STEAM Pendulum Painting



  • Paper
  • Place to hang pendulum
  • String
  • Metal washer
  • One large paperclip
  • Paint (mixed with equal parts water)
  • Small waxed paper cups
  • One sharp pencil
  • Newspaper for catching messes
  • Sharpie markers
  • Watercolor paint


  1. Find a place to hang your pendulum string so that it is just above a flat surface with a string between 8 and 12 inches long.
  2. Tie washer to your string.
  3. Bend paperclip into a “W” shape and slip it onto the washer.
  4. Poke a little hole in the bottom of a paper cup with a pencil.
  5. Poke a hole on each side of the top of the cup and slip the paper clip through the holes to make a bucket on your pendulum.
  6. Holding a finger over the hole on the bottom of the cup, grasp the cup and pour a bit of paint in the cup – it should be the consistency of ink.
  7. When releasing your cup, aim it at a slight curve so that it will travel in a circular direction.
  8. Once finished, keep the painting flat while drying.
  9. Plan out a picture to integrate with your spiral background using a cut-out of a drawing or a stencil to trace onto your paper in pencil. Trace with Sharpie for a bold outline.
  10. Paint in shapes and parts of the background to complete a colorful, complete work of art.
    Note: If you have painted with acrylic-based paints, using water color over the paint will not disturb your spirals. If you have used tempera or other non-permanent paint, take care to go around the lines so they do not blur.


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STEAM Pendulum Art Painting Lesson Plan