Wednesday, October 3, 2012

My Head is Spinning with the Possibilities...

Last week, I found a RoseArt Hover 'N Spin Paint Machine at a garage sale for $2 (and it still had four working C batteries inside). I had no real expectations, but I decided it was worth a try for that little, especially considering the batteries were included and I didn't have to invest in those. I had actually been wanting to try spin art for awhile and had spent the whole summer checking yard sales for a salad spinner for that purpose. This was even better, though, because we don't have to make it spin ourselves. There was no paper included, but it was easy enough to look at the tray and determine that it takes 4 inch squares. I got some plain white printer paper and used my paper trimmer (definitely recommended for quick, uniform cutting while the kiddos are waiting) to cut it to size.

Both Mia and Logan loved making spin art over the weekend. In fact, Logan asked to do it again this morning, and he really isn't all that into arts and crafts, so I knew I had found a true winner this time. The outcome is always a bit unexpected. The inner tray is very, very lightweight plastic, so when the motor is turned on, it actually flies up and hovers for a bit while paint is applied to the paper. (This is the really unpredictable part. Sometimes it would stop almost immediately when the kids squirted in the paint, possibly from using too much, but other times in would keep spinning until they were satisfied and ready to turn it off.) Still, it is pretty cool, and it cleans up easily with a damp cloth. I am not sure whether or not the included paint stains so I just made sure they weren't wearing good clothes.

I laid their completed pieces on paper towels to dry and labeled them with black felt tip pen to keep them straight. Once they were dry, I used scrapbooking adhesive to mount the individual squares to 12" x 12" pieces of colored card stock and then mounted them in frames. I knew that they would have more visual impact grouped together, and I am pleased with the final results. Now we have some cool new wall art, and I just have to decide where to hang them...

{Spin Art by Mia, Age 5}

{Spin Art by Logan, Age 3}

Even if I had paid full price, I think this would have been a good investment. I looked online, but they must not make this particular model any longer. I did, however, find a similar one (non-hovering) on Amazon. Today we tried using card stock instead of computer paper, which worked well. The only problem was that I chose a gray color and it made the paint seem muted instead of showing the true vibrant colors, so I would stick with white paper (or paper a pale piece of decorative scrapbooking paper if we decide to experiment...) I also wondered what paint to use when the included bottles run out. I experimented with food coloring, and it seemed okay, so I think any thin paint will work. Not too long ago, I got some powdered tempera paint on clearance at Michael's so I think that will be perfect since I can mix up small batches and get just the consistency that I want.

{If it gets this one being creative, how can I go wrong?}

{Warning: this is addictive!}

{Gray paper = kinda blah spin art}

{My food coloring experiment reminds me of aliens.}

Here are the spin art pieces before I framed some of them. Mia, being older, had a better sense of the amount of paint to use and how to get colors to blend without turning to mud. I especially love the one with the red circle outline and the two blue lines through it. It reminds me of a man with a mustache or a face-less clock, both of which seem very surreal and made me think of Dali. So you can't tell me that kids' art is not "real" art. I for one, love it, and there are so many possibilities. I see these being made into greeting cards in the near future...


  1. We still have a working version of this art toy at our home. I recently used with my grandchildren( second generation) and they loved it. I wonder if food color would be too thin and somehow get down inside the mechanism. But it is worth a try. Now that you reminded me about this toy I will experiment using it with seniors who have very limited arm mobility and can't do very much. I recently did a successful food coloring and coffee filter art project with them. All they had to do was dip the folded coffee filter into the color and presto we had colorful results. Then I pasted the round disk onto some unused rice paper that I've had kicking around for 20years, pasted a bamboo skewer on one end and we had a colorful banner to hang in their rooms. Keep it up the great work. The kids remember your efforts, I know they do. Too many parents either won't or can't do any "messy art projects".

    1. Thanks for stopping by, and I really appreciate the positive comment! I would love to hear how this goes with your seniors. And yes, you are right about the food coloring being too runny. We tried it with less than splendid results, but it did work in a pinch. I think you could use any tempera paint (or even somewhat watered down versions like I often make with our powdered temperas) in condiment squeeze bottles.