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Kids Rainbow Craft for Fourth of July

A kids’ rainbow craft is a creative and fun afternoon activity! Learn this easy and low-mess painting technique, and turn it into a fun decoration for the Fourth of July (or any holiday!).

painted red white and blue rainbows for 4th of july
painted red white and blue rainbows for 4th of july

This kids’ rainbow craft is an easy, no-fail project to tackle with children! We love it for lots of reasons, not the least of which is because the final product is so cute.

If you have kids who love crafting or being creative, this is definitely a project to add to your list. It’s also great for preschool or kindergarten classes, as it is pretty low-mess for a painting project. Let’s learn all about it!

    kids' rainbow craft

    Make This Kids’ Rainbow Craft for Fourth of July (and Beyond)

    We used this craft technique to create a Fourth of July decoration, and I think it’s really fun! But the reality is that you could use this idea for any holiday or occasion — or just for fun with no occasion at all.

    Really, it’s all in the color palette you choose. If you’re creating for a specific holiday, choose colors that traditionally reflect that holiday.

    Otherwise, you can let your kiddos take the lead and choose their favorite colors. You could even try to make a true rainbow, ROYGBIV style.

    kids' rainbow craft

    Other Ideas to Incorporate

    If you like this kids’ craft idea, don’t miss these too! We have a whole library of kid-friendly DIYs and crafts. Here are some of our most popular ideas:

    And if you’re here for more Fourth of July ideas, be sure to pin these and try them out:

    Why I Love This Project

    There are lots of reasons to love this kids’ rainbow craft!

    • It encourages hands-on engagement from kids, and lets them feel like they’re getting messy (but with very little actual mess!).
    • The craft has a few different stages, separated by times where kids will have to wait — incorporating lessons about patience.
    • Kids will touch on lots of different skills like color theory, tracing, cutting, and more.
    • It’s very low-cost, high-reward.
    • By the end, you’ll have a really cute decoration to hang!
    kids' rainbow craft

    Ways to Customize This Craft

    There are lots of ways to make this craft your own, and to let your kids take the lead creatively. As you’re working on it, encourage them to think about how they might like to customize it and make it their own.

    A few things to think about:

    Color. Let your child choose a color palette that excites them! It can be based on a holiday, a sports team, a theme, or just their favorites. You can even explain a bit about color theory and why certain colors work better with other colors.

    Size, Shape and Scale. Maybe a big rainbow isn’t what they envision! Maybe your child wants to make small rainbows, or a different shape entirely. Once your paper is painted, you can cut it into any shape you like.

    Configuration. Instead of creating a hanging rainbow like we did, you could cut more shapes and make them into a garland. You could also cut the painted paper into greeting cards and send to family! Or just leave it intact and hang the painted paper on the fridge to enjoy.

    Materials You’ll Need

    Here’s what you’ll need to make this kids’ rainbow craft project.

    Thick White Cardstock. Thicker is better for this project, as thinner paper will buckle and curl when it gets wet with paint.

    Craft Paint. Basic acrylic craft paint works perfectly for this kids’ rainbow craft.

    Plastic Wrap. Whatever you already have in your kitchen will most likely work!

    Pen.

    Scissors.

    Dropcloth or Butcher Paper. This is mainly to spread over your surface for easy clean-up, and to catch any paint spills.

    Sewing Machine or Needle and Thread. A sewing machine makes this extremely fast and easy, but a needle and thread will work perfectly.

    kids' rainbow craft

    How To Make a Kids’ Rainbow Craft

    Let’s make it!

    Paint the Paper

    1. Start by setting up work stations for the kids. Spread a dropcloth or butcher paper over your surface, and place a piece of cardstock down for each child.
    2. Let the kids squeeze big dollops of paint onto their paper. Mixing colors is okay! In fact, mixing is ideal, as it will create a tie dye effect on the paper.
    3. Cover each paper with plastic wrap. You may want to use tape to tape down the edges of the plastic wrap to ensure that it stays in place.
    4. Let the kids smush, swirl, and manipulate the paint through the plastic wrap! It will start to get worked around the paper in a really beautiful way. Let them work for a few minutes, trying to smush the paint onto all areas of the paper.
    5. Carefully pull away the plastic wrap. Let the adult use another piece of stiff cardstock to scrape away the excess paint. Allow to dry.

