There are moments when you just can’t run to the store and need an emergency paint/craft/keep the kids busy plan. My 4-year-old REALLY wanted to paint, so I went online and found this recipe for homemade watercolor paints. I had all of the ingredients, so it’s highly likely that you have them too. Here is the recipe, though I adapted the process at little bit.
Homemade Watercolor Paints Recipe
- 4 tbsp baking soda
- 2 tbsp white vinegar
- 1/2 tsp light corn syrup
- 2 tbsp cornstarch
- liquid food coloring
1. Mix baking soda and vinegar until the fizzing stops.
2. Add corn syrup and cornstarch.
3. Mix until it has a uniform consistency. It will be crumbly.
4. Divide into mini muffin tin, styrofoam egg carton or plastic candy mold.
5. Add about 10 drops of food coloring. Mix red and yellow for orange, red and blue for purple, and so forth. Stir in the muffin cup with a popsicle stick, knife or coffee stirrer. You’ll need to smash the color into the paste. This will be a little bit tedious. Eventually the paints will set to have a wet film on top.
6. Let the paint set for a few hours or overnight.
I like putting paint in a muffin tin because I can put water in one row of cups for my daughter to wash her brushes off in. Despite these photos, it’s better if you put the water in the bottom row. This way I can just dump the water into the sink without it running over the paints. Otherwise, I just blot it out with a paper towel. No big deal. The muffin tin also allows us to store the paint for as long as we need to.
When it comes time to wash the muffin tin, put it under the faucet and it will all rinse out in seconds. Easy clean up.
The paint does dry a little bit lighter than it goes on originally, likely due to the cornstarch. I am really pleased with how vibrant the colors are going on. Less water on the brush is more with these paints too.
If you are really in a bind, it’s super sticky but light corn syrup mixed with food coloring will also do in a pinch. I talk about this recipe in 4 Homemade Finger Paint Recipes Analyzed.
I’ve created a FREE download for my Facebook fans to reference. It has our favorite recipes for playdough, finger paints, watercolor paints and slime. Click here on Recipes for Kids Crafts to go get it.