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Homemade Watercolor Paint

My daughter is our little artist. She really enjoyed the Chalk Paint we made, but she wanted to bring out the nicer (and smaller) paint brushes. So, I mixed up a smaller amount of the Chalk Paint recipe and let her at it with a fine tipped paint brush. It worked just as good as one of those store bought watercolor trays, but better! Better because it took out the step of having to dip the paint brush in water. That step always complicated things by making huge wet holes in the paper and then she would get really frustrated. She loves this and keeps asking to do it all the time!

This is my son's work

What You Need:

  • Cornstarch
  • Water
  • Food coloring
  • Container(s) - cupcake tin, mini cups, empty egg carton, etc
  • Paintbrush or mini sponges


Step 1: Combine 1 part water and 1 part cornstarch. Stir together. I used a total of 1 T. water and 1 T. cornstarch.

Step 2: Divide up mixture into mini containers/cups. The egg carton works well for me, so I don't have to keep washing the cupcake tin. 

Step 3: Add one drop of food coloring to each container.

Step 4: Paint your heart out! You may have to add a little water if your child paints for a long time.

 Using the egg carton worked great! Note: The lighter colors are not as fun.

  • If you want a custom color, like orange, you will want to prepare each color/container or mixture separately instead of all together at once. Double the water you want per container and add one drop red, one drop yellow. Then take the half that water and make your cornstarch/water mixture individually for each cup.
    • This also works well to delude the colors to get a more pastel look. 

  • If you do not have paint brushes or do not trust your kids with your nice ones, try using Qtips. They worked pretty good and it didn't matter if the kids were rough with them. We used one for each color to make it easier for more than one artist painting at a time.

Warning: The colors turn out really bright and look wonderful that way, but they may stain more.



  1. Awesome! I have all the ingredients. I need to do some painting with my son.

  2. How fun!! Since their is the possibility of staining and I have a wonderful new dining room table - this sounds like a fun project for the back patio. Can't wait to see what my kids think! I am going to save my egg cartons!

  3. Love this idea and so easy to do. Thanks for sharing!

  4. That is perfect!! I have been thinking about finding a recipe. Thanks!! :-)

  5. I featured you on my blog for Monday Shareday: http://milknhoneylearnandgrow.blogspot.com/2010/07/monday-shareday-link-up-please.html.

  6. that is a very creative way to make a safe paint for your child! good stuff!

  7. Visiting from MomLoop --- Love the painting idea! I am trying to find non-toxic alternatives for my children in all areas I can!

  8. I love the cornstarch recipe for paint. I have never seen that before. Visiting from MomLoop!

  9. Shaving cream gets food coloring out of EVERYTHING! So if you do happen to get some on hands, shirts, tables etc... just go a head and lather up the shaving cream. I keep several can of the cheap stuff around for that and just to play in :)

  10. That is brilliant!!! I love it, and will definitely be giving this one a try. My kids will love it! Thanks so much for sharing it with us.

    Love your blog, and am definitely subscribing to your feed!

    Peace. ;)

    Michelle @ greenearthbazaar.com

  11. How adorable! We will have to have a go too! We love painting!

    Would love for you to take part in my new link up Kids Get Crafty over at Red Ted Art. Link goes up every Wednesday... current link is http://www.redtedart.com/?p=3056

    Hope to see you there!

    Red Ted Art



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