Monthly Archives: March 2014

Spring break sunshine DIY watercolour paint

Spring break: DIY watercolour paints

It’s March break here in La Belle Province. I used the expression March break, and not spring break for 2 reasons:

  1. It’s really cold.
  2. Technically it’s not spring yet, and it’s really cold.

For those of you who like me do not feel like braving the cold, here’s a quick and fun activity you can do with the kids: make your own watercolour paints! Here’s what you’ll need to make your own paint:


  • 4 Tbsp baking soda
  • 2 Tbsp lemon juice
  • 2 Tbsp cornstarch
  • 2 Tbsp corn syrup
  • food colouring

The recipe I used came from this website: De tout et de rien: Activités pour le préscolaire.   You can visit the site to get the complete instructions for making the paint. Essentially you mix the first two ingredients until they stop fizzing, then add the next two. Divide into small containers and mix the food colouring in to get the colours you would like. The  site is  really worth a visit; it’s a treasure trove of craft ideas for little ones and is bilingual (french/english).

Anaïs and I had great fun making the paint and although you can use the paints right away, we preferred letting them dry. Also I think the recipe has too much corn syrup and gives it a bit of a plasticky feel, so next time we’ll try this recipe from Design Sponge. It has less corn syrup and uses vinegar instead of lemon juice.

An apple tree at night
An apple tree at night

This is a painting Tristan made when he was 4. I love this technique. You use wax crayons to draw your picture and paint over it with water colours.  Anaïs made her own version of a wax resist with the paints we made, and the effect is completely different. She used more wax than paint for her artwork.

Sunset lion watercolour
Sunset lion

I leave you with an ode to spring, may it be just around the corner. The sun was painted by Anaïs using the homemade watercolours.

Spring break sunshine DIY watercolour paint
Spring break sunshine