Squeezable Homemade Finger Paint

I get writer’s block…some times more than others.  I had a few days last week where I felt like my ideas had all dried up.  That’s when I like to look through books and magazines for inspiration.  In fact, I created a file for myself specifically for this purpose.

I opened up a book my mother-in-law bought for me at a garage sale called The Preschooler’s Busy Book.  This is a wonderful resource, by the way.  But I noticed something in the back of the book I hadn’t seen before…an appendix with recipes for homemade art supplies!  So this week I’ll be trying out some of the recipes and sharing them with you.  Enjoy!

The first recipe is for homemade finger paint.  There are three things I LOVE about this:  (1) it costs about 50 cents total to make enough to fill 2 bottles, (2) it is made with flour, salt, and water so if it ends up in the mouth…no harm done, and (3) it can be kept in upcycled squeeze bottles to make it easier to use!

Recipe for Homemade Finger Paint
1 cup flour
2 tablespoons salt
1 1/2 cups cold water
1 1/2 cups hot water
Coloring:  food coloring, tempera paint, or powdered tempera will work

1.  Mix 1 cup of flour and 2 tablespoons of salt.

2.  Add the cold water and stir until there aren’t any lumps.

3.  Add the hot water…

…and bring to a boil.  Once it’s thickened, remove it from the heat.

4.  It will be kind of lumpy, so continue to whisk away until the lumps are gone.

Getting smoother…

5.  Dump half of it into a bowl and add your desired color of food coloring.


6.  Pour into a squeezable container.  I used a mustard container, a honey container, and a shampoo bottle!  Depending on the size of the mouth of the bottle, you might need to use a funnel.  Since it’s pretty thick, it will take some coaxing to get it through the funnel.  :)

Ready to paint!

All business

Try mixing colors!

Big Brother discovered yellow+blue = green!

I had intended for Little Brother to join in the finger painting fun, but he was too busy throwing an enormous tantrum!
The book says to store it in the refrigerator…I have no clue why.  But I’m a rule-follower, so that’s exactly what I did!

I really loved the texture of this finger paint (yes, I enjoyed finger painting too…I just couldn’t resist).  It dries with just a little bit of texture and is thick enough that it doesn’t fling all over the place.  I think we’ll be finger-painting much more often now that we have paint that is ready to squeeze!  


  1. mama may says

    i am planning my little girl’s 4th birthday coming up in august. we have a huge extended family who all expect to be invited and fed and in previous years i found myself dishing out hundreds of dollars just to cook out at home and do little fun things to entertain the kids. i am totally broke and trying to think of even cheaper ways to have fun so i thought huge roll of white paper in the yard and all the kids covered in finger paint. then we can spray ’em off with the hose when we’re done. does anybody know where do you buy those huge rolls of paper like i used to see in art class? and can i make this homemade finger paint in way larger portions (i’m thinking milk jugs) and how far ahead of time can i make it?

  2. says

    I am going to have to try this with the flour! I tried making fingerpaint with corn starch and it did work, but I think it would be better with flour. I had a little more work getting it to a thick enough consistency with cornstarch. It was usable tho!
    Thank you for sharing this :)

  3. Liz says

    Just did this with my 16 mo daughter. Took no time to whip it together and she had a blast, even if only for 15 minutes :) Thank you!!

  4. Chaunta Black says

    I think adding cream of tartar or alum, both found in the spice aisle, can preserve the paint much, much longer.

  5. Amanda says

    Hi! I am looking forward to do this but im wondering if it will wash off clothing… i actually dont want it to. i want to have him and his friends paint tshirts at his birthday party. do you think this will work?

  6. Nancy says

    hey! thanks so much for this idea and cutie pictures! my son loved making the paints with me which made me happy because he has been a trouble maker lately, this was a good way to practice listening to directions and allowing me to help him which is nice he is very independent and does not want help. so thanks, you saved this housewife from a snowy boredom


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