DIY Fingerpaint

I found a recipe for fingerpaint the other day. I love the idea of making your own as Miss E is a finger sucker and invariably ends up with paint in her mouth. This way I at least know where the paint has come from and its not full of nasties!

I followed the recipe to a tee but after 20 minutes of stirring (when the recipe said 5), I still hadn’t gotten anywhere. So I added some extra cornflour and eventually got there! I have amended the recipe and I will keep working on it to find the best ratios. In the meantime, if you want to try, this is what I think should make a good mix. The original recipe called for 1/3 cup cornflour and 1/4 cup dishwashing liquid. I don’t know whether its because our liquid was concentrate, but it seemed like too much. I put in about 2tb worth, but I’d suggest trying less to start with – probably 1tb. As far as I understand, it is there just to aid with washing the paint off little hands when finished and I must say Miss E’s hands came clean straight away…

Painting hands

I put the mix into egg cartons to start with, but the liquid leached into the carton (get the feeling this is turning into another one of my “How not to make…” blog posts?), and we ended up with paint the consistency of Clag (remember Clag?). This actually worked well, Miss E loved it, as it was really sensory… I would suggest that this paint really more is about the sensory experience, rather than making ‘perfect’ pictures. The Claggy Version was goopy and 3D on the page. The non-claggy version – poured into plastic containers instead of egg carton was a bit too opaque (probably because I used regular food dye – the colour was quite pale on paper). But Miss E LOVED the experience, so I fully recommend giving it a go. In the meantime I will work on a better formula!

Egg carton claggy paints

Finger Paint Recipe

2 tablespoons sugar
1/2 cup cornflour
2 cups water
1tb liquid dishwashing liquid
Food colouring

  • Mix sugar and cornflour in a saucepan and slowly stir in the water.
  • Cook over medium-low heat for around 10 minutes, stirring constantly until the mixture thickens and looks a bit like hair conditioner. Stir in the soap and remove from the heat – now it smells like conditioner too!
  • When cool enough to handle, spoon the mix it into small containers, add food coloring until you find the colour you like.
  • Let little fingers get to work!




  1. I have to say, while looking through hundreds of blogs daily, the theme of this blog is different (for all the proper reasons). If you do not mind me asking, what’s the name of this theme or would it be a especially designed affair? It’s significantly better compared to the themes I use for some of my blogs.

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