Wednesday, December 10, 2014

Homemade Scratch Art Ornaments

I've wanted to try scratch art with my boys for eons. Since we make homemade ornaments every year, the timing seemed right.

Here's how we did it and what you'll need for the project.

Cardstock or posterboard
Black tempura paint
Liquid dish soap
Paint brush or sponge brush
Paper punch
lamination (optional)
Ornament shapes (download mine free here)

Before my boys got home from school, I printed the ornament shapes onto heavyweight cardstock and cut them apart. I didn't cut the shapes out since they'd be easier to color that way.

When the boys arrived, they each picked a shape and began covering it using crayons. TIP: You must color the entire ornament so that there is no white from the paper peaking through. When in doubt, go over it again. Don't worry if you don't stay inside the lines; it's easier not to. When finished, your ornaments should feel waxy and have a sheen to them from the heavily applied crayon.

Now cut the shapes out.

Get your paint ready. You'll want to combine 1-2 drops of dish soap with every 1 tbsp. of the tempura paint. Mix and then sponge or brush over your cut-out ornaments. Try to apply the paint as evenly as possible. If it looks streaky, let dry and apply a thin second coat.

When the paint has dried (it will have a dull finish and be dry to the touch), you're ready for the real magic.

With a toothpick, begin scratching away the black layer of paint to reveal the crayon colors underneath. Use any shapes and patterns that you fancy. Bolder lines and shapes look best.

When finished, laminate for long-term durability if you want. Then simply use a paper punch to make a hole in the top and thread the yarn through.

Lastly, hang on the tree to admire!


  1. Looks interesting! Is there a specific purpose for the dish soap in the paint?

  2. These are lovely. Your description is thorough. Muria, I think the soap is so the paint doesn't flake off when the etching begins.

  3. It looks so colorful and beautiful... You made it perfectly...
    Jaslynn, Bizbilla

  4. These look great! I need to introduce my kids to homemade scratch art.