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Kid Art: DIY Watercolors

March 9, 2011

Lately, I’ve been finding myself fascinated by how many art supplies can be made quickly, easily, and inexpensively right in our own kitchen.  First, we made play dough.  Now, we’ve made a set of beautiful watercolors!

The recipe for these watercolors can be found printed and online in many places.  We were first introduced to it via Lilac Silhouette.

DIY Watercolors

  • baking soda
  • cornstarch
  • white vinegar
  • light corn syrup *see notes*
  • food coloring *see notes*
  1. Combine 3 tablespoons each of the baking soda, cornstarch and vinegar and add 1 1/2 teaspoons of the corn syrup. Allow the fizzing to subside and mix completely.
  2. Pour the mixture into whatever you’d like to use to hold your paints. We used these tiny containers with lids, found at a local craft store.
  3. Add the food coloring to create your desired palette and leave out to harden for at least three hours*. The watercolor mixture starts to solidify very quickly, so add the food coloring right away.  Toothpicks or q-tips might be good things to use to stir the food coloring in.
  4. Create and enjoy!

O’s First Watercolor Painting

We’re thrilled, and dare I say pleasantly surprised, with how vivid and lovely these DIY watercolors are!  Go ahead, give it a try!  I’d love to hear what you think!


  • If light corn syrup is not something you keep on hand, you can use a simple syrup made of 1 C sugar boiled in 1/2 C water ’til dissolved.
  • Our watercolors actually took a couple of days to dry.  I think this is because we used gel food coloring.  (This is also why our palette has a pink instead of a primary red.  *wink*)
6 Comments leave one →
  1. March 9, 2011 12:05 pm

    awesome, thx! :)

  2. March 10, 2011 11:04 am

    These are great Carrie! Love sweet O’s painting!

  3. March 10, 2011 1:04 pm

    Paint good enough to eat!

  4. nancy permalink
    March 11, 2011 12:17 pm

    On my “to try” list!

  5. March 11, 2011 1:02 pm

    That looks like fun!! Think its going to excite my 2 1/2 yr old, it’s perfect for winter boredom!

  6. Alicia permalink
    June 22, 2011 4:21 pm

    thank you so much AWESOME project!!


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