How to make nontoxic watercolor paint

How to make nontoxic watercolor paint

Non toxic watercolour paints can be prepared at home for children who love to paint. This type of paint does not leave any stains on your clothes and can be easily made with a few ingredients at home. So, there is no need to buy expensive watercolours from the market.

– 4 tablespoons of baking soda
– 2 tablespoons of white vinegar
– 2 tablespoons of cornstarch and food colouring
– ½ teaspoon of light corn syrup

Things required:
– Mixing bowl
– Large spoon
– Small paper cups for paint
– Plastic ice cube tray

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Add baking soda and vinegar to the large bowl

First of all, add the baking soda and white vinegar in the bowl and stir the mixture. Make sure that you stir thoroughly until all the ingredients are combined well. There may be bubbles produced from this mixture so make sure you mix the two ingredients in the sink.

Add cornstarch and corn syrup to the mixture

Now add the two tablespoons of cornstarch and ½ teaspoon of light corn syrup to the bowl and stir all the four ingredients with the help of a wooden spatula. Continue to mix until you feel everything is well combined.

Pour the combination in an ice cube tray

When the mixture is ready, pour it in an ice cube tray. Make sure you divide the mixture equally in all sections. Do not fill every section up to the top as you still have to add the food colouring. It is good to use a small spoon to pour the mixture in the sections.

Add food colouring to each section

Add your desired food colour to the section you like. If you do not have all the colours, you can always mix some colours together to create a new one. For example, you can add yellow and green to make blue.

Let the paint dry

After adding the food colouring, set the ice cube tray aside to dry. Make sure you place the tray in a cool place where there is no water, so that it can take its time to dry. After about 30 minutes, the colours will be ready for painting.

How to make nontoxic watercolor paint

AFFFILIATE DISCLOSURE: In order for me to support my blogging and social media activities, I may receive monetary compensation for links to products from this post. However, I only recommend products that I personally love and use myself!.

Watercolor paints were my favorite kind of paints to use as a child. I loved the wet mess that went along with painting with watercolors, but I never knew that you could make them yourself! Syfy and I took the opportunity to make up a batch of our own watercolors and had a blast painting with them! They were super easy to mix up and the colors the produce on paper is fantastic!

Creative containers to keep your paints in

You can get very creative with the containers that you choose to house these watercolor paints in. I chose to use a 7-day pill container for our watercolors, but you could use recycled bottle caps, lip balm tins, and more! The sky is the limit, simply get creative with what you have on hand around your house!

How to make nontoxic watercolor paint

DIY Natural Watercolor Paints


  • 3 Tbs. baking soda
  • 3 Tbs. cornstarch
  • 3 Tbs. white vinegar
  • 1 1/2 tsp. light corn syrup
  • food coloring


  1. Mix ingredients (except the food coloring) together in a bowl. Pour into individual containers and add food coloring to each.
  2. You can either paint now with them or leave them out to dry and use just as you would any other watercolor paints. It can take up to a couple days for the paints to completely dry out!

About Christina Anthis

Christina Anthis is a single mom, herbalist/aromatherapist, and author of bestselling books “The Beginner’s Guide to Essential Oils,” “The Complete Book of Essential Oils for Mama & Baby,“ and “There’s Food on Your Face”. Christina is passionate about essential oil safety and loves to share her DIY recipes for holistic health, natural beauty, and healthy whole foods cooking!

All information on The Hippy Homemaker is meant for educational and informational purposes only. The statements on this website have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. Products and/or information are not intended to diagnose, cure, treat, or prevent any disease. Readers are advised to do their own research and make decisions in partnership with their health care provider. If you are pregnant, nursing, have a medical condition or are taking any medication, please consult your physician.

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How to make nontoxic watercolor paint

Hi! My name is Christina Anthis and I am The Hippy Homemaker! I am a single mom, herbalist/aromatherapist, and author of the books, “Essential Oils for Soothing Anxiety,” “The Beginner’s Guide to Essential Oils,” “The Complete Book of Essential Oils for Mama & Baby,” and “There’s Food on Your Face.” I am passionate about essential oil safety and love to share my DIY recipes for holistic health, natural beauty, and herbal remedies!

