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Who says cacti have to be green? We don’t. The style of these prickly succulents give rise to fun texture and colour themes that are easy and expressive for kids. The use of crayon creates an interesting counterpoint to the watercolour by creating a water-insoluble mask that gives stronger borders to the usually free form crayon. Coloured Tissue paper is a fun 3D medium to represent cacti flowers, and make for a dramatic pop for each painting. With so many variations on a theme, this craft can generate many creative iterations, so it’s definitely not a one-off in our household.

Created using crayons, watercolour paints and tissue paper
Rainbow Cactus Art by Charlotte age 6


1. watercolour paper

2. washable watercolour paint for younger kids and normal watercolour paint for older kids

3. assorted coloured tissue paper

4. non-toxic white glue (school glue)

5. coloured crayons

6. a pencil - for using the flat end to shape the tissue paper

7. paint brushes - medium sized

8. scissors

Step by step visual guide to help you create this colourful rainbow cactus;


1. Draw out the outline of the cactus using crayon.

2. Draw some x’s overlapping to represent the needles on the cactus. 3. Draw a cloud like shape with crayon where the tissue paper will be placed; or draw out the individual flowers on top.

4. Using watercolour paint, paint out each segment of the cactus a different colour.

5. Allow the paint to dry.

6. Cut out small square or circular pieces of tissue paper.

7. Glue the middle of the tissue paper onto the top of the cactus to create a flower. Use the flat end of the pencil and wrap the tissue paper around the pencil, then dip the tissue paper into the glue and place the tissue paper glue side down onto the cactus. Shape it with the pencil as you push down to stick the tissue paper onto the painting then lift the pencil up and out. See the photo and video below on how to do this step.

If you don’t have any coloured tissue paper, you can create this colourful cactus by just painting it with watercolour paint. It looks just as amazing and hangs well in any room. Check out these colourful cactus paintings by Acorns and Aprons 2020:

Create different types of cactuses, explore shapes and have fun!

Rainbow Cactus by Charlotte age 6

We hope you enjoy creating this beautiful cactus artwork. Follow us on Instagram and tag @acorns.and.aprons if you create this craft, we would love to see your creation!


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