    Make a Rainbow

    1. Trace your shapes in pen onto the painted paper. If you like, make a stencil and let the kids do the tracing and cutting. If you’re creating a rainbow like we did, be sure that you cut out a slim strip between each piece of the rainbow so that the pieces won’t bump into each other when they are hung.
    2. Cut out the shapes.
    3. If you’re making a rainbow, this next step is for the adult as well. Run your largest piece through a sewing machine, at the center of the top of the arch. Leave a small gap and then run the next piece through, followed by another gap and the third piece. Trim the bottom excess and leave the top threads for hanging. If you don’t have a machine, simply thread a needle with white thread and run it through each piece of the rainbow in the center, making about 3 stitches on each piece.
    4. Hang and enjoy!
    paint squeezed on a paper
    kids making painted crafts
    paint scraping
    how to make a kids' rainbow craft
    how to make a kids' rainbow craft
    how to make a kids' rainbow craft

    How to Scale the Kids’ Rainbow Craft Project to do With a Larger Class

    To do this project with multiple kids, simply line up their work stations in a row. Allow them to squeeze out their paint onto one paper for each kid. Then take your roll of plastic wrap, secure it at one end, and roll out one length of wrap that can cover the whole row of work stations.

    This will save time and make clean up easy and quick.

    Have Fun!

    Hope you love this project! If you try it out, be sure to rate the kids’ rainbow craft below. Have fun! xoxo

    kids' rainbow craft
    painted red white and blue rainbows for 4th of july
    painted red white and blue rainbows for 4th of july
    painted red white and blue rainbows for 4th of july

    Kids Rainbow Craft for Fourth of July

    Yield: Kids' Rainbow Craft
    Active Time: 1 hour
    Total Time: 1 hour
    Difficulty: Easy

    This kids' rainbow craft is fun to create for a holiday or any day!

    Materials

    • Thick white cardstock
    • Craft paint
    • Plastic wrap
    • Butcher paper or dropcloth
    • Pen

    Tools

    • Scissors
    • Sewing machine or needle and thread

    Instructions

      1. Start by setting up work stations for the kids. Spread a dropcloth or butcher paper over your surface, and place a piece of cardstock down for each child.
      2. Let the kids squeeze big dollops of paint onto their paper. Mixing colors is okay! In fact, mixing is ideal, as it will create a tie dye effect on the paper.
      3. Cover each paper with plastic wrap. You may want to use tape to tape down the edges of the plastic wrap to ensure that it stays in place.
      4. Let the kids smush, swirl, and manipulate the paint through the plastic wrap! It will start to get worked around the paper in a really beautiful way. Let them work for a few minutes, trying to smush the paint onto all areas of the paper.
      5. Carefully pull away the plastic wrap. Let the adult use another piece of stiff cardstock to scrape away the excess paint. Allow to dry.
      6. Trace your shapes in pen onto the painted paper. If you like, make a stencil and let the kids do the tracing and cutting. If you're creating a rainbow like we did, be sure that you cut out a slim strip between each piece of the rainbow so that the pieces won't bump into each other when they are hung.
      7. Cut out the shapes.
      8. If you're making a rainbow, this next step is for the adult as well. Run your largest piece through a sewing machine, at the center of the top of the arch. Leave a small gap and then run the next piece through, followed by another gap and the third piece. Trim the bottom excess and leave the top threads for hanging. If you don't have a machine, simply thread a needle with white thread and run it through each piece of the rainbow in the center, making about 3 stitches on each piece.
      9. Hang and enjoy!

    Notes

    To do this project with multiple kids, simply line up their work stations in a row. Allow them to squeeze out their paint onto one paper for each kid. Then take your roll of plastic wrap, secure it at one end, and roll out one length of wrap that can cover the whole row of work stations.

    This will save time and make clean up easy and quick.

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