Have you tried making homemade watercolor paint? Here is a fun and easy how-to!

Yesterday, I shared a little glimpse of the Teach Preschool workshop for teachers. While presenting to the teachers, I demonstrated how to make M&M Paint. One teacher then asked me if you can use Skittles candy instead. Well, I didn’t know so today, I gave it a try and wanted to share the results of Skittle Paint with you…

How to make nontoxic watercolor paint

Gather your Materials

You will need skittles, water, cups, paint brushes, and paper.

The amount of Skittles varies depending on the amount of paint you want to make. In this tutorial, I used two regular sized bags of Skittles. For my class, I would probably use at least one, maybe two, large bags of skittles.

I also used two different flavors of Skittles. The flavor didn’t seem to matter – they all worked the same.

How to make nontoxic watercolor paint

The How-To

Step 1: Sort the Skittles

I sorted the skittles by color. In my classroom, I would invite my students to sort the skittles – great activity for color sorting, comparing, grouping, counting, estimating, and color recognition.

How to make nontoxic watercolor paint

Place each of your sorted colors in a dish you can use for painting.

How to make nontoxic watercolor paint

Step 2: Add Water

Add enough water to cover the top of the skittles. Remember, the more water you add, the paler your color will be. For stronger color, add less water…

How to make nontoxic watercolor paint

Step 3: Mix

Now stir or swish the Skittles around in the water. The color will immediately start to come off of the Skittles and change your water to the color of the Skittles…

How to make nontoxic watercolor paint

Step 4: Paint!

Now you are ready to paint with the Skittle Paint. The paint will be like painting with watercolor paint. It is a very thin paint but slightly sticky to the touch…

How to make nontoxic watercolor paint

The smell of the Skittles starts to fade a bit once the water is added. But – FYI – if you taste the water, it tastes like very sweet Koolaid. However, once the Skittles start to dissolve in the water, they are not all that tempting to want to drink or eat but the good news is that Skittle Paint is non-toxic…

How to make nontoxic watercolor paint

Because the Skittle Paint is a fairly thin consistency – I decided it would be fun to try dripping the paint on a paper towel and it worked fabulously…

How to make nontoxic watercolor paint

My niece joined in with me and made her own Skittle Paint designs…

How to make nontoxic watercolor paint

The colors are vibrant and there are lots of fun possibilities with Skittle Paint! Now it is your turn to give it a try…

How to make nontoxic watercolor paint

Comparing Candies

To compare the difference, M&M paint does seem to be a little thicker, works very well with paint brushes, and M&M’s do not dissolve completely – only the shell dissolves.

Skittles keep on dissolving as long as you are stirring them or they sit in the water. I only let my Skittles sit for a few minutes before painting with them.

Both candies are non-toxic, but you need to be considerate of any food allergies your students may have before trying either type of paint.

How to make nontoxic watercolor paint

A super simple and super fun process that your kids are sure to enjoy!

Wacky Watercolors

How to make nontoxic watercolor paint

Here’s a recipe to make your own watercolor paints. These vivid, non-toxic paints can be used wet or allowed to dry and used like regular watercolor paints. We had great fun making and using them!

3 Tbs. baking soda
3 Tbs. corn starch
3 Tbs. white vinegar
1-1/2 tsp. light corn syrup
food coloring

1. Mix vinegar, baking soda, corn starch and corn syrup together in a small bowl.

2. Divide the mixture into several small plastic tubs or jar lids.

3. Add six to eight drops of food coloring to each tub or lid then mix.

4. Use Wacky Watercolors as they are or let them dry into hard cakes of paint. If you use them while they’re dry, be sure to wet the paintbrush before painting.
(Original author unknown)

Use paste food coloring if you want especially vivid colors and lots of color choices. Some oil based food coloring will not stir in well, but it will blend perfectly by the time it’s dry.

Take the opportunity to teach little ones about color mixing. We made purple, green and orange and then went a step further to make mixtures like red-violet and blue-green by adding one part of one primary color to two parts of another. Mix all three primary colors to make brown.

