Craft Recipes for Year-Round Fun
This page features recipes for various art and craft paints and dyes. Click on the name of the craft paint or dye that interests you to be taken directly to that craft paint or dye recipe.

Body Paints | Finger Paints | Dyes
Edible Paints | Miscellaneous Paints
Textured Paints




Body Paint 
baby shampoo
powdered tempera paints


Add tempera paint to shampoo until desired color is reached. Great for painting designs on bodies, before getting in the pool or lake!

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Face and Body Paint
1/2 cup baby lotion
1/2 tsp. dish detergent
powdered tempera paints


Mix all ingredients and store in air-tight jars. (Baby food jars work well.) Use painbrush to paint designs on skin. Paint will wash off easily, thanks to the detergent.

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Favorite Face Paint
1 Tbsp. shortening
2 Tbsp. cornstarch
food coloring


Mix shortening and cornstarch until smooth. Add food colouring, one drop at a time desired color is achieved. Store in air-tight containers. This paint works well to cover large areas. (I used a mixer to mix up a pint of this stuff, then painted all my first graders' faces green one St. Patrick's Day.) Applying with a brush can be tricky, so use the recipe below for more detailed face painting.

Tip: Omit the coloring to create a white "base paint" for clown faces.

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Face Paint
1 Tbsp. cold cream
2 Tbsp. cornstarch
1 Tbsp. water
food coloring


Mix cream, cornstarch, and water until smooth. Add food colouring, one drop at a time desired color is achieved. Store in air-tight containers.

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Basic Finger Paint 
This childhood favorite isn't readily available in some countries, but it's extremely easy to make.

Version One (Using food coloring)
1/2 cup cornstarch
2 cups water
liquid food coloring


Mix cornstarch and water in a saucepan. Boil until mixture thickens. Allow paint to cool, then add food coloring. Pour in a sealable container.

Version Two  (Using tempera paint)
1/2 cup cornstarch
2 cups water
dry tempera paint


Mix all ingredients in a saucepan. Boil until mixture thickens. Allow paint to cool, then pour in a sealable container.

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Scented Finger Paint
1/2 cup cornstarch
1 pack unflavoured gelatin
1 pack unsweetened Kool-Aid
3 cups water


Mix 3/4 cup cold water with the cornstarch and Kool-Aid to make a paste. Soak gelatin in 1/4 cup cold water. Set aside.
Bring 2 cups of water to boil and slowly add the cornstarch mixture, stirring until the mixture is completely dissolved. Continue cooking over medium heat, stirring constantly until the mixture comes to a boil and clears. Remove from heat, and stir in gelatin. Cool and store in an air-tight container.

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Pudding Finger Paint 
1 4-serving pudding mix
1 1/2 cups milk


Mix pudding mix with 1 1/2 cups milk. Use different flavors of pudding for different colors of paint.(Vanilla may be tinted with food coloring.) "Paint" designs on wax paper, then eat. Finger-licking good!

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Texturized Finger Paint 
This paint, made from only the most basic ingredients, is not your typical smooth fingerpaint; however, young students seem to enjoy the grainy mixture, and they also like the feel of the finished product.

1 cup flour
1/2 cup salt
3/4 cup water
food coloring OR tempera paint


Mix flour and salt, then add water. Mix untill all three ingredients are thoroughly blended. Add a few drops of liquid food coloring or tempera paint (dry or liquid) until desired color is reached. If necessary, you may add additional flower and salt in the following proportions: two teaspoons of flour, followed by one teaspoon of salt; alternate until desired consistency is reached.

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Rice and Pasta Dye
1 tsp. alcohol
food coloring
1 cup rice or pasta


Add food coloring to alcohol until intense color develops. Mix with 1 cup rice or pasta. Spread out flat and allow to dry.

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Egg Yolk Paint 
1 egg yolk
1/2 tsp. water
Food coloring


Mix egg yolk with water, then add food coloring until intense color is reached. Use a paint brush to paint on pre-baked cookies. After painting, return cookies to the oven until egg paint has solidified.

