Paperclip Painting Art Activity


Paperclip Painting is a fun art activity using household items as stamping tools.

One day, I was with a young friend of mine. I wanted to play a math game but my young friend was not in the mood so he started to beg me to paint with him instead. As I always want the children that I am with to feel motivated to be creative I agreed but only if he followed my rules. What I proposed was unexpected so it had the added benefit of encouraging flexibility. First, I gave him a scavenger hunt: “Go find 10 paperclips, two chopsticks and an unused bottle cap.”  My young friend had so much fun with the scavenger hunt and then stamping with random things that he wanted to do it with his friends. (It makes my heart happy when projects become social events.) They had a lot of fun and their pictures looked amazing! In the end, I also came up with a math game of counting, patterning and comparing more and fewer to go along with his picture so we both got our way.

Paper-Clip-Painting Art Project

Target Skills:

  • Fine Motor
  • Flexibility
  • Visual Spatial skills
  • Visual Scanning
  • Creativity


  • Paper
  • Paint
  • Random household objects


Go around the house and collect basic household items. The kids seem to enjoy paperclips and that is a good item for fine motor coordination. Dip the item into the paint and use them like stamps on the paper. The prints will really pop if you use one color paint on contrasting colored paper. This activity helps with the concept of using unexpected or unusual items to expand flexibility and creative thinking. To add in math concepts you can count and add the stamp patterns or stamp like shapes in columns and rows and multiply. I have also used this activity in combination with nature walks as well as with a lesson on using texture with paints.


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