Picture of Homemade Finger Paints
These homemade finger paints are super easy to make and totally non-toxic. As a matter of fact, this recipe is completely edible. No, it doesn't taste very good, but you don't have to worry if your little one accidentally digests some either, because it's completely harmless. Also, these are really inexpensive to make, not even a third of what store bought cost, especially if you pick up used jars from your local thrift store.

Because these paints are food grade, you should keep them refrigerated for maximum longevity. I recommend  using them within two weeks of making them, but the texture is best the same day you make them.

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Step 1: Gather Ingedients & Jars

Picture of Gather Ingedients & Jars
Dry Ingredients:

1/2 cup corn starch

1/2 tsp kosher salt

3 tbsp granulated sugar

Wet Ingredients:

2 cups water

Food Coloring of choice  * I used AmeriColor Soft Gel paste*   Gel paste = brighter colors

Jars of your coice

* I doubled the recipe for 6 half-pint, wide mouth jars*.

Step 2: Cook the Ingredients

Picture of Cook the Ingredients
Combine dry ingredients in medium saucepan. Add water. Stir to combine ingredients together, making sure there are no clumps. Turn on stove to medium heat. Stir occasionally until mixture thickens and just begins to boil. Immediately remove from heat and stir until you get a nice, light fluffy texture. (see pic)  Set aside to cool.

**If you have a lot of clumps once you have finished with mixture, you have cooked the mixture too long**. This is a fairly short process, between 6 & 8 minutes depending on your stove top. You should not walk away from the stove until you have finished the process.
kbob5153 years ago
I made these for my two year old class tat the daycare I work at. I thought I had followed the instructions right, but I could never get the mixture to be "fluffy" right after it started boiling. I stirred until my arms got tired, but it still seemed thick too me. I even made two batches, cause I when a little overboard with the food coloring the first time around and need to add more. But even though it didn't turn out exactly like the picture, my two year old still had lots of fun with it. Thanks! : )
billrehm3 years ago
How well do these paints dry when the painting is done? Do they flake off?
lmnopeas (author)  billrehm3 years ago
They don't flake off at all. It dries pretty hard overnight. The end effect is similar to a crackle, but I think that had to do with the sun.
That's awesome! I would have loved to have these as a kid... they look kinda "gooshy" which equals extra fun. :)