How to Make Your Own Watercolors

I used to love watercolor painting as kid. Every fresh, new palette from the store brought a fresh new wave of excitement, but that excitement would die after just one painting session when the colors had all run together into one big blob of murky brown. Do your kids have the same problem? Here’s a solution from Happy Hooligans, who shows us how to use simple ingredients to make watercolors that will keep their color and glide smoothly into fridge-worthy art.

You’ll Need:

– 4 tablespoons baking soda
– 2 tablespoons white vinegar
– 1/2 teaspoon Karo (light corn) or golden corn syrup
– 2 tablespoons cornstarch
– Food coloring (Happy Hooligans recommends gel for more intense colors)
– Mini muffin tin or ice cube tray

How To:

  1. Mix the baking soda and vinegar together, then wait for the fizzing to stop.
  2. Add the corn syrup and cornstarch. Mix well until the cornstarch dissolves.
  3. Pour the mixture into the compartments of your mini muffin tin or ice cube tray.
  4. Stir the food coloring into the mixture with a toothpick or popsicle stick, mixing well for about a minute. If you’re using liquid food coloring, you should add about 6 drops.
  5. If there’s any excess liquid, add a pinch of extra cornstarch.
  6. Wait for the watercolors to dry. Depending on where in your home you put them, this wait time could be anywhere between 24 hours and 2 days.
  7. Once the colors are dry, just grab a brush, some water, and paint away!

Making these paints will be just as fun as using them. It’s a science project and art project all in one! Have you ever made your own paints? Are your kids watercolor fans, or do they prefer other art projects?