My kids absolutely love painting. I, however, do not love the mess—especially cleaning out brushes. This painting craft uses cotton swabs as the brush, which is so much easier! My kids loved getting to use paint and were very proud of their finished trees. I loved how easy it was to clean up when they were done—I just threw it all away!

Materials needed:

  • Cotton swabs
  • Acrylic finger paints (or any paint you have on hand)
  • Paper (preferably card stock)


1. Make the trunk and branches of the tree. I helped my younger kids, and the older ones drew their own.

2. Put small dabs of paint on a paper plate for the kids to dip into.

3. Let the kids use cotton swabs, a different one for each color, to dip into the paint and tap on their drawing to fill in the branches.

Easy Cotton Swab Christmas Tree Paintings