Wednesday, February 20, 2008

Make Your Own Fingerpaints (Wholesome Handprint Goodness)

Make your own nontoxic finger paints with this recipe from planet green. I adapted the recipe to use natural dyes but you could use food coloring. We've only made pink (smirk) with beet juice* 'cause we are waiting for the opportune carrot and blueberry moments to make orange and blue. No matter; rose rocked!

One cool thing about this recipe is that you can make it without flour, so kids who have gluten sensitivity can still play.

DIY Fingerpaint

2 tablespoons sugar
1/3 cup cornstarch
2 cups water including beet, carrot, or blueberry juice as dye
1/4 cup liquid dishwashing soap (add after cooking!!)

1. Mix the sugar and cornstarch in a saucepan and slowly stir in the water.

2. Cook over low heat for 5 minutes, stirring constantly until the mixture is a clear, smooth gel. Stir in the soap and remove from the heat. When cool enough to handle, scoop it into storage containers.

*In case you're curious about the origin of our beet juice, the way I cook beets is to put about a half inch or an inch of water in the bottom of a slow cooker or a stockpot and slowly steam/parboil the beets until soft. When you take your beets out to devour with olive oil, sea salt and lemon, you have plenty of dye left over for art projects. Throw it in the fridge until you want to use it. I like the beet juice because it's a cooking byproduct and therefore not wasteful. If anyone has any other ideas for easy, natural dyes, I'm all ears.


Mrs. G. said...

What fun! I miss the fingerpainting days. I love the vibrant color.

Melanie said...

We are doing this, baby. Thanks so much for the recipe!

I'll send you pictures of the ensuing carnage.

Laura said...

Ooo, ooo, I know we've read a lot of the same YA books, Mamabird -- this beet dye thing (cool) reminds me of Wise Chiild and Juniper by Monica Furlong. Juniper taught Wise Child to use natural dyes for her weaving.

Love those books.

MamaBird said...

Mrs. G, could you be any nicer?

Melanie, can't wait to see your carnage.

And, thanks Laura! I don't remember those books but they sound *right* up my alley. I played around with natural dyes a lot as a kid, definitely inspired by my YA reading.