Bubble printing

How to make bubble pictures

Jessica Hug | May 2021

Although not a generally encouraged practice at the dinner table, what child – given a drink and a straw – won’t try blowing bubbles? Now take that passion for exploratory science and turn it into a fascinating art technique. Add a few drops of washing-up liquid and food colouring to water, and bubble-blowing will create intriguing and unique patterns.

Materials needed:

  • drinking straws
  • liquid food colouring
  • washing-up liquid
  • paper


1. Put a small amount of water in the bottom of a wide-rimmed cup or small bowl. Add food colouring or liquid watercolour paint and several drops of washing-up liquid.

one clear cup with dark blue and one with dark green liquid and a straw

2. Blow through a drinking straw until the bubbles rise above the rim of the container.

a cup with a straw, some dark blue liquid and lots of blue bubbles

HINT: to prevent a younger child from sucking in the bubble mixture, cut a small notch near the top of the straw. Dispose of the chip carefully to avoid choking hazard.

straw for blowing bubbles with notch cut out 

3. Lower a piece of paper gently down on the bubbles, then lift off. The paper will pop the bubbles, leaving unique circular patterns on the paper.

a woman’s hands are holding a sheet of paper onto a cup overflowing with blue bubbles

4. Repeat, until the prints cover the entire paper.
(For variety, use two or more containers with different colours.)

Optional: Add fish for an underwater mural. Or perhaps your children will have another idea.

picture of two fish on a bubble print background

childrens art on a bubble print background

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