DIY Liquid Watercolor Paint

DIY Liquid Watercolor Paint is an inexpensive way to add to your art and craft supplies! There are so many different activities you can use liquid watercolors for, including plain ol’ painting, messy painting, sensory bins and more