Suminagashi Fireworks

Use marbling inks to make these Suminagashi inspired Fireworks pictures with your kids at home.
 Suminagnashi Fireworks Art Project for Kids
“Remember, Remember, the 5th of November,
Gunpowder, Treason and Plot”

Bonfire Night is the time of year I miss the most, now that I no longer live in the UK. I grew up on a farm and every year we would have family and friends over to drink hot tomato soup around a big bonfire. All wrapped up in our big coats and scarves.

We’d then “ohhh” and “ahhh” over fireworks bursting colorfully through the dark night sky. And not forgetting of course writing our names though the air using sparklers, which was my favourite bit!

Living over in Ireland, my kids miss out on Bonfire Night itself. But I wasn’t going to let them miss out on another Bonfire Night tradition I remember from school, making Fireworks pictures. I remember dipping coloured chalk into sugary water and then drawing sparkly fireworks out onto black paper. Do you remember doing these kinds of pictures? What other ways did you make fireworks pictures at school?

What is Suminagashi?

A friend introduced me to the wonderful world of Suminagashi recently. As she was telling me about it, I thought it would be an ideal way to create some Fireworks pictures.

“Suminagashi (墨 流 し) or “floating ink” is the process of marbling plain paper with water and ink to transform it into something vibrant and colorful. It originated in Japan as early as the 12th century.”

Affiliate link We used a set of Marbling Inks similar to these ones is our activity.

How to make Suminagnashi Firework pictures

  • Squeeze a few drops of ink over the water.
  • Pour some water into a large dish or onto a deep tray.
  • Use a paintbrush to gently swirl the inks though the water.
  • Gently place a sheet of paper over the water and then carefully lift it out to print the pattern.
  • Leave to dry


Using Marbling Inks to make Firework art

Printing firework art onto paper


I enjoyed doing this activity with both my 2 year old daughter Bella and her 5 year old brother Freddie.  I wasn’t quite sure if Bella would understand the concept or if she would be a bit too heavy handed with the activity.  But I needn’t have worried. She did really well with it and created some lovely patterns.
Once her pictures had  completely dried, I cut some of them out to turn them into fireworks to be added onto her tissue paper bonfire collage picture. She made this earlier on when her big brothers were in school.
You could also add them to these Bubble Wrap Bonfire Pictures.
Freddie enjoyed the activity as well. We mounted some of his firework patterns to display in our playroom and one to send over to his great-granny. Freddie wasn’t quite as delicate as his little sister with his swirling, so his pictures were a bit darker more dramatic than his sisters efforts. But he was very happy with them. He enjoyed experimenting with sheets of different coloured paper as well to see how that changed his designs.
Swirling marbling inks in water to make Suminagashi art
Suminagashi Firework Art for Kids
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23 thoughts on “Suminagashi Fireworks”

  1. Ooh I love this, I remember doing this kind of marbling in school but could never have told you that that was the proper name for it! I wouldn;t have thought of doing it for fireworks pictures but they look really fab! I loved making fireworks pictures as a kid, there was generally a lot of glitter glue involved if I remember right! 🙂 xx #mmwbh

  2. We didnt have bonfire nights in my country but I remember doing this project. Suminagashi is one of my fave art activity to watch in Youtube! Paper marbling is such nice project! ‪#mmwbh

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