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Homemade Watercolors

Making homemade watercolors is a great way to save money. They make a great substitute for those expensive paint sets you buy in stores!

What you need to make your watercolors...

  • 1 tablespoon white vinegar 
  • 2 tablespoons baking soda 
  • 1 tablespoon cornstarch 
  • 1/4 tablespoon glycerin 
  • containers for your watercolors (styrofoam egg cartons and plastic bottle caps are ideal)
  • food coloring of your choice
  • a mixing bowl and mixing spoon

BTW - for those of you who do not have a tablespoon handy - 1 tablespoon equals 15 ml.


Gather together all of your ingredients and prepare your work surface.

In a small bowl, combine the vinegar with the baking soda. 

Once the mixture stops foaming, stir in the cornstarch and glycerin, mixing well until thoroughly combined. 

Pour the mixture into your paint containers, adding a few drops of food coloring to each container. Stir thoroughly.

Let set overnight to harden, and they're ready to use.

Use more coloring than you think you'll need...

...this is because the color tends to lighten up as it dries.

Mix colors together to form new colors! For example:

Blue + red = purple
Red + yellow = orange
Blue + yellow = green
Red + green = brown

Let the kids have fun creating their own spectrum of colors! For more vibrant colors, try using food coloring paste or even kool-aid! 

Please note that these paints will be a little more powdery than the commercially made variety. 

Would you like to print out an Instruction Sheet for this activity?

Click on the download button to get your copy of the Homemade Water Colour Paints.  The pdf will open in a new tab and you can either save it or print it from there.

Please do feel free to share this sheet with anyone who might like to engage their kids in this activity!

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Want to Show Off Your Kids Creations?

If your children would like to share their fantastic creatures with the world, then we'd love to help them do so!

Just take a photo, then visit our main Crafts for Kids page and scroll down - you'll find a form to upload your photo and the name of their creation.

We look forward to receiving it!

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