Instructables

Watercolor Paints from Scratch!

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Water colors are the best kind of paint for little kids because they are intended to be left to dry! There’s no worrying about losing lids or replacing the caps like with other paints, and they’re pretty easy on the stomach should your kids eat one or ten. As cool and convenient as store bought water colors are, I have been trying to help my kids understand that everything comes from somewhere, and by somewhere I do not mean the store! Making simple craft materials from scratch has been a great way of doing just that. Water colors are easy and cheap to make (in fact I didn’t have to leave my house, all of the materials were in my pantry), and with water colors you don’t have to worry about sealable containers. I used party cups just because I happened to have some party cups left over from a party. Otherwise empty ice trays, applesauce, yogurt or those plastic baby food containers would have been perfect.
 
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Step 1: Materials

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Googling water color recipes will give you a variety of slightly different methods to try. I went with Martha’s (Stewart, that is) because I figure she would have tested several times before publishing, and I wanted to try a recipe with the best chance of success the first time around. (I'm not lazy, I'm a mom! lol) But there are other recipes I am interested in trying, one in particular that calls for gelatin in place of corn syrup. We’ll make a new batch and compare at some point, but for now here are your materials:

Vinegar

Baking Soda

Cornstarch

Light Corn Syrup

Food Coloring

Small mixing bowl

Forks (for mixing)

Step 2: Mixing it Up

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Scoop four tablespoons into the mixing bowl, then add two tablespoons of vinegar – get ready for the fizz! Kids love fizz. :-) Once the bubbles have calmed down add a half teaspoon of corn syrup and two tablespoons of corn starch. The cornstarch can be difficult to blend and is the reason I recommend using forks for mixing.
hedgesci3 years ago
cool instructable. i have a son that is autistic, and a daughter that is an awesome painter. paints are so expensive. my hat's off to you for making it affordable to entertain my kids. now i just hope i can find a way to recycle paper to make water color paper.
woowho (author)  hedgesci3 years ago
i can do that recycling paper bit! :-) actually, its going to be my next instructable. i make recycled, seeded paper. i can modify it to make a heavier weight paper you can use for painting! :-0 instructables take me a while to produce, tho, so don't hold your breath. :-)
Take your time with that next intructable. Watercolor paper is expensive. I'm willing to wait for your instructions!!