Make mess-free roll-on paints

Make mess-free roll-on paints

Painting activities can be a recipe for mess, except this one! By using roll-on deodorant containers for applying the paint, this activity eliminates the need for pots and brushes and, hopefully, keeps the paint far away from clothing!

What you need:

  • A small butter knife and a teaspoon
  • Empty roll-on deodorant containers
  • Tubes of water-based paint
  • Some large sheets of paper

Number of players:


Using the knife and teaspoon, remove the ball from the top of each deodorant container. You may need to stretch the neck of the container a bit to get it free. Once you have it out, thoroughly rinse the containers.

Squeeze paint into the container. Fill it up pretty generously as the paint needs to engage with the ball fully to be effective.

Wedge the ball back in its place, in the neck of the container.

Turn it upside down so the paint begins to coat with the ball. Shake it.

Give it to your child and let him loose with some large sheets of paper.

When you're done with the painting activity, simply put the lid back on the deodorant container and store it in a small box for next time.


  • The hardest bit of this activity is popping out the roller ball from the deodorant container. But once you've done that, the rest is easy.
  • Make at least three of these roller paints, primary colours is ideal.
  • You could also use this idea to make a mess-free glue applicator by pouring craft glue into the container.

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