Thaddeus loves to paint. I like letting him paint, but store bought watercolors run out quickly. The colors also get mixed to some shade of brown. A few weeks ago, he really wanted to paint, so I decided to give making our own watercolor paints a try.
The nice thing about homemade water colors is that you can make larger amounts, and putting them in a muffin tin or ice cube try keeps the colors separate. This recipe made fifteen slightly more than half-filled mini muffin cups worth of paint. The mini muffin tin I used is similar to this one.
As for colors, you’re only limited by the food coloring available. Gel food coloring gives a more vivid result and dries quicker. Liquid food coloring works fine, too, but with a less pigmented result.
The original recipe called for corn syrup. That’s not something I regularly keep on hand, so I improvised by making a simple syrup with sugar and water. To make simple syrup, combine two parts sugar to one part water. Heat until sugar is fully dissolved and the mixture thickens. Simple syrup is great for sweetening iced tea, lemonade and other cold drinks. It’s easier to fully mix in the syrup than trying to dissolve granulated sugar in cold beverages.
Homemade Watercolor paints
Homemade watercolor paints
- muffin tin or ice cube trays to hold the finished paints
- 8 tbsp baking soda
- 4 tbsp white vinegar
- 1 tsp light corn syrup or simple syrup For simple syrup, mix two parts sugar and one part water. Heat until sugar is melted and mixture is thickened.
- 4 tbsp cornstarch
- food coloring in desired colors gel works better, but you can use liquid
- Combine baking soda and vinegar in a medium bowl or measuring cup. Be sure it's big enough to contain the fizzing.
- Add cornstarch and corn syrup or simple syrup. Mix well.
- Pour into the sections of your muffin tin or ice cube tray. I used a 24 count mini muffin tin and half filled 15 sections. The empty sections are great for holding water while painting.
- Add food coloring a little at a time and stir until you get the desired color.
- Allow to dry for about a day. You could also put it in the oven on the lowest setting (my oven's lowest is 150 degrees) for about 20 to 30 minutes to speed up the process, but the paints may get a little bubbly. Watch it closely if you choose to bake it dry.
- To use, wet a paintbrush and swirl over the paints.
What fun at-home activities do your children enjoy? Share them in the comments to help others needing ideas while we’re all sheltering in place.
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Knowing that so many are stuck at home right now needing distractions, I’ve decided to make all of my machine embroidery design files free until April 30. That’s the day my area’s shelter in place order expires. If it is extended, I’ll extend the embroidery design freebies, too. If you make something with one of my designs, I would love to see it.
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