This Messy Life Hack is So Genius, Both Parents & Kids Will Love it!

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holding little girls arm with paint on it

Life can get messy!

Especially when you have little ones at home. So, whether you’re a busy teacher, parent, grandparent, or find yourself hosting kid’s craft time, you’re going to love this easy messy craft hack!

So what is a “messy craft hack”, you ask? 🤔

hand holding plastic wrap press n seal

Adding Glad Press’n Seal to your wardrobe! 🙌

I know… it sounds a little crazy! But have you ever had to deal with the hassle of putting an apron on kids, especially when they don’t want to wear one. And chances are if you did get it on them, they want to take it off within 5 minutes anyways and the contents of all your DIY craft ends up on their cute outfit.

Not anymore, my friends!

little girl wearing press n seal on her clothes holding a paint brush

This hack is so simple!

All you do is pull the plastic Press’n Seal out of the roll and put it wherever you don’t want the mess to go! I even put it on the top half of my daughter’s pants so it would catch any drips of paint while she was sitting.

Here’s something to consider when you try it out:

scissors cutting plastic on white sweatshirt

When we first attempted this hack, I just stuck the Glad Press’n Seal right over the arms and thought I would get creative and cut the arms out to save on plastic. But seeing as though we were planning to paint, this wasn’t the most effective or easy way to put it on…

arm with plastic press n seal and orange paint on it

Instead, just wrap it all the way around their arms so it will catch the mess on all sides.

And, if things are getting really messy, consider also wrapping the Press’n Seal all the way around their belly so when their arms are down by their side, the sides of their shirt are still protected.

girl painting picture with paintbrush and press n seal plastic on clothes

My daughter had so much fun doing her craft and the Glad Press’n Seal didn’t get in her way at all while painting.

little girl taking off the Glad press n seal from sweatshirt

Best of all, it actually protected her clothes and when it was time to take it off, she had so much fun helping peel the mess away. The Press’n Seal protective layer stayed secure during craft time, but came off super easy when we needed it to! 😉

Don’t have any Press’n Seal at home?

hand holding a package of press and seal plastic wrap with paint supplies in the background

Here’s where you can score some:

    • Walmart – $4.62 ($0.03 sq. ft.)
    • Target – $4 ($0.04 sq. ft.)
    • Amazon – $9.15 (2 pack – $0.03 sq. ft.)
    • Sam’s Club – $7.98 (2 pack – $0.03 sq. ft.)

Try one of these cute holiday crafts with your kids: 

About the writer:

Sara is a self-taught blogger & photographer and brings 9+ years of experience to her craft. Her work has been featured in numerous esteemed publications, spanning building, travel, and fashion. Beyond her creative pursuits, Sara’s primary mission is to empower others to embrace a toxic-free & sustainable lifestyle.

Join The Discussion

Comments 60

  1. pokz

    Theyre kids..let them be kids…be messy…😝

    • Alli

      They are! It just saves us parents a whole lot of extra work and money.

      • tctbtob

        I gave my kids one of my or hubby’s T-shirt’s to wear over their clothes. If it washed the ur great & if not no biggie as they’d wear them again anyways. Easy peasy & way cheaper than Press n seal rolls.

        • Kathleen

          Exactly 🙂

    • Jennine

      it’s a great every now and then idea! overall, wasteful if it’s a go to! Haha I didn’t think of it till now, but I mean might as well stock pile 50c clothes from garage sales and never do laundry again 😃

  2. Lynne

    I use this on high chair straps because they are so hard to clean. Works great.

    • Lori

      Such a smart idea!

    • kris t

      Thank you for the tip! I never thought of the straps

    • Naayomee

      I might put this on my seatbelts too!😂

  3. vanise

    I love the convenience, but they are not recyclable.I am disappointed that big company like “Glad” is creating such product for profit and not concerning the environment waste issue..they could have do better.

