The other day we looked at homemade tea and plant dyes you and the kids can make from gathered nature items. Today, paint you can make with your dye. These paints are perfectly non-toxic and safe as finger paints for small children. However, I’ve seen parents complain that these aren’t bright enough.
The dye you make at home makes colored finger paints for sure, but the colors are subtle, not brilliant. For example, don’t expect to paint walls with this paint (here are some natural paint ideas for walls). You might be able to make a more vivid colored homemade paint, but honestly I’ve never seen it done without the addition of non-natural ingredients such as liquid food coloring.
If you’re looking for bolder paint you might want to try GLOB, which is supposed to be all-natural, but I’m not entirely sure it is (haven’t used it).
What you need to gather:
- 1/3 cup grated natural, organic, pure soap. I’ve tried liquid soap a few times and it doesn’t work as well. Use an old thrift store cheese grater or potato peeler to grate your soap
- 1 cup water.
- 1 cup cornstarch.
- Your natural dyes.
- Add 1/2 cup water to your cornstarch and mix.
- Boil the other 1/2 cup of water and pour over soap.
- Stir the soap and water until the soap melts.
- Pour soap mix into the cornstarch mix and blend together with a spoon.
- Let your mixture sit around and thicken – it shouldn’t take long. Once it’s finger paint thick, pour into separate bowls and into each bowl stir some of your colored dye until it reaches the desired color.
One variation: If you’ve got zero juice dyes on hand you can actually use real produce although it’s a little sticky. It does smell nice though. The juice from fresh or frozen blueberries, dark cherries or cooked beets can simply be added at the end (when you would add your dye).
You can keep this finger paint for about 2-3 weeks. Make sure to store it in the fridge. You can use this on most paper but not fabric – it will color fabric, but like a stain, not a paint.
One thing that’s fun to do on a hot day, is to place an old sheet on the ground (OUTSIDE!) and then place your paper on it. Get some long handled paint brushes, and let your kids dip into the paint, then fling paint at the paper.
While I don’t suggest drinking a large glass of this paint it is safe if it gets on your child’s skin. It’s non-toxic and won’t hurt them; barring soap or juice dye allergies.