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This viral TikTok Cotton Pad Art Hack is a mesmerizing and simple art activity for kids with beautiful results! It’s a simple art setup that kids can create on their own with a unique colorful twist every time.
TikTok is a treasure trove of art activities that have you thinking “I should try that!” Such as this viral TikTok Cotton Pad Art Hack. By dabbling a cotton pad with a marker and placing it in water, you get a beautiful cascade of instant and mesmerizing colors. This TikTok art hack has been viewed over 33MM times and it’s no wonder why. This creative TikToker dabs what looks like various color markers on a cotton pad and throws it in water. The colors release instantly creating a halo of colorful swirls. This kind of art reminds us of the popular magic milk art experiment.
Watch the video in this post to see this viral TikTok Art Activity in action
What markers do you use to create Cotton Pad Art Hack?
The TikTok user does not disclose any instructions in the video or caption so we had to do some sleuthing and try a few different types of markers. The first that made sense was to try washable markers. We busted out our trusty Crayola washable markers and excitedly dabbed various colors onto a cotton pad. However, this was a total bust. The colors barely floated out of the pad upon contact with water.
We thought we needed some stronger water-based pigments so tried our favorite liquid watercolors using the built-in pipettes. This did provide a stronger release of colors but it was hard to pipette on perfect dots on the cotton pad so colors blended too easily before being tossed in the water.
We found the best results using a combination of the first two tries: water-based brush markers! This is what worked best in providing the best pigment and color release. It also allowed for the best control in applying colors to the cotton pad, as you can see in these photos.
What side of the cotton pad should you use to make this colorful art?
You definitely want to dab on your marker to the smooth not bumpy side! The bumpy side has a lot of fibers so your markers won’t stick as well.
What designs can I make with this cotton ball art?
You can try a variety of colors we did a rainbow, galaxy (pink, purple, blue) and sunset colors (pink red, orange). You can also create dots or triangles like we did! Or create any color pattern to test out the results.
TikTok Cotton Pad Art – Materials:
- Cotton Pads
- Water-based Brush On Pens
- Shallow container
- On the smooth side of your cotton pad, use your markers to dab colors evenly, covering the pad.
- Fill a shallow container with water.
- Drop the pad in the after and watch the mesmerizing colors come out of the pad and swirl around.
- Rinse the water in between pads and try new patterns of colors.
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Agnes Hsu is a mom of three and has been inspiring parents and kids to get creative with easy activities and family friendly recipes for over 10 years. She shares her love for creative play and kids food to her 2MM+ followers online. Agnes' commitment to playful learning and kindness has not only raised funds for charity but also earned features in prestigious nationwide publications.