Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Homemade Finger Paint

Last week I made homemade finger paint for the first time, and it is great! We used this to paint both on paper and on the sidewalk. It is completely washable and non-toxic, and way cheaper than store-bought! There are tons of different recipes out there, so I read a few a modified them to fit my needs. I primarily looked at Thrifty Fun.

In a saucepan, I added 1/3 cup cornstarch, 2 Tablespoons of sugar, and 1/2 teaspoon of salt. Stir in 1 cup of water and cook over medium-low heat for 10 minutes, stirring constantly.

This part seemed a little long, because nothing happened to the mixture until probably 7 minutes in - then it started to thicken gradually. I ended up cooking it for closer to 12 or 13 minutes also.

Remove from heat and allow to cool. I let it sit for 10 minutes or so. Divide into containers for storage. I used old mustard jars that I have lids for, but baby food containers would work great too. This recipe made enough for a good bit of two colors.

We stirred food coloring into the paint with a wooden spoon handle. At this point you could also add a little bit of (preferably clear) dish soap to scent the paint. I didn't see the need to do this; it doesn't smell that strange!

The paint turned out nicely thick, much like store-bought finger paint. It does not spread as well, and I think it would be hard to get a good "hand print" painted on a piece of paper. For storage, I just put the lids on the jars and kept them at room temperature. They seemed to thicken a bit more, so the next day I set them in a little warm water before we used them.

The paint washed out of the white shirt we used as a smock, without staining at all. This is a great option for a easy, messy kids activity!

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