There are a lot of videos on YouTube of various approaches to doing a flip cup painting. Most that we have watched were done using standard canvas. Since we have recently been on an MDF kick, we thought we would try it on that material instead. We also tried another method of drying the paint that turned out pretty well.
Here is a short video showing the entire process from start to finish:
Here is what we used to make it:
- 14" x 14" x 1/2" MDF
- Plastic Cups
- Various Acrylic paints
- Oven (optional)
Step 1: Mixing the Paint
The title of this step is a bit misleading. We didn't actually "mix" the paint or stir it. It is just added into the plastic cups in layers. There really isn't a rhyme or reason to how this is done, it's just simply layer upon layer of various acrylic paints. We did make sure to choose colors that went well together.
One other thing to note - we placed the piece of MDF on something that would lift it above the surface of the work area. We also placed some poster board under that, because this is a messy project.
Step 2: Flip & Dump
Once the paint was layered how we liked it, we flipped the cup on end on top of the MDF. We left it there for about a minute so the paint could run to the bottom.
After that it was as simple as pulling the cups straight off the material. You can also scrape out the left over paint with a stir stick.
Step 3: Drips & Runs
Now the object was to cover the entire material with the paint. This is another step where you can get creative. The way the paint drips and runs will affect the final design (or lack thereof). This takes some time, but it is neat getting to see your art piece come to life.
Once the face is covered it needs to sit for a little bit so the paint can run over the edges.
Step 4: Drying (Baking)
Once the paint had finished dripping (about 30 minutes), we placed it in the oven on the lowest setting for 30 minutes. This was really an experiment to see if it would speed up the dry time. It did.
One thing to note - don't bake it on a high temperature setting, it could warp the material.
We pulled it out with oven mitts and let it sit to cool.
Step 5: All Done!
As with most of our wall art projects we hung these using 3M poster tabs. It may seem a bit heavy for that, but we haven't had any problems.
In this image you can see that we made two versions of this and will probably make a third. It is really easy and is a fun project you could do with the kids, especially since it is messy anyway.
Hopefully, you had some fun seeing how these were made. Even more so, we hope it inspired you to make something. If you have any questions or would like to weigh in on what might have worked better, feel free to do so in the comments.
If you didn't get a chance, make sure you check out the video. We would greatly appreciate it.