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Make Homemade Watercolor Paints

by Jean Van't Hul
May 7, 2010

How to Make Homemade Watercolor Paints with Kids

We made homemade watercolor paints the other day.

How cool is that?!

They were easy and didn’t require many ingredients, just stuff we already had in the kitchen (food coloring, corn starch, corn syrup, baking soda, white vinegar).

Here’s how…

How to Make Your Own Watercolor Paints

Homemade Watercolor Paints Recipe

(Recipe found on this yahoo article)


  • 3 teaspoons light corn syrup
  • 6 tablespoons cornstarch
  • 6 tablespoons baking soda
  • 6 tablespoons white vinegar
  • Food coloring


1. Mix corn syrup, cornstarch, baking soda, and white vinegar together.

2. Divide into jar lids, small containers, or (as we did) plastic egg carton sections.

3. Add food coloring to each section as desired to make your colors.

4. Let dry.

Note :: stir the paints a couple times as they are drying but before they get too hard. Otherwise the materials separate a bit.

Making Homemade Watercolor Paints with Kids

As usual, Maia had as much fun measuring and mixing the ingredients as painting with the finished product. Possibly more.

How to Make Watercolor Paints

I divided the base mixture into egg carton cups.

How to Make Homemade Watercolor Paints

Maia added food coloring and mixed it in.

DIY Watercolor Paints for Kids

Then we both painted with our new watercolor paints!

Homemade Watercolor Paints for Kids

They worked pretty well and were translucent like other watercolors. They dry a little powdery though, because of all the cornstarch and baking soda, which isn’t a bad thing, just something I noticed.

Homemade Watercolor Paints in Action

Have any of you tried making homemade watercolor paints? Or any other paints?

So far, besides watercolors, we’ve made salt paint and puffy paint. Making them is as fun as using them in our house, so I’d love to try some others.

Update :: We’ve since made lots of homemade paints and other homemade art materials!

Pin It for Later ::

How to Make Homemade Watercolor Paints with Kids - A Step by Step Tutorial

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