    • Jennaayyv


    • Staci

      Agree. While I’m sure this is convenient, it seems pretty wasteful. A box wouldn’t go too far. I just keep an old oversize tshirt that I don’t care if it gets paint on it. Costs nothing and reuses something rather than creating more waste.

      • Kathleen


    • tipaye

      I agree…

  4. cbakerd3

    This seems silly and wasteful. Just use washable paint and change their shirt instead of literally making a shirt out of press and seal.

  5. Jenifer

    When we were kids we wore my dad’s old shirts. I did the same for my son when he was young. We literally had painting shirts. 🤷

  6. sandy

    love this idea! but how do i hide a roll of this when going out?

  7. Rae

    My daughter has a paint shirt. It is just one of my old button down shirts but you could use any shirt even the dollar store has them for $1. It’s easier and covers more than an apron, is reusable, can be worn over another shirt or alone. My daughter really treasures her paint shirt, and is so excited when I bring it out.

  8. Kat9919

    I’ve been using this on my one yr old. She refuses to wear a bib but still gets messy Everytime we eat! This has saved her clothes! Also, we use this in the car under the car seats to protect the seats. Cheap and easy to change out!

  9. Meghan

    We implemented a “spaghetti shirt” for my daughter because I was sick of scrubbing her clothes after dinner. We just took one of her old brother’s plain hoodies that he grew out of and we leave it on hook near kitchen. She puts it on before dinner each night. I am 33 and still end up with food all over me so I know where she gets it from 😂😂

  10. Erin

    So cling wrapping a child is easier than . . . every other method? 😂 Not seeing it, but kudos for creativity! We had art smocks that velcro in the back, slip on, slip off. If my kids were being difficult and wouldn’t cooperate, they simply didn’t do the messy craft at that time. If they aren’t cooperating before the craft, they likely wouldn’t cooperate while doing the craft!

    • tipaye

      Yasss!!! Another parent here who doesn’t let uncooperative kids call the shots, nice to meet you!

    • tctbtob

      That’s my kind of parenting & the lesson goes beyond that moment. Keep up the good & hard work!

  11. Aunt Jenny

    My nurse recommended Press N Seal to cover my incision so I could shower after back surgery. It worked great because it stuck to my skin and came off easily.

    • Marie

      Now this seems like a much better life hack. Actually useful and necessary 👏👏👏

    • Kaysha

      I get the convenience, but a 15 meal or art project results in more plastic being in a landfill forever. I’m sure most people don’t even think of it that way, but it’d be nice if culturally we could start thinking about the environmental tradeoffs.

      • Kaysha

        Sorry, that was supposed to go under the main thread, not the use for incision. That’s a totally different use!

  12. Christine

    Great idea! Use whatever works for you and yours!

  13. nita

    How about an old t shirt? That’s what I pull out for messy crafts 🤷🏻‍♀️

    • jen s.

      Right! And so much better for the environment! H2S – we aren’t allowed to use plastic bags without being taxed (in CT), so please don’t push ideas for wasting plastic!

      • Adaysleeper

        I’m in CT and kind of love that we did this. Cashiers used to automatically put e everything in a bag, even if it was just a few carryable items. I’d say no bag and they’d say are you sure? Lol.
        It’s funny though, I’m still getting asked if I wanted to purchase bag. I went to Kohl’s the other day and I bought a pair of shoes. Cashier asked me if I was sure I didn’t want to buy a bad. Yes, I’m sure. They’re already in a box!

        • Adaysleeper

          Ugh forgive typos please. I should know by now to proofread when I talk to text

        • Lo

          Lol I was at a Santa Fe Kohl’s with a lot of clothes but refused to buy a bag cuz I’m cheap 🤣. I was like nah I can just carry this out.

          • Dani O

            Ironically enough I was just telling my Target cashier last night I call this “budget control”. If I can’t tote it all out without having to buy a bag, I DON’T NEED IT!

  14. nikis22

    Great hack! Thanks Hip2save!

  15. Shirley

    Sorry, this seems a waste of money on something that you cannot reuse. I have seen apron that covers the arms for less than $10.

