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!


  1. awesome..itseemslikesolittleofeachingredienttoomakethatmany.

    1. Teehee! Sorry about your spacebar, but thank you for the laugh! It does seem like not enough, but it's actually just right. Have fun!

  2. How fun! Thanks for sharing Kristi!

  3. wow! that is super cool and fun. what a great way to be crafty with your little one, thanks for sharing!