Make watercolour paints

Ever wondered about making your own paint? It's easy-peasy, writes Kate Lilley, author of Eco-Friendly Crafting With Kids.


Kate Lilley has heaps of great craft ideas for children of all ages in her new book and on her blog at Here she describes how to make paint out of stuff that's already in your kitchen cupboard.

Issue 18Paint1

You will need:
3 tbs bicarbonate of soda/baking soda
3 tbs cornflour/cornstarch
3 tbs white vinegar
2 tsp liquid glucose syrup (see below for the recipe or get it at your local pharmacy)
Containers for paints (eg, old bottle tops or ice-cube trays)
Food colouring


How to make:
1  Get your little helper to mix the bicarbonate of soda, cornflour, vinegar and glucose syrup in a bowl. Keep stirring until the mixture stops fizzing.

2  Pour the mixture into small containers to a depth of about 1cm.

3  Add 5 drops of food colouring to each container and stir with a toothpick. If you want a stronger colour, add a few more drops and continue to stir.

4  Pop your paints onto a sunny windowsill to dry. It usually takes 1-2 days, depending on the weather.

5  Once your paints have dried out, give your little one some paper, a brush and a pot of water and let the painting commence!

Issue 18Paint 

Hints and tips:
You can make your own liquid glucose by adding 1/4 cup of sugar to 1/8 cup of water in a saucepan. Heat until the liquid begins to boil and all of the sugar has dissolved. Allow to cool before use.






Issue 18Paint2


Extract from Eco-Friendly Crafting With Kids by Kate Lilley, photography by Carolyn Barber.
RRP$39.99. Published by Ryland Peters & Small and distributed by 




As seen in OHbaby! magazine Issue 18: 2012
 Cover Issue 18_200
Subscribe to OHbaby! magazine
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