Making your own watercolor paints at home is very easy and uses just a few ingredients that are generally found in most pantries. Once you mix together some common household staples, you add the food coloring and viola! You have your own long-lasting watercolor palettes!
Our home school co-op group did this craft as a two part endeavor, as drying time is days long. We made the paints for a practical life exercise, then a week later used them with oil pastels for a unique painting experience.
Here is the general recipe:
4 Tbsp. baking soda
2 Tbsp. white vinegar
1/2 tsp. light corn syrup (such as Karo Syrup)
2 Tbsp. corn starch
Gel food coloring (I’m sure you could use liquid as well, just add a little bit more corn starch to compensate for the extra liquid)
Container to keep your paints in- I used a mini muffin tin but you could use anything plastic. An ice cube tray, thread box or plastic egg carton would work great.
(We doubled this recipe and it filled all 12 of my compartments about halfway).
Mix the vinegar and baking soda. This is where the fizzy reaction happens so having the kids involved was awesome! When the fizzing stops, add the rest of the ingredients except the food coloring. Pour white mixture carefully into each well. Add the food coloring drop by drop- you can always add more, but once you have too much, well, it sure takes longer to dry and is sometimes too dark to be useful.
Once they dried, using them was exciting since the kids had made it themselves. Due to the ingredients, the watercolors when used dried with a grainy feel. This added a wonderful texture to the art work. I advise using multi-media paper for best results.
Go ahead and make your own watercolors and let the creativity begin!