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Scratch Art

Posted by  ·  July 13, 2019  ·  Last Updated: July 13, 2019

Scratch Art is easy and fun to make and do.  If you’re not familiar with scratch art paper, it is paper with a layer of crayon covered with paint.  When you scratch through the black paint bright colors of crayon are revealed.  Making your own homemade version is very simple. Let me show you how.

Keep kids entertained with this long list of kids crafts and activities! and activities So many fun ways to make memories with children.

how to make scratch art paper

We had friends over today and we made our own homemade black scratch art paper. I am sure you have seen this cool black paper in the stores. No need to buy it when you can make it!

Scratch Art Paper Supplies

Make your own scratch paper with these easy to find ingredients.

How to Make  DIY Scratch Art Paper

First, color really hard all over your paper. It should be waxy looking with NO white showing.

scratch art scratch-art-step-1.jpg

If your friends are young you might want to draw a square on the center of the paper, not too big, and then cut it out when they are finished. This allows the edges to be colored and not destroyed.

Scratch Art Paper

After your paper is colored take black tempera paint (I used washable kids paint by Plaid that I found at Wal-Mart) and mix in a drop of liquid dish detergent. I would say maybe two tablespoons of paint with a good sized drop (like 1/4 to a scant 1/2 tsp) of regular dish detergent.

Paint your entire page with the paint. The wet paint can cause the paper to warp that is why thicker paper works well for this.

Allow the paint to dry.

black scratch art paper

Make sure all of the crayon is covered. It doesn’t need to be too thick, however, you don’t want any of the crayon peeking through the black paint.


When the paper is completely dry (takes about an hour), you are ready to let the magic happen. Start scratching away. We used toothpicks.  An unfolded paper clip would also work.

You don’t need to scratch too hard, just enough to remove the black paint. Be careful at first and you will easily get the hang of it!

Scratch Art Ideas

What will you make? Really the ideas are endless and this is always a fun project! You might try one of these things to draw. Wouldn’t this special paper make a beautiful flower or rose! My son, of course, thought it made the perfect basketball. I love this activity because it is great for kids of all ages. Even younger kids will love to see colorful scribbles!

homemade scratch art paper


Does Scratch Art help you relax?

Scratch Art is a very relaxing activity. Scratching away the black paint to reveal all the different colors is so satisfying and magical.

Where can I buy Scratch Art paper?

No time to make your own? I found this scratch art paper on Amazon (affiliate link). You will have hours of fun! You can also make extra paper when you have time and save it for the future.

What are some unique craft ideas?

Kids will also love making these fun crafts.


