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Haunted House with Coffee

Instant coffee makes a great paint for a haunted house art project for kids. Just add more water to change the value of the color.

haunted house art project for kids

The first time I tried this I had students draw their house in pencil first, and it did not bode well. I almost decided to abandon the project.
Most drew WAY too much detail, so much so that they barely got to the painting. And if they did, there were so many dark pencil lines that the subtle coffee coloring just got lost in a maze of gray lines.
Nope, turns out that the best way to keep things EASY, and focused on making different values of brown, is to just “draw” with the paint, and fill in afterwards. Below are a few simple steps that I recommend to follow. A PDF that you can print and hand to students is shared afterwards.
1. Paint a wobbly ground line and simple house above it.
2. Add lots of building add ons around the center house. Make them different in size and height. Add a few chimneys.
3. Paint a tree. Start with lines and then make the trunk and branch thick and wobbly. It will make the tree look older and scarier.
4. Add windows and doors to the house. Some may be broken and hanging from hinges. Fill in the roof with the darkest brown color.
5. Paint the ground a medium shade and sprinkle grounds while wet to make spots. Fill in the house with lighter shade, trying not to smudge the lines.
6. Paint the sky the lightest color. Take care again to paint just up to the paint lines, trying not to smudge them. Leave an empty circle for the moon.


There are more fun and easy drawing tutorials like this one, in my HALLOWEEN DRAWING ebook. It contains 25 brand new tutorials that first timers can try out to draw new shapes, and the more experienced can use as a starting point before adding their own twists, and details, and shadows.

Each project includes easy to follow step-by-step tutorial, a full size line drawing for reference, and finished color sample. Just click on the title or book to learn more.



  1. Use a wet brush to add water and dissolve the coffee grounds.
  2. “Draw” the house with the darkest coffee color you can mix.
  3. Fill in the areas with different values. Follow the suggestions in the tutorial, to create the widest range possible.

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