You can make a larger batch and make the paints in an old ice cube tray. Other possible containers are empty watercolor kits and pill boxes (the kind with a compartment for each day of the week).

The more food coloring you add, the more vivid the paints will be.

These take a long time to dry! Ours were in small lids and took about 24 hours.

If you make them in bottlecaps, you can store the dry paints in a plastic baggie or even tie a few of them in a small cloth with a ribbon as a sweet gift.

Here’s a painting made with our paints.
How to make nontoxic watercolor paint

All works on this site Alicia Bayer unless otherwise noted.
Don’t take it – that would be rude.

Navigate life with Tangela Walker-Craft

Color recognition is one of the first things that a child should learn. Knowing one color from another is an important skill. Distinguishing one color from another is necessary when driving a vehicle; think about traffic lights. Working with electronics may involve using and manipulating colored wires. Numerous other jobs, from being a pilot to a firefighter, require mastery of basic color concepts.

Children should know that red, yellow, and blue are the primary colors. The primary colors can not be formed by combining any other colors. They are the source of all other colors. Orange, green and purple are secondary colors. That means they are formed by mixing two primary colors together. Tertiary colors like yellow-orange and blue-green are created by mixing a primary color with a secondary color. A fun activity using water and liquid food color is one way to teach young children their colors while allowing them to have fun and be creative.

Materials Needed:

  • 12 or more clear plastic cups
  • water
  • red liquid food coloring
  • blue liquid food coloring
  • yellow liquid food coloring
  • apron or clothes that can get wet or stained


  1. Begin by filling three cups with clean water.
  2. Drop a few drops of red food coloring into cup #1 until the water turns the desired shade of red.
  3. Drop a few drops of yellow food coloring into cup #2 until the water turns the desired shade of yellow.
  4. Drop a few drops of blue food coloring into cup #3 until the water turns the desired shade of blue.
  5. Place empty cups alternately between the cups that contain the colored water.
  6. Pour a small amount of red water from cup #1 into one of the empty cups.
  7. Mix a small amount of yellow water from cup #2 into the cup that is now partially filled with red water. (The water should turn a shade of orange.)
  8. In a new empty cup mix blue and yellow water to make green.
  9. In a new empty cup mix red and blue water to make purple.
  10. Continue experimenting and making new colors.

Discuss the fact that red, blue, and yellow are primary colors. Explain that orange , green, and purple are secondary colors that can only come from mixing two primary colors together. Then explain that tertiary colors come from mixing a primary color with a secondary color. Finish by mixing all the colors together to show that black is a combination of all colors.

Mix larger amounts of food coloring with smaller amounts of water to create homemade, non-toxic watercolor paint for painting pictures. There are several variations for the activity. Add food coloring to vanilla (or any type of white) frosting to create edible “paint”. Use the colorful frosting to decorate cookies, cupcakes, or a full sized cake. Or, add food coloring to sugar cookie dough to make colorful cookie art.

DIY Washable Water Colors For Finger Painting

So many of us parents and kids have more than enough time at home at the moment right? I’ve been trying so hard to be productive with my kids during this time with backyard activities for toddlers. Otherwise we might just go crazy. I would at least become a little (if not a lot) bummed out and lethargic. I started to wonder about simple arts and crafts for my kids and myself. Like how to make watercolor paint? How to make finger paint? And what would make the best non toxic washable paint for kids.

Not until this home confinement deal did I do much arts and crafts activities like “how to make watercolor paint” at home. I really didn’t blog about backyard activities for toddlers at all, my posts were mainly about recipes. However there seemed to be a lot of new homeschool parents interested in activities to do with their kids, and less interest in recipes.

So I decided to dive head first into a new category of posts such as “how to make finger paint” and other activities for kids to do at home. I’m also going to have to start teaching my older kid other less fun subjects, but I’ll get to that later!

My kids and I did this entire “paint for kids” activity outside which was a no brainer for me. My 2 year old was definitely going to make a huge mess so why not? I’m blessed at this isolated time to live in a house with a yard rather than an apartment. I had lived in apartments previously most of my life.

This paint for kids is perfect to let them make a full on mess with. How to make finger paint is so simple with this recipe because it’s edible, non toxic, and washable. The ingredients dry up and become a bit crusty, so it falls off the skin.

