A white, wintry wonderland spreads before you, as far as the eye can see. It’s bedazzling, beautiful, and after several months straight, kind of boring. It’s time to make some snow paint and add pizzazz to your backyard canvas.
While snow paint is available at craft stores, it’s fun and cheap to make and is a great activity for children. The most basic snow paint recipe is water and food coloring. You can find nontoxic food coloring at any grocery store.
To start, choose your snow paint container, such as spray cans and misters. Containers with nozzles (such as ketchup bottles) work well too. Or opt for a Jackson Pollock painting approach: Put the snow paint in buckets and use brushes and rags to fling it onto the snow. Try filling balloons with snow paint and turn a water balloon fight into art.
To make snow paint, add a few drops of food coloring to water. The more food coloring you add, the richer the color will be. Remember not to fill the container all the way if you plan to store the snow paint in the freezer afterwards. You need to leave enough room for the liquid to expand.
Don’t stop at using the red, green, blue and yellow included in most food coloring packages. Get creative with your snow painting and mix your own colors. For example, yellow and red make orange; blue and red make purple; for a light green, add yellow to green. Mix all the colors, and you get black. Experiment and see what shades you can create for your snow paint.
Label each container with the color–a Sharpie works well–and let the snow paint cool in the freezer for a few minutes. This will keep the snow from melting too much when you start snow painting–unless, of course, you’re going for the Eduard Munch effect. Shake or mix the snow paint well before using.
While water is the most common vehicle for snow paint, you don’t have to stop there. Make snow paint out of Bubbles solution (for blowing bubbles) too. Add a healthy amount food coloring to the bubbles liquid and mix well. Blow paint bubbles and watch them pop designs onto the snow.
If you want a more explosive snow-painting experience, make snow paint with vinegar and food coloring in shallow bowls, one for each color. Pack the snow down well so it doesn’t melt too quickly, place the bowls on the ground or on your snow sculpture, add baking soda, and watch the eruption leave a cascade of color and designs in its wake. For added effect, put snow paint in the perennial modeling-clay volcano.
It’s time to grab some snow paint. An icy canvas awaits you.