Tuesday, June 30, 2009

spinning fireworks

Always entranced with the magic of spin art, it wasn't until I was a summer camp counselor that I got to actually make some. Back then we used an old record player and it was a blast! I do have a working record player but it's reserved for playing records so I kept the idea of spin art stuck in the back of my head keeping an eye out for a player or a salad spinner at the thrift. A few weeks ago I scored my very own salad spinner for $2 and now we're going to make some fireworks!

You will need:
*a working salad spinner
*white paper, paper plates or coffee filters
*liquid water color or watered down tempera or food color
*splat mat (this gets messy)

scrumdilly-do it:

Make sure your kidlet is in mess friendly clothing. The mess potential on this project is quite high. Most salad spinners have holes or slits along the bottom so it is imperative you acknowledge this and set up in an appropriate place. whatever you do, don't wear white!Take the basket inside your spinner out and trace the bottom/smallest circumference onto your paper. You can also use coffee filters or small paper plates, just find something that fits inside your spinner and you're good to go.Cut out the circle and get ready to spin! I cut out about ten circles. You want to have plenty handy as your kidlet may become entranced with the spinning part of the project.Pop your paper source into the basket and pop the basket back into the spinner.Add a couple of drops of paint (use your favorites, I used red, white & blue for the upcoming holiday), one color per spin, and put the lid back on and spin away. You can get into a nifty science discussion on velocity, speed, centrifugal force, etc. during this part. Spin too hard and too fast, the paper may flip and stick to one side. Spin too slow and your paint may just remain parked where you dropped it. As you are spinning, you can also add paint into the spout on top of the spinner. Depending on your method of application your paint may drip around the edges only or it may splatter to the center. More opportunities for science discussions, it's all good. Just remember if to add one color to start, If you spend too much time adding colors before you spin, the first drops will be absorbed and won't spin or arc out.
When yer done, remove the lid and then the paper and set aside to dry. You can turn these fireworks into all sorts of other project. Hang them from ribbon or string for some festive BBQ decor or fold them into fans to flap away the heat. most of all, have fun!


  1. Precious! I have a craft/recipe blog, and I'm going to link to this project. I love it!


  2. LOVE this! What fun! Seems like a good outdoor project :)

  3. I remember doing this as a kid and I've been wondering if our broken salad spinner would still work.
    I remember this place that sold t-shirts that were painted like this in what looked like a giant salad spinner.

  4. Great idea! Will have to try this one.

    Where did you find your "splat mat"? I love that!

  5. alicia-thank you! enjoy!

    joanne-thanks and yes, outdoors would be awesome!

    vone-i remember t-shirts! never got to make one but the salad spinner is entertaining enough. have fun!

    thank you bingsy...are you gonna play with a spinner now? :)

    the lord family: my splat mat came from a japanese dollar store but a vinyl tablecloth from any discount store would work and be just as pretty. thank you1

  6. We did this with fabric paint, then carefully turned the paper over and pressed onto a shirt. Thanks for the craft. Good pics!

  7. Love, love, love this! Thanks!

  8. Thanks for the easy to follow instructions. Great idea and so much fun!

  9. J'aime beaucoup cette idée, et le rendu est très beau. Thanks very much for this excellent idea!!!