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Milk Paint 
1/4 cup sweetened condensed milk
food coloring


Add a few drops of food coloring to sweetened condensed milk until desired color is achieved. When this paint dries, it will be very shiny.

Note: This edible paint is perfect for decorating holiday cookies.

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Pudding Finger Paint 
1 4-serving pudding mix
1 1/2 cups milk

Mix pudding mix with 1 1/2 cups milk. Use different flavors of pudding for different colors of paint.(Vanilla may be tinted with food coloring.) "Paint" designs on wax paper, then eat. Finger-licking good!

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Glossy Poster Paint 
1/4 cup flour
1 cup water


Pour flour into saucepan. Slowly add 1 cup water, stirring until mixture is smooth. Heat, stirring constantly until mixture thickens. Allow to cool, then measure 1/4 cup of the mixture into each of 4 small jars.

To each jar, add:

3 Tbsp. powdered tempera paint
2 Tbsp. water
1/2 tsp. liquid detergent


Seal jars tightly when not in use.

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Opaque Poster Paint
1/4 cup flour
1 cup water


Pour flour into saucepan. Slowly add 1 cup water, stirring until mixture is smooth. Heat, stirring constantly until mixture thickens. Allow to cool, then measure 1/4 cup of the mixture into each of 4 small jars.

To each jar, add:

3 Tbsp. powdered tempera paint
2 Tbsp. water
1/2 tsp. liquid starch


Seal jars tightly when not in use.


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Salt Paint
1/8 cup water
1/8 cup liquid starch
1 Tbsp. dry tempera paints


Mix all ingredients together. Store in an air-tight container. Stir frequently while using. Paint will dry with a sparkly, crystaline texture.

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Water Color Paints 
1 Tbsp. white vinegar
2 tsp. baking soda
1 Tbsp. cornstarch
1/4 tsp. glycerine
food coloring


Mix vinegar and baking soda in a large container. (The mixture will bubble up.) Gradually add cornstarch and glycerine to the mixture. Poor paint into small paper cups and add lots of food coloring. Use more than you think you need. The color will become less intense as it dries. Add food coloring. The color is not as intense when it is dry so remember to add a lot of food coloring. When paint dries, peel away paper. Store dried paints in moisture-free container.

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Puffy Paint 
The following mixture allows students to create interesting texture artwork.

1/2 cup flour
1/2 cup salt
1/2 cup hot water
liquid tempera paint

Mix together equal amounts of flour, salt, and hot water. Mix until ingredients are disolved. (Additional heating may be required._ Add liquid tempera paint until desired color is achieved. Store mixture in air-tight squeezble bottles. (Empty glue bottles work well.)


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Snow Paint 
Use this paint, made from shaving cream and white glue, to create 3-D snow scenes. Use fingers and paint on black or dark blue construction paper. After paint dries well (24 hours or more), details may be added using markers or felt tip pens.

1 can shaving cream
1 8 oz. bottle of white glue

Spray shaving cream into a small dishpan or tub. Drizzle glue on top. Mix thoroughly. Scoop paint onto disposable plates and provide one plate per group of two to three children. Paint may be left thick in spots (up to a quarter inch or more) for texturing, but projects will need to dry for at least 24 hours.

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Texturized Finger Paint 
This paint, made from only the most basic ingredients, is not your typical smooth fingerpaint; however, young students seem to enjoy the grainy mixture, and they also like the feel of the finished product.

1 cup flour
1/2 cup salt
3/4 cup water
food coloring OR tempera paint


Mix flour and salt, then add water. Mix untill all three ingredients are thoroughly blended. Add a few drops of liquid food coloring or tempera paint (dry or liquid) until desired color is reached. If necessary, you may add additional flower and salt in the following proportions: two teaspoons of flour, followed by one teaspoon of salt; alternate until desired consistency is reached.


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Topography Paint 
1 cup powdered tempera paint
1/4 cup wallpaper paste
1/2 cup liquid laundry starch


Thick paint is ideal for creating topographical maps. Mix tempera paint and paste, stirring until smooth. Add liquid starch until mixture is spreadable. Use plastic knives or popsicle sticks to spread on heavy paper.


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