Thursday, December 19, 2013

Homemade Watercolours

I've posted about our homemade watercolours before and we still love them! Now I am making them again to give as part of our homemade Christmas gift collection, which includes chalk, play dough and holiday dolls! Our cousins enjoy arts and crafts and I hope to give them a big batch of supplies which should last a while! 

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I used four ice cube trays which have 14 slots each. Each batch of the watercolours was enough to fill a slot in each of the trays. Which means I made 14 batches. To make things easier, I mixed everything together in a measuring cup and just rinsed it out between batches. 

You'll need:
Baking soda - 4 tablespoons
White vinegar - 2 tablespoons
Cornstarch - 2 tablespoons (corn flour)
Light corn syrup - 1/2 teaspoon (we used dark because that's what we had on hand)
Liquid or gel food colouring
A container for the watercolours - mini muffin pans and ice cube trays work great!

You can use a combination of liquid and gel food colouring - whatever works! This is our little stash.

The popsicle sticks are for mixing the colours after they are poured. I stirred them a few times over the course of three hours, this way the colours don't settle at the top and are mixed thoroughly. 

Mix everything together in the measuring cup. I added the syrup first, then the baking soda, then the cornstarch and poured the white vinegar over it and stirred quickly. It should look like a thick white paste. 

At this point I would add the liquid or gel food colouring. 

On the side I created a batch of reddish-orange oobleck for the kids to play with, since they lost interest in helping me make the watercolours when they realized how many we were making. :)

So they had lots of fun "painting" with the oobleck while I continued working on the homemade watercolours.

Because we really did make so many! And they are all coming out perfectly! I am so excited!! Probably more excited than I should be, but seriously, these are the best watercolours I have ever made and I love them! Hopefully my cousins who love to paint will enjoy them as much as my kids do! They are a staple around here! You can use them right away, but if you are gifting them, give them a few days to dry out before you wrap them. To use them, all you have to do is dip a paintbrush in water and dab them on the colours. Or you can add a few drops of water directly on them to make it a little easier for younger kids.

Close up of the colours! Top row: lilac, brown, dark blue, light blue, yellow, dark green, olive green. Bottom row: red, peach, orange, fuchsia, black, light green, pink.

And this is a preview of how nice these watercolours are! They are very vibrant and dark. I've definitely noticed a difference between using food colouring gels and liquid food colouring. The colours are darker and more vibrant with the food colouring gels and I will definitely be using them more in the future! I cannot wait to test out liquid watercolours with this recipe!

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