Spider web tape resist art is one of the best Halloween activities for kids. From toddlers to big kids, all ages can be successful with this kid’s activity. Wait until you see the final product and you’ll understand why this is a must-do Halloween art project.
What is spider web tape resist art?
Tape resist art is a catch all term for using tape to create negative space on a canvas. Sometimes, tape resist can be as simple as creating borders around the artwork or sometimes, it can make art work.
In spider web tape resist art, tape is used to create art on a cardboard box canvas. Because the tape creates the web design, kids of all ages will find massive success with this project.
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- Painter’s tape: this brand pulls up the easiest for me
- Nylon brushes: these are the best I’ve ever found for kids
- Washable tempera paint: this is my favorite kind
- Muffin tin: optional, but highly recommended
- Cardboard box
The supply list for this activity is totally doable. Tape, paint, brushes, and a box. This is not extensive or expensive stuff.
How do you set it up?
I promise: this web might look complicated but it truly isn’t. I have a personal rule against complicated activity set ups which is why everything on my site is always “quick and easy activities.”
And though this activity does take some before hand prep (which is also something I rarely do), it’s simple and worth it.
For the record, I set this up for my kids during my 3rd re-watching of Schitt’s Creek – it felt like a Netflixing type of activity. First, I folded in the cheese (JK).
Here are the steps:
- Flatten a box
- Cut off the large panels for your kids
- Make a spider web of tape (see below on how to make the web)
Directions for making the tape spider web
Check out the image of the finished web and follow along with these directions below.
- I first made a PLUS sign (+) on the cardboard from middle of top to middle of bottom.
- Make an X through it from corner to corner
- Connect each line with smaller pieces of tape to complete the web.
This was well worth the 5 minutes during my marathon binge of Schitt’s Creek (again).
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How to choose paint colors for spider web tape resist art
In my muffin tin of paint, I was specific about the colors I chose. I wanted this to be Fall-colored and Halloween ready.
To do that, I filled the muffin tin with yellow, red, and orange paint. I also added white and brown as well.
By doing this, my kids were able to explore shades and hues of colors, but without creating the muddy-gray solid blob color that often happens when kids over-mix colors.
I don’t limit colors often with my kids. I do like them to have freedom of expression. I also like to call their attention to the use of specific color mixing, hues, and shades. This can’t happen if all the colors go mud/gray.
Why is this activity on the wall?
For my kids, I decided to make this an “up and out” activity – it’s pretty to photograph AND helps their arm muscles. It’s a solid double win. But mostly it’s because “on the wall” activities photograph better than ones on the floor.
You do not need to do this activity on your wall.
Do it wherever feels best to you: the deck, the garage, the table, the hard floor. Make the choice best for your family.
Tips for pulling the tape off the cardboard
After doing many a tape resist activity over the past few years, I’ve learned a few tips on how to pull the tape off the cardboard without destroying the art.
First, wait about 24 hours. Let the paint really dry. Wet paint pulls and bleeds.
As you pull, go slow. Ripping up quickly causes tears.
If a tear starts, stop ripping from the direction and pick a new angle of attack.
The tape may not rip up perfectly. As you do more tape resist activities, you’ll get the hang of it.
Ways to make this activity work for toddlers
The cool part of tape resist is that it opens an art activity up to a wide age range. Even toddlers can be successful with making this spider web.
For toddlers and other children who may not have a long painting attention span, try a smaller design. Large art like this can be overwhelming and kids are more likely to give up or not try because of the sheer scope of the project.
Instead, give them a much smaller canvas size and graduate to a larger one as needed.
The final touch: how to add a spider
Once the webs were done, it felt like they were missing something… a spider!!
There are a few ways to add a spider to this activity:
- Option 1: Paint a spider onto it (that’s what I did here)
- Option 2: Create one in construction paper and add it
- Option 3: Make a hand print spider for extra kid cuteness
Frequently Asked Questions
The best tip for painting with kids is to give each child a wet wash cloth. This lets them have the chance to wipe off paint as needed and mitigate their own messes. Even as young as two, I highly recommend doing this.
For more painting advice, read my blog post on best tips for painting with kids.
I don’t save something like this. It’s too big and I don’t have space. We enjoy it for the Halloween and say our goodbye. For really important art (like the first time they draw a person or something they worked exceedingly hard on), I save in an art portfolio.
Because it’s tape resist, this has a broad age span. Toddlers to school age to even adults love this activity. Remember, it’s not so much about the age of the child as it is their interest level in the project at hand.
Susie Allison, M. Ed
Susie Allison is the creator of Busy Toddler and has more than 2 million followers on Instagram. A former teacher and early childhood education advocate, Susie’s parenting book “Busy Toddler’s Guide to Actual Parenting” is available on Amazon.
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