How to Make Watercolor Paint

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.

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 wanted to try a recipe with the best chance of success the first time around. 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 SodaIngredients for making watercolor paint!

Cornstarch

Light Corn Syrup

Food Coloring

Small mixing bowl

Forks (for mixing)

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.

When you are finished mixing your solution it will be thick and stark white. Pour it carefully in equal amounts into small containers. Our next step is to add the color. Not all of you are brave enough to put a vial of food coloring into the hands of a three year old, and that’s ok. My food coloring bottles were almost empty which is the only reason I let my kids do the squeezing. You need between five and ten drops of each color for vivid, eye popping saturation. We mixed blue and red to make purple, but only did five containers. The more containers you divide your mixture between the more fun you can have mixing colors.

And voila! That’s it! You’re done! Well, almost. Now comes the hard part – waiting for it to dry. It literally takes twelve  hours or more to dry completely, and you will have some separation as the lighter liquids will rise and settle on top, but they’ll dry eventually. We haven’t painted with ours yet, that’ll come in the next post. In the mean time, make some of your own and give it a try! I’d love to hear your comments and thoughts on other ways to do this.

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Moustachios Have Arrived!

If you’re going to be the proprietor of a small business you need to have a theme. In the past I’ve had trouble picking out or sticking to any themes.  I have too many ideas, ideas that are loud and boisterous, all clamoring for my attention. The question then becomes How to pull them all together? Lately I’ve decided to step back and take the pressure off, to have fun with my small business and to do things that make me smile, and I believe dramatic play props are my big IT! I’m going to create products that value whimsy, creativity and quality all at the same time, from hooded cloaks to hero capes to simple masks. This will keep me sewing while allowing me to explore other creative processes and mediums. So please put your hands together and help me welcome the Moustachios for the first time ever to Woo Who!

My new Etsy shop is going to be largely dedicated to props that can be used by adults and children in a variety of settings: as costumes for specific holidays such as Halloween, to props for photo shoots, to old fashioned imaginative play. Additionally I will offer class projects based on the types of things I’m producing for my Etsy, for my friends and for my own family. Its an all around win situation. I’m really super excited.

🙂