Posted by on Jan 21, 2013 in Painting, Science Activities | 0 comments

I wanted to do some watercolour painting with the boys, but we had no paints *sigh*. Luckily I came across this lovely blog, The Artful Parent, which has many wonderful art activities for children including how to make your own watercolour paints. It seemed easy enough, and I had all of the supplies in my pantry, so we gave it a shot!

This is seriously all you need to make your own watercolour paints. Best of all the colours are rich, lovely and custom made!

  • 6 tbsp baking soda
  • 6 tbsp white vinegar
  • 3 tsp corn syrup
  • 6 tbsp corn starch
  • Food colouring (I made some with gels and some with liquid; I found the gels made the colours more vibrant)
  • A container to keep your paints in (a muffin tin works great)

Start off  by combining the baking soda and white vinegar– if this FIZZ-FRENZY doesn’t get your little one’s attention, I don’t know what will! Once it settles, add the corn syrup and cornstarch and stir.

 Then, pour the mixture into your container. One batch made 6 colour pucks in my regular sized muffin tin. I ended up doubling the recipe, so I could fill all 12 compartments of my muffin tin about halfway, but 6 colours would have been plenty (especially since the kiddos will also be experimenting with colour mixing).

Now for the fun part… start adding and creating your custom colours (I made sure M mixed each of them really well with a Popsicle stick).

 Homemade Watercolours

You are supposed to let them sit for a day or 2 so they dry and harden into little pucks, but I was feeling rather impatient, so I set my oven to 170 and baked them for about 40 min. I’m happy to report that for once my impatience paid off! The colours turned out even better than I had expected; they went on vibrant and smooth. Yippee!

homemade watercolour paints

M used the watercolours to paint the background of his farm picture, and as a sleeve for his DIY rainstick. The paints dried a bit chalky but I was still very pleased with the results!

   homemade watercolour paints


This will be our go-to recipe for watercolour paints from now on!