Thursday, February 28, 2013

Tutorial: Homemade Watercolor Paints

My little girl loves to paint.  Last weekend we came across a recipe for homemade watercolor paints in an old book of my moms and decided to give it a try.  Roo had a lot of fun measuring and mixing her very own set of paints.  It was an easy project that took about an hour from start to finish and it turned out really well.  We painted with them for the first time tonight and were very happy with the results of our paints!  Want to give it a try for yourself?  Here's how we did it:

You will need:
3 Tablespoons Corn Starch
3 Tablespoons Baking Soda
3 Tablespoons White Vinegar
1 1/2 teaspoons Corn Syrup
Food Coloring
Mixing bowl or 4 cup capacity measuring cup
small cups for mixing colors
candy mold with at least 6 compartments (do not use lollipop molds!)

To keep this project as independent-kid-friendly as possible, measure your ingredients first and putting them in individual bowls to prevent spills and over-measuring.

Combine the baking soda and corn starch in your mixing bowl.

Carefully add vinegar to the dry mixture.  Vinegar and baking soda foam and fizz when combined so don't pour it in too fast.

Stir together until there are no lumps and the fizzing has subsided.  You may want to give this a stir yourself to make sure it has all been incorporated.  Corn starch/liquid mixture can be difficult to stir for the little ones.

Add corn syrup and mix until dissolved.

Line up your color mixing cups and pour a small amount of the white paint mixture into each one.

Have an old towel handy to wipe up any spills that happen.  
Use the color chart on the back of the box to mix your colors. 

Pour into candy molds.

It takes about 1-2 days for the paints to completely set and air-dry before you can use them.
I think the next time I make a set of paints, I will plan my color and color placement a little better.  I had twelve compartments in my candy mold and only about seven color ideas in my head.  It's probably a good idea to have your paint set mapped out, including where to put them and how to make each color.
Roo and I used the paints for the first time tonight.  It was really satisfying to see her get such happy enjoyment out of something that we made together.  

Happy Crafting!

Unicorns, Shoe Elves and the Energizer Bunny

If you know anything about me, you know that I have endless amounts of creative energy.  My mind is not settled unless it is wrapped up in a crafty project.  I do my best thinking at my sewing machine.  Sometimes, I have so many ideas and project needs (as in Need To Do to survive) that in order to get my head to focus and organize I need to be in the kitchen baking or cooking.  This is the reason that even though I am a pattern designer (and I swear you will have more patterns from me soon!) you will find a lot of recipes on here.  I love to cook, I love to bake, I love to be in the kitchen.

Apparently, my constant need to be busy combined with all of the different types of things that I like to do has made some people wonder if I am, in fact, superhuman.  My friends were having fun commenting back and forth on one of my Instagram photos which went as follows:

Kristan-"I am starting to wonder if you're actually the Energizer Bunny..."
Kris-"I swear I've told her the same thing!  She has nonstop energy.  She will probably bake a cake at 9pm!"
Lindsay-"You guys know she's a redhead, right?  And not the boxed kind.  She's made of unicorns and shoe elves.  Sleep isn't an option."

-And then since I wasn't responding (because I was in the kitchen) they continued with:
 Kris-"She is probably outside painting the exterior of her house and not reading our IG posts..."
Kristan-"And chopping down trees to whittle a new dining room table."

Well, I promise you that I am not the Energizer Bunny nor am I made of unicorns or shoe elves.  I love that my friends think I'm so magical and talented, though!  Whittling a new dining table?  WOW!  That would be pretty amazing...  The truth is, I just simply like to create.  My life's theme is Do It Yourself.  If I can do it, if it can be made, if it's going to look better, taste better, feel better then I'm just going to figure out how to do it myself.  There is something so very satisfying about having accomplished something for myself.  I challenge you to create something new this week.  What will it be?  Homemade tortillas?  A scrapbook?  Maybe start your seeds for a vegetable or herb garden?  Come back and tell me what you've done, I'd really love to hear about it!

Happy Creating!