Learn + Play Play Recipes

Homemade Water Color Paints

Homemade water colors paints are new to my kids.  They’ve enjoyed finger paint and chalk paint, but never water color paints.  You can go buy water color paints, but why?  You probably have everything you need in the pantry to make them right at home.  Bryson and I made our first set last week and I am thrilled with the results.  The process got a bit messy when Bryson knocked one over, but the fun was worth the mess.

As we mixed them up, I let him do some of the coloring and stirring.  I showed him how by mixing certain colors, you can create a new color.  These are fun to paint with, but don’t forget to enjoy the process and take advantage of those teachable moments!

Homemade Water Color Paints


4 tbsp. baking soda
2 tsp. white vinegar
1/2 tsp. light corn syrup
2 tsp. corn starch
food colors*
containers for storing paints*
something to stir with (toothpicks)

* I used liquid food colors, but you could also use gel colors.
* I found these little paint cups at Hobby Lobby.  They were $2.99 for a pack of 12.  I looked around for them online and couldn’t find them, but I did find a larger pack (19) with several different sizes available on Amazon.

How to make homemade water color paints:

  • Mix baking soda & vinegar in a cup with a spout.  I used my Pyrex 4 cup measuring glass.  Let the kids watch as it fizzes!
  • Add in light corn syrup and give it a good stir.
  • Stir in the corn starch until well combined.  (If it gets too thick, add a little more vinegar.)
  • Pour into your paint containers- not too full, you need room for the food colors.
  • Add the food colors and stir until you reached your desired color!
  • Let them sit for a while to harden up- anywhere from 12 to 24 hours.

This recipe made enough to fill all 12 of our little paint cups.  There may be a bit of liquid at the top of the water colors paints when you are finished, but it doesn’t matter.  You can pour it off or let the kids paint with it.  An empty baby food jar works great for holding water to wash the brushes.

Homemade Water Color Paints

When these water color paints dry on paper, you can run your finger over it and actually feel the paint- it’s chalky from the cornstarch, but it doesn’t change the colors or the outcome.  I think it’s a neat bonus!

How to Make Water Color Paints

Have you made homemade water color paints?

I’d love to see your paints & creations if you give this recipe a try!

*Linking up at It’s Playtime!



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