Make your own water colours with a few simple pantry items…
For your convenience, I’ve included Amazon Affiliate links in this post.
These are super, and I mean SUPER-easy to make. These homemade watercolour paints cost me absolutely nothing, and they turned out so much better than I imagined they would! I found the recipe over at Pie Birds, a beautiful crafty-mom blog that I discovered last night.
You’re going to love how simple this recipe is. You probably already have all the ingredients on hand in your kitchen.
I double the following recipe when I make my paints. The photos that you see in this post are of the doubled recipe.
What you’ll need:
- 4 tbsp baking soda
- 2 tbsp white vinegar
- 1/2 tsp light corn syrup (I think this known as Kayro syrup in some parts. I didn’t have “light” so I used “golden” syrup)
- 2 tbsp corn starch (known as corn flour in the UK)
- Food colouring (liquid or gels)
- container to keep your paints in – I used a mini muffin tin, but you could use an ice-cube tray, small plastic cups, plastic egg carton etc.
What you’ll do:
Add your corn syrup and corn starch, and mix well until the corn starch has dissolved.
Pour into your containers. A double batch makes enough to half-fill all 12 compartments of my muffin tin.
Now, get out your colours and have some fun! Use toothpicks and popsicle sticks for adding your colours, and stir for about a minute to make sure the colour is mixed in well. We used Wilton gel colours for all but two of the colours (you can find these where you buy bulk baking supplies or cake decorating accessories). For the red and yellow, we used a few drops of liquid food colour.
If you’re using liquid colours, you may have to add about 6 drops to get the intense colour that you ‘re looking for. I added a pinch of extra corn starch to compensate for the extra liquid.
Now the hard part: you have to let your paints “set up” and dry which apparently could take up to 2 days. I’m happy to report that my watercolours were solid after sitting over night, and ready to use by mid-afternoon today, so it took less than 24 hours for mine to harden. I did have them sitting beside our gas fire place all day though so that may have helped.
Once they’re hard, simply grab a paint brush and some water and get painting!! I couldn’t wait to try mine, and I was really impressed when I did. The paints glide on smoothly, the colours look super. Honestly, they are nicer than any of the kiddy watercolour paints I’ve used before. They’re a little chalky when they dry, but not nearly as chalky as the dollar store paints that we’ve been using recently.
I also think the muffin tin will be much better than those shallow trays that kids’ paint usually comes in. With the shallow trays, the colours get muddy quickly when the little ones drag their brushes all over the tray, sloshing water around and mixing the colours together. I’m hoping our colours stay a little “cleaner” now.
Now, the only thing I haven’t tested is if they will stain clothing. I don’t THINK they should. I mean, I used less colouring per paint cup than I would to colour icing for a cake, and I’ve never had staining from cake icing, but the true test will be when when the Hooligans use them. If the possibility of staining concerns you, have your child wear a smock or apron. Click here to see my instructions for making a child’s apron from a pair of your old jeans!
*******UPDATE***** Homemade watercolour paints don’t stain!
If this is your first visit to Happy Hooligans, be sure to pop over and Like us on Facebook! I update my page daily with easy and affordable arts, crafts and activities for kids.
You can follow us on Pinterest too! You’ll find over 90 boards dedicated to kids crafts and play ideas, as well as several personal interest boards.