Monday, July 14, 2008

Craft day! Homemade fingerpaint

We haven't been doing a lot of crafts lately. It's summer in Minnesota, and since we get about two months of nice weather all year round, it's practically a state law that you need to be outside during the summer. We did manage to fit in a craft project this weekend, though.

There are lots of recipes for homemade fingerpaints, and they are all pretty simple. I went with a cornstarch/water/glycerine fingerpaint recipe. Ignore the mess on the counter. I didn't have time to Photoshop it out.
Begin with 1/2 cup of cornstarch and 1/4 cup cold water.

Mix together. The mixture will be lumpy and dry-ish.Gradually, add 2 cups hot water, stirring as you go (to prevent lumps).Cook over low heat until it boils. I switched to a wire whisk after a few minutes, because I was starting to get cornstarch lumps.
This is what it looks like when it starts to thicken.
Remove from heat and add 1/2 cup cold water and 1 tablespoon glycerine.
Separate into batches and add food coloring. I went pretty easy on the food coloring - about 5-6 drops of food coloring gel per bowl - because I wasn't sure how well the fingerpaints would wash off. It washed off of skin very well, but the kids were painting topless so I couldn't attest to how easily it washes out of clothing.
As you can see, the paint was pretty pale - more of a watercolor effect. Next time, I think I'd try a few more drops of food coloring.
There was another reason I didn't want to overdo the food coloring. I knew that Natalie would want to paint, too, but that she'd also try to taste it (you can see the evidence on her face). I didn't want the kids ingesting too much artificial coloring.
As you can see, Sam had to take a taste, too.

One note: I let the paint sit for awhile to cool, and it did develop a "pudding skin" on top. But it stirred up nicely and was as good as new.


Tabitha said...

Very cool. I have been wanting to do fingerpainting with my girls but haven't made it to the store and rememebered to buy it. And now I can make it.
AWESOME>>> Thanks!

Mommy Vern said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Mommy Vern said...

(There should be a way to edit comments on here! Oh well!)

This is an awesome project! I will have to remember to write this down tomorrow and store it with my recipes.

But I have two questions, how long does the fingerpaint good for? And is there a proper way to store it?

Becky said...

I put my leftover fingerpaint in containers (baby food jars work great!) and stored it in the fridge. It is starting to get a skin on top again but I plan to scrape off the skin and stir it up and hopefully it will be good as new.

I'm guessing after a couple of weeks it would be too hard to use anymore. I think I'm going to experiment with freezing some of the leftovers and see how it thaws out.