Easy backyard activities for toddlers are fun!

When I first decided to do a post about how to make watercolor paint, the idea was to make hope scotch squares and hand prints. We did make hand prints on the concrete outside, but we also made foot prints. Mostly we ended up splattering each other with the paint for kids. It’s in our hair, on our skin, and our clothes!

My kids and I wore old clothes we didn’t care too much

You only need 3 ingredients for this backyard watercolor paint. All you need is 3 cups water, 3 cups corn starch, and Food coloring. You can make as many colors as you want. Equipment needed includes 1 large mixing bowl, Paper plates, you will need equal amount of colors and plates.

Just as a tip take this project “How to make finger paint” outside if you have toddlers! Then in a large mixing bowl combine 3 cups water and 3 cups corn starch.

Whisk together vigorously until thoroughly combined. Fill each paper plate with some corn starch water mixture. Add a few drops of food coloring to each plate (ideally each plate contains a different color). You can use anything you want to paint such as brushes, sponges, fingers, hands, or even feet!

Time needed: 10 minutes.

DIY water color paint is edible, non toxic, and washable!

In the large mixing bowl combine 3 cups water and 3 cups corn starch.

Whisk together vigorously until thoroughly combined

Fill each paper plate with some corn starch water mixture

Add a few drops of food coloring to each plate (ideally each plate contains a different color)l

You can use anything you want to paint such as brushes, sponges, fingers, hands, or even feet!

Thank you for visiting Anyreasonlife parenting and crafts pages!

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By Kimberly Button

How to make nontoxic watercolor paint

As a mother of two, I know first hand that finger painting can be both a ridiculously messy and a super fun activity for toddlers and babies as young as six months old. Painting helps develop healthy sensory skills by giving young children a tactile experience.

Unfortunately, many children will want to experience finger paint by putting it in their mouths and smearing it everywhere within reach. If you are at your wit’s end trying to find paint that poses no risk to your child or the environment, this article is for you. Here are a few simple tips and nontoxic finger paint recipes to help make finger painting a safe and green activity for your child.

Read Labels Even on Nontoxic Finger Paint

Although the label may state that the product is nontoxic, it is not necessarily edible and may contain harmful ingredients. Some children will have a reaction to ingesting paints, even if they don’t cause long-term consequences. If the label states that it is harmful if swallowed, don’t buy it. Find a safer alternative.

Reduce Waste with Reusable Canvases and Bottles

Finger paints are among the easiest arts and crafts for young children. All you need is the paint and a canvas — be it a plate, cookie sheet, egg carton, yogurt tub, newspaper or even a tabletop. Look in your kitchen cabinets or recycling bin for ideas on zero-waste art materials. Preschoolers or elementary-age children may even enjoy making and painting 3D sculptures with reusable materials.

Make Your Own Edible Paints

If you are going to be covering your kid’s hands with paint, you want it to be safe enough to ingest. How can you encourage artistic self-expression and protect your children from chemical exposures? Create your own finger paints from ingredients in your pantry, of course.

Homemade finger paints can be created with a variety of food ingredients. Happily, inexpensive kitchen staples such as flour, salt and cornstarch can provide hours of creative fun. It depends on what you have on hand at the moment. Keep food allergies and sensitivities in mind, as anything your child cannot eat should not be used to create finger paints.

Put the paints in reusable condiment squeeze bottles for easy dispensing. If the paint comes out too thick, gradually add a bit of water until it is the right consistency. Avoid making paints that are so watery that they run. Add a teaspoon of sand if you want to add texture to your paints, and store extra paint in the refrigerator to extend its useful life.

While the recipes are edible, they won’t necessarily be tasty. But you’ll have peace of mind knowing that your kids aren’t ingesting harmful chemicals or toxins if they put their fingers in their mouth when you use these nontoxic fingerpaints:

  • This eco finger paint recipe combines sugar, salt and cornstarch, along with water and
    concentrated vegetable food coloring , to create nontoxic paints.
  • Here’s a great paint recipe that uses rice flour and gives ideas on natural plant coloring from cabbage or beet juice.
  • Only have cornstarch, water and food dyes on hand, or do you want to make something simple? This edible finger paint recipe is for you.
  • Martha Stewart even has her own nontoxic finger paint recipe.

