard or an art tray underneath your cardstock to avoid getting your counter or table wet as the liquid watercolor will seep through a bit.

Now watch the magic! As you gently tap your salt with the paintbrush, the salt will soak up the watercolor from your brush and spread like magic!

Watercolor and Salt Painting

Keep painting until you’ve painted all of your snowflakes!

Painting Snowflakes with Watercolors

6. Once you’re done, let your painting dry. Be careful not to touch the salt or it may come off. If you do accidentally knock off some salt, if you scrape it all off you’ll be left with a beautiful watercolor painting underneath.

Salt Painting Craft

Sign up for our Newsletter and get this Snowflake Template as a thank you!

If you are having trouble getting the email confirmation, make sure you check all folders as it can sometimes land in the promotion and junk folders.

Want more Winter activities? 

We’ll show you how to make fake snow 3 ways – these are all really fun Winter sensory activities!

How to Make Snow

These popsicle stick snowflakes are so fun to make!

Popsicle Stick Christmas Crafts

This snow globe sensory bottle is fun to put together too! Get the details on how to make it here.

Snowflake Sensory Bottle Craft

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24 comments on “Salt Painting Process Watercolor Art”

  1. What can you use if you don’t have liquid watercolors? I have the kind that comes in a pallet and even regular paint.

    1. The Best Ideas for Kids

      Regular watercolors or food coloring will work too, just don’t dilute them with too much water.

  2. Humaira Moolla

    Can Modge podge be painted over the completed painting as a means to preserve the painting?

    1. The Best Ideas for Kids

      The salt won’t last long term unfortunately. But if you scrape the salt off you could then add the mod podge on.

  3. I was wonderful not if these were made in a plastic backing if they could possible be remove and used as water node clings ?  Maybe ?

  4. Nadine Philp

    Can you do this salt and paint project on canvas? Andwhat is best way to preserve it?

    1. The Best Ideas for Kids

      Canvas should work fine! Preservation is tricky because the salt tends to flake off over time but you can try to place it under glass so it doesn’t get accidentally touched.

  5. Is it ok to let the glue dry before painting? I think this would be fun for my son’s class, but they make huge messes so I want to minimize the clean-up needed. I was thinking maybe I could do the glue and salt part ahead of time.

    1. Is there a way to do these so they could be permanent… as in kept from one year to the next

      1. The Best Ideas for Kids

        If you scrape off the salt you’ll be left with a watercolor picture underneath.

      2. The Best Ideas for Kids

        You can scrape off the salt and you’ll be left with a watercolor picture underneath.

  6. Thoughts on the salted snowflake……. have you tried doing this by placing wax paper over the template and when the project is done and dried… peel off the wax paper and hang up in the room?

  7. This is truly brilliant! Thanks for such a great idea 🙂 Definitely going to be trying it soon.

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