How to make scented paint for summer

Add a burst of summer sunshine to your sensory play with this idea for how to make scented paint.

how to make scented paint :: homemade paint :: sensory painting activities :: summer sensory play

How to make scented paint for summer

This recipe for scented paint feels like a cheat, as it’s so easy to make! Our homemade spice paint is always popular, both with my children and those of you who read along with us, so I thought we’d ring the changes for the coming season and make a summer version.

To make summer scented paint, all you need is your choice of paint and a selection of fragrances to add.

lavender paint recipe

We’re using purple water-based paint and adding the flower buds and some chopped leaves from our homegrown lavender.

mint paint recipe

To our green paint, we’re adding mint leaves which the children have picked from our Garden Classroom.

diy paint recipe lemon scented

Yellow paint gets the grated rind of a lemon.

homemade paint recipe orange

And the grated rind of an orange goes in our pot of orange paint.

home made paint recipe scented diy

Give each paint pot a little stir, and you’re done. You can use the paint straight away and the fragrance will be released with every stroke of the brush. Cover the pots with a lid or some plastic wrap if you want to keep them over night.

You can fish out the mint leaves if you want to, once the ‘flavour’ has had the chance to brew a bit, but we used ours just as they are. The scent doesn’t remain on the paper very long, so this is an in-the-moment, enjoy-the-process sensory experience.

Outdoor art ideas :: Homemade scented paint

We kept the paint for a day or two to enjoy lots of painting in the garden. And the paint we’d used happened to match the colours in our Garden Classroom perfectly! I love to set an easel in the garden, it’s such a quick and practical way to take some art outdoors.

More kids painting ideas

My new ebook has some gorgeous art ideas in it. Three to Five: Playful Preschool is a collaborative ebook, where 25+ kids’ bloggers have each contributed a project idea. Math, literacy, science and play are included – along with ten super printables – and the art ideas are really, really good. Click here to take a look and to download your copy of the ebook and all the accompanying resources.

Great art ideas for kids to explore color and design


  1. Angie says

    Lovely! I have used koolaid to make all kinds of scented things…play dough, finger paint, moon sand. But I love the idea of using nature so much more! This is a must on our summer bucket list. Thanks for the idea!

  2. Tammy says

    I used your scented paint idea for a detective theme I had in my preschool. we had to use our detective skill to find out what our paint smelled like.

  3. says

    What a fun way to get aromatherapy into the kids’ hands! I love this, especially the part where you grew some of the ingredients yourself.

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