Now roll up your sleeves and get busy with some green finger painting fun!

Editor’s note: This story was updated by Earth911 writer Sarah Lozanova in June 2018.

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This fun and easy Homemade Finger Paint recipe are non-toxic and perfect for having the kids help you make it.

How to make nontoxic watercolor paint

Non-Toxic Homemade Finger Paint

Finger painting is the perfect craft activity for kids to do at home.

This homemade finger paint recipe will only take about 10 minutes to make and because it’s non-toxic the kids can help you step by step.

It’s a great activity to incorporate into your science lessons for the older kiddos and the perfect sensory play activity for younger kids.

Although this paint recipe will only take you about 10 minutes to make, it will keep the kids busy for hours!

Finger paint is such a fun way for kids to express creativity and a great way of changing it up a bit from your crayons and markers.

Plus, I think it’s more fun!

Don’t worry, clean up is pretty easy too!

This post contains some affiliate links for your convenience (it means if you click on a link and make a purchase I will earn a small commission. It will not cost you a penny more).

How to make nontoxic watercolor paint

Why Make Your Own Finger Paint

There are tons of finger paint options in stores and available online too, but knowing what ingredients are in your finger paint is important.

Especially if you have younger children and toddlers.

This finger paint is made with all kitchen ingredients that you would use in recipes.

So, there’s no worrying about the kids putting it in their mouth accidentally or because they are curious.

Who Can Use This Homemade Recipe

The best part about this finger paint recipe is that just about everyone can use it!

  • Babies
  • Toddlers
  • Kids of any age
  • Adults
  • Food allergy-friendly
  • Sensitive skin

Make sure that the ingredients you are using are safe for your child if they have skin sensitivities or food allergies like my daughter has.

How to make nontoxic watercolor paint

Finger Paint Ingredients

One of my favorite things about making my own batch of finger paint is that I can make as much as I want without going to waste.

The recipe below will make a small batch that will make about 1/3 of a cup of each 3 colors.

You can easily double if needed!

This is also a non-toxic recipe and made completely with food ingredients.

  • 1 cup of cold water
  • 2 tablespoons cornstarch
  • 4 tablespoons sugar
  • food coloring
  • 3 plastic containers or bowls
  • 3 Jars with covers (baby food jars work great!)
  • small whisk or spoon
  • finger paint paper

How to make nontoxic watercolor paint

How To Make Homemade Finger Paint

  • In a small container or bowl, combine the sugar and cornstarch.
  • Pour into a saucepan.
  • Add the water to the saucepan, mix well.
  • Bring the water to a boil slowly using medium-high heat.

How to make nontoxic watercolor paint

  • Whisk continuously so that it does not stick to the bottom or burn.
  • As soon as the mixture starts to bubble and thicken, remove the pan from the heat.
  • Let cool for about 5 minutes.

How to make nontoxic watercolor paint

  • Add a drop of food coloring into each plastic container or bowl.
  • Pour the cornstarch mixture equally into each container.
  • Mix well.
  • Pour into jars, cover and let cool completely before using.

As you can see this is a super easy and safe finger paint recipe that is even perfect for toddlers.

Most painting materials for kids contain some sort of chemicals in them and by making your own you know exactly the ingredients used.

I love that this is not only a great fun art activity for kids, but it’s also a great way to introduce older kids to science activities.

Finger Paint Resources

Here are some of my favorite jars and products to use when making our homemade finger paint recipe.

How Long Does Homemade Finger Paint Last

The trick about making sure your finger paint lasts is to keep it in an airtight container.

If you make a large batch I personally like to divide the paint into smaller containers for when the kids are using it.

This way you keep the other part of the batch clean, helping it last longer.

If kept in an airtight container your homemade finger paint can last up to an entire month.

Non-Toxic Store-Bought Finger Paint

Because not everyone has the time to make their own finger paint I’ve put together a list of some non-toxic finger paint options that you can order online.