  16. Stacy

    This seems like a very expensive life hack. Press and Seal isn’t cheap by any means. An apron is reusable and earth friendly. If you don’t have an apron definitely a wonderful alternative though.

  17. Amy

    I work in an Orthopedic office & I recommend this to patients who have a cast. It won’t keep it waterproof for the shower, but can help if they plan to be out doing something that might otherwise get the cast dirty.

  18. Jenna

    Like anything, compromise is great. If people can get a apron, or use an old “painting shirt” (men’s dresshirts at goodwill are like $3) for around the house, that is obviously a more sustainable option. But it’s nice to have a backup plan, or an idea in a pinch.

  19. V

    It’s just like when I roll bubble wrap around my child before he goes outside. Just kidding. He’s 13, so he won’t let me do it anymore. Again, just kidding.

    • Em C


  20. sara

    We love Bumkin bibs. They come in long and short sleeve. They have a pocket to help catch falling food. They are waterproof and can be rinsed in the sink and laundered but still thin, malleable, and small to travel with. We’ve have several going on 4 years now.

  21. Lora

    For all those saying how wasteful this is, reusable shirts/smocks/aprons still have to be washed which wastes natural resources (water) and pollutes the environment (detergent). Do whatever you want but please get off the high horse first.

    • Rae

      I don’t think anyone is on a high horse. This just seems silly to most people not just for eco reasons but every time a kid does a craft you have to add like $4 to the cost for the cling wrap if they are crafting every day that’s expensive, almost better financially to throw out that dollar store shirt. It is a creative idea for a sponsored post that lead to people sharing other creative ideas. I really like the ideas for using it medically, and for high chair strap covers though.

    • Kathleen


    • Jess

      Lora, why do paint shirts/aprons have to be washed? Just keep reusing it, the extra paint just adds to the character of the paint shirt.

      • Rae

        Jess is totally right. Why wash a paint shirt?

      • peretz12

        Yeah I’m not sure why a paint shirt would need to be washed. The whole idea of it is to prevent needing to wash their regular clothes. 🤷🏼‍♀️

    • Go Zags

      I agree with you Lora. Seems to me people getting on their high horses and I for one am sick and tired about it.

  22. Janina

    Ikea sells a craft Apron for a great price! My son has one and it is REUSABLE. I highly recommend that one.. instead of a disposable kind.. I appreciate the cool life hack but does add cost and not the best for our environment ..

    • saver

      I second the ikea craft aprons, you can get a 2 pack for so cheap. Reusable and work perfectly. I would never waste press & seal like this.

  23. Crystal

    It makes me so happy to see so many other concerned about the environment. ❤️ I was coming here to say everything others have mentioned!

  24. Kathleen

    Don’t parents have a set of ‘play’ clothes for their kids anymore? Clothes they can go outside and get dirty or paint/craft in?

    • Two Sense

      Kids don’t go out and play, or craft much..they watch screens for most of their day. People can’t even go out to dinner and talk to their kids because they are on screens at the dinner table …that’s a different topic though!

  25. Mrsyancy

    Omg people if you don’t like it don’t do it……good grief🙄

  26. Cassie Sue

    This is a great idea for when my friend brings his little one over. She can play with the “big kids” if they are coloring but doesn’t end up covered in markers and other stuff. I don’t have any aprons (my kids are old enough to stay clean) but I can press and seal her shirt to keep her from being a mess. Thanks!!

  27. Marie

    On your refrigerator shelves 😁

  28. Betty Boo

    Thanks Sara for all of your excellent tips. I am a 77 year old grandma raising 3 grandchildren and I appreciate all the help you’ve provided to me.

  29. Tracy

    My mom was a nursery school teacher. She had everyone bring a man’s old button up shirt to be used as aprons. She would put them on the kids backwards and button up the back. Roll up and button up the sleeves if needed. They seemed to work great for the kids and protected their clothes.

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