Fall Spice Paintings

For once I can say our activity smelled just as good as it looked. Today we made these awesome spice paintings with my good friend Mona and her adorable kids, Gavin and Sophia. Here is the definitive recipe:


  • 1 cup water
  • ¼ cup flour
  • 4 TSP cornstarch
  • 1 TBSP spice
  • Food coloring:
    • YELLOW- Ginger + 20 drops yellow
    • RED- Cinnamon + 20 drops red
    • ORANGE- Nutmeg + 5 drops red + 15 drops yellow
    • BROWN- Clove + 8 drops red + 8 drops green + 4 drops yellow
    • GREEN- Thyme + 18 drops green + 2 drops red


First, the moms made the base for the paint. We tried out a bunch of different recipes and landed on the ingredients listed above. We mixed all of them together and poured the mixture into the little bowls so the kids could take over. The next step is to add a tablespoon of spice.  Each color has its own unique smell. We used thyme for green, cinnamon for red, nutmeg turned into orange, and clove was brown. You’ll need to mix these in for at least a solid moment.

After that is nice and smooth, you are free to add in some food dye because kids love the bright colors. Be careful, I did end up with a red finger, but once they’re mixed in you should be okay. We ended up with these gorgeous colors and we were ready to paint. We gave the kids these tree templates and they loved drawing on all of the leaves. These colors are perfect for any kind of fall or holiday-inspired paintings, or some really quick abstract art if you’re like Ford–he’s efficient!

Of course, the neatest part about this is that once the paints are on and have dried on the page they still smell so wonderful. Just one drawback: it’s a little messy, but smells fantastic!

These turned out much better than I even expected!

Elle Walker is a co-founder at What's Up Moms and the mom to three kids (7, 4, 2). In her spare time, she loves testing out kids activities (often muttering, "Pinterest, you lie"), to find the best play that minimize set-up, reduce costs, and uses stuff up around the house.