Simple Homemade Paint Recipes

Activity: Face Paint #1


1 tsp. cornstarch

1/2 tsp. water

1/2 tsp. hypoallergenic face cream

food coloring

Mix cornstarch and face cream together until smooth. Mix in water and food coloring. Use a small brush to paint designs on the children’s faces. Store in an airtight container.

Activity: Face Paint #2


1 Tbs. Crisco shortening

2 Tbs. cornstarch

food coloring

Mix all ingredients together until smooth. Use sponge or fingers to apply to face. Wash with soap and water.

Activity: Puffy Paint





Wilton’s Cake Food Coloring

old squeeze bottles such as the bear bottles honey comes in or disinfected mustard squeeze bottles


1. measure out equal parts of flour, salt and water

2. add the food coloring to the water

3. mix all three ingredients together

4. pour into squeeze bottles

5. have the children squeeze the mixture out onto heavy paper plates or cardboard. When the “puffy paint” dries, it is raised and sparkles!

Activity: Corn Syrup Paint


corn syrup

food coloring

HEAVY DUTY paper plates

disposable plastic cups

old paint brushes


1. pour the corn syrup into the disposable plastic cups

2. add food coloring to the corn syrup, stirring until mixed thoroughly (make as many colors as you like)

3. place the old paint brushes into the corn syrup paint

4. have the children paint on the paper plates with the corn syrup paint any way they like

When the corn syrup dries, it makes a beautiful translucent design. This is a very messy but fun activity.

Activity: Homemade Washable Paint


Liquid Tempera Paint

Ivory Snow or Dreft Liquid Detergent


1. mix 3/4 cups of paint to 1/4 cup liquid detergent

2. stir well

This mixture works just as good as the commercial washable paint and is more economical. It also helps you strrrreeeettttccccchhh out your liquid tempera.

Activity: Paint Stretcher


liquid tempera

liquid starch


1. Mix 1 part of liquid starch to 2 parts liquid tempera

2. Stir well

This, too, will help stretch your liquid tempera.

Activity: Homemade Colored Glue Paint


White school glue

Wilton’s Cake Food Coloring

empty glue bottles or small squeeze bottles


1. Divide the glue into how many different colors you want to make

2. Add food coloring (Hint~~~ The Wilton’s Cake Colors are VERY concentrated. I use a plastic knife to measure out how much I need. I dip the end of the knife into the food coloring and how much covers the end of the knife is how much I use).

3. Pour glue into squeeze containers

This glue is MUCH more economical than what you can buy in the store. Also, if you use the Wilton’s Cake Colors, you can make almost any color of glue you can imagine.

Activity: Finger Paint #1


1/2 cup of non-self-rising wheat flour

2 cups cold water

1 T. glycerin

screw top jars



1. In the saucepan, mix flour with 1/2 cup of water to form a paste

2. Add the rest of the water and cook over low heat until thick and clear

3. Let cool

4. Add the glycerin

5. Divide and pour into jars.

6. Add food coloring to tint

Activity: Finger Paint #2


1/2 cup of cornstarch

3/4 cup cold water

2 cups hot water

2 tsp. Listerine as a preservative

1 Tbs. glycerin

screw top jars



1. In the saucepan, mix cornstarch with 1/4 cup of cold water to make a smooth paste

2. Add the hot water, stirring to prevent lumps

3. Cook over low heat until mixture begins to boil

4. Remove from heat and stir in 1/2 cup cold water and Listerine

5. Divide and pour into jars.

6. Add food coloring to tint

Activity: Milk Paint


1/2 cup powdered milk

2 tsp. cornstarch

1/2 cup warm water

Wilton’s Cake Food Coloring


1. Mix all dry ingredients together

2. While stirring, gradually add water. Stir until the paint is smooth.

3. Add food coloring. Since Wilton’s Cake Food Coloring is so concentrated, I only use enough of it that will cover the end of a plastic knife.