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Easy Haunted House Art Project: Painting with Coffee

Below you’ll find an easy step-by-step tutorial for a Haunted House art project made with … coffee. Who needs expensive paint to do a value study?

Haunted House and Instant Coffee

Creating a Haunted House Art Project with Coffee

This haunted house art project has gone through a couple of rounds before I figured out the best approach. 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 focus on making different values of brown. The solution was to have students just “draw” with the paint, and fill in afterwards. As for mixing the paint (coffee) color, I had students make little piles of instant grounds on a paper plate. They were to add JUST enough water to dissolve the crystals and make a smooth liquid. Afterwards, follow the directions on my PDF download, which has some advice on the best order to paint things for this coffee haunted house.

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Use the Button below to Download a PDF Tutorial

A step by step tutorial for how to paint a haunted house, also available as a free download.

Materials for a Haunted House Coffee Painting

  • Multimedia paper
  • Instant coffee grounds (I used espresso)
  • Small plates, water
  • Paint brush, the thinner the better


Time needed: 45 minutes

How to Paint a Haunted House with Coffee

  1. Paint a wobbly ground line and house above it.

  2. Add lots of building add ons all around it.
    Make them different in size and height. Add chimneys.

  3. Paint a tree by starting with a trunk.
    Add lots of branches.

  4. Add windows and doors.
    Fill in the roof tops with darkest brown.

  5. Paint the ground a medium shade.
    Sprinkle grounds to get more texture. Fill house with lighter shade.

  6. Paint the sky the lightest color.
    Take care to barely touch the house lines so they do not smudge.

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