Filed Under: Crafts for kids

Leave a Comment


  1. Mrs. B
    Thursday, April 4th, 2019
    I am wondering if we are using dishwasher detergent of liquid dish soap.
  2. SimplyPure CBD Oil
    Thursday, September 21st, 2017
    I am thankful that I noticed this web blog, exactly the
    right info that I was looking for!
  3. ade meyer
    Friday, August 21st, 2015
    I remember playing in a frame wher you removed oil around reveal colors. You could always change the picture
  4. whitney
    Saturday, January 17th, 2015
    i was just wondering if u can use bright markers to color the page with?
    • Tuesday, January 20th, 2015
      Whitney, do you mean underneath? I would try a sample. The waxy crayon bottom layer keeps the top black layer from sinking in, so it can be carved away. So I am just not sure. Let me know if it works!
  5. Monday, July 28th, 2014
    My kids would love this! Thanks for sharing! Pinned!
  6. bobbyboo
    Monday, February 18th, 2013
    my oh my oh my
  7. Jeanette
    Tuesday, October 16th, 2012
    My head is spinning from all the possibilities for this one!...Children's Church, Sunday School, VBS, and don't forget the Nursing Homes, small group projects, cards, cards, cards. Need I say more? Introduce your friends to scratch art and let them "brain-storm" for a while. Watch out for "hidden talent", it's all around us.
    Bless you for sharing.
  8. Tuesday, July 3rd, 2012
    get over here to know Maureen Finucane and Pastel artist.
  9. Lara
    Sunday, July 1st, 2012
    Can you use acrylic paint instead?
  10. karla diaz
    Monday, May 7th, 2012
    youu need to putt moree ideas but all the ideas that you have are great
  11. Shane
    Tuesday, November 29th, 2011
    hi, Im doin a technique like this for a project. But Ive seen it done in so many ways with the black cover! Ive heard people used india ink, some people used a blackpastel marker, and now you use tempora paint and dish detergent. Is one better than the other? if so which? please help and many thanks.
  12. Briana
    Monday, August 8th, 2011
    I tried that with my lil sis. If u don't want to wait two hours don't put detergent in. Although it works much better if u just put detergent in and wait a couple of hours. Ur choice. It's so much fun. If ur a babysitter like me, it's a great activity to do with the kids.
  13. Alex M.
    Friday, May 14th, 2010
    you can also use black crayon insted of paint!
  14. angelina
    Thursday, April 8th, 2010
    This is fun stuff for a rainy day...I just wanted to know if it works the same with different colors?
  15. Rachel
    Tuesday, February 23rd, 2010
    What kind of "dish detergent" do you add? Do you mean hand washing dish soap or powdered dish soap?
  16. Automotive Chip Repair
    Tuesday, January 26th, 2010
    Great post. I've been looking for this exact information for a while now. Bookmarked!
  17. brenda
    Saturday, July 18th, 2009
    this is a great site i love all the crafts brenda
  18. brenda
    Saturday, July 18th, 2009
    I think this site is great some of this ideas i never thought of. The kids love doing crafts and they cant wait to do thisa one
  19. yodog
    Monday, May 4th, 2009
    all i have ever wanted for art is here i cant wait to try this out for the fair
  20. yodog
    Monday, May 4th, 2009
    This is awsome
  21. Monday, March 23rd, 2009
    Love this, can't wait to try with my granddaughter.
  22. Saturday, January 24th, 2009
    Such a fun idea, can't wait to try this "Little Project!"
  23. sophie
    Monday, November 10th, 2008
    does anyone know anyway to do the black instead of painting because i need it to dry quick
  24. Meg
    Wednesday, September 10th, 2008
    I do this with my autistic students! They love it, and its so easy! :-)
  25. paolo d'amico
    Monday, January 14th, 2008
    vengan a que les chupe la polla y soy muy pero muy gay
  26. Tuesday, July 24th, 2007
    kids are the true expressionists!
  27. Saturday, January 27th, 2007
    great idea, i will use this with my camp fire group. thanks!
  28. Saturday, January 27th, 2007
    Great tips, will test it soon with my children :)
  29. Friday, January 26th, 2007
    oh wow! wish we knew of black tempera paint back then! instead of black paint, we used black oil crayon over the coloured bits! that was laborious but the effects were excellent. we were sold.
  30. Friday, January 26th, 2007
    Thank you for reminding me of this. It was one of my favourite activities 35 years ago. K
  31. Friday, January 26th, 2007
    wow! just great.. it's always a dream of popular artists to remain "thinking as a child". its the most creative minset. a mindset without inhibitions..

    want to test your inhibitions? look at my site for some blood-stained sanitary napkin collage art..
  32. Thursday, January 25th, 2007
    I remember doing this in elementary school! It was so magical when the colors changed in a new area. Thanks for posting this.
  33. Thursday, January 25th, 2007
    I've avoided this with my kids because I remember using india ink as the top layer. SO very happy to know we can do this with tempera paint. Thanks! This project is on our to-do list this weekend!!
  34. Thursday, January 25th, 2007
    Oh, what a great project! We bought some rather expensive "scratch magic" paper that didn't last long at all because my daughter loved it so much. This will be more fun. Thanks!
  35. Twinkle
    Thursday, January 25th, 2007
    This is cool! I don't have black paint, but I have other colors to do this with. Can't wait!!
  36. Thursday, January 25th, 2007
    I just found you through Kiddley and just love this idea! I am always looking forward to creative ways of keeping my almost five year old daughter busy! Thanks for the tutorial.
  37. Thursday, January 25th, 2007
    I too remember doing this as a child, though we used black crayon but I can see this being so much easier with paint. Thanks!
  38. Thursday, January 25th, 2007
    That looks like a perfect project to try today. Thanks for sharing.
  39. Friday, January 12th, 2007
    Wow this is really great. Perfect for those who are child care providers. I also want to try this for my own card making. Thanks for a great pictorial.
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