Homemade Watercolors

This activity is like a science experiment and an art project all rolled up into one!

The idea didn’t come out of the Preschooler’s Busy Book like the others I’ve shared this week. But as I was reflecting on the whole new world of homemade art supplies that I’ve recently come to find, I was wondering if there was a way to make homemade watercolors. A quick search on google and I had a recipe for homemade watercolors!

Here’s the recipe:
3 Tablespoon Baking Soda
3 Tablespoons Corn Starch
3 Tablespoon White Vinegar
1 1/2 teaspoons corn syrup
Food coloring

1. Mix the baking soda, corn starch, vinegar, and corn syrup in a bowl.


2. Wait for it to stop fizzing (and enjoy watching your child’s reaction to the chemical reaction). :)


3. Separate into your small containers. I used some plastic baby food containers I’ve been saving for a YEAR. You could use ice cube trays or even egg cartons.


4. Add your food coloring. I put 10 drops of liquid food coloring in each. That ended up being a little much and it rose to the top. Let the paints dry overnight.


5. After they’ve dried overnight, they’ll still be wet to the touch. That’s okay…you can go ahead and let your little one use them. Just get a small paintbrush and a container of water and let him/her go to town!



Big Brother wanted to make sure that every square inch of the paper was colored with paints…


The end result was so pretty and very abstract!


Store for next time!


Be sure to come back tomorrow. I’ll be posting how to make your very own DIY “paint with water” pages while you make the water colors!


  1. I have this book too, and it's been a treasure trove of good ideas. I haven't tried the watercolors yet, mostly because I have huge bottles of liquid watercolors that work so well. But I love the experimental side of this project.

  2. Thank you for sharing! I have worked at or volunteered for a number of places that have very low budgets for art supplies and it is frustrating to keep coming up with ideas that are free or close to it. Your ideas are fun to learn with and make art supplies with what you have in the kitchen. So smart! Your ideas also re-energize me to come up with new and fun activities!

    Traci http://serendipityhomeandgarden.blogspot.com/

  3. Thanks! I just discovered your blog and love it! Wondering about the washability of these. Thanks!

  4. Thanks for sharing! I save lots of little containers too, but my DH just found my stash and made me clean it up. Will try this recipe once I find something to put it in. Thanks!

  5. FUN! Had all the kitchen staples. Took 5 min to make. I used 8 drops of food coloring and so far not seperating. Thank you. My kids love to paint, but we don't get to stores that cary water colors often. I am sure I will be making another batch soon!

  6. Thanks! Your recipe note and pictures make it so much easier to put together than the one you referenced.
    This is where good blogs like yours come in {even though I have a masters degree :)} !!

  7. thanks for the idea- I copied down the recipe & took the stuff when we went to Grandma's for the day. I missed the part about letting it sit overnight (which explains the corn starch settling at the bottom), but they still turned out great & we had a blast. I used a broken ice cube tray for container.

  8. i just discovered your blog and it's great !!! I am from France and we don't have corn syrup here, do you think i could subsitute it with something else ? if so; what would you suggest ?

  9. This is awesome!!! I am a home visitor for Early Head Start and this project is perfect for me and my families!!! Thank you so much for this website, I love it!!!! I have been looking for a website just like this and this is the first one I have found that actually has something for all early ages!!!! Thank you again!

  10. We made this yesterday and painted today. The girls loved it and the colors turned out great. Thanks so much for sharing the recipe. We substituted golden syrup for corn syrup and it seems to be working fine.

  11. I can’t wait to try this! My 3 yr old loves to watercolor but boy are the store bought paints expensive for a toddler who will be blending all the colors the first use. I use a cotton ball to wipe colors clean each time he uses it a his insistance that the colors are dirty. lol We are still working on the brush rinsing part of water colors. I’m just grateful he’s painting on paper rather than himself.

  12. How it will be appear when I will compare it with the real game and what are the advantages are connect with it strongly because as a simple game you can not understand it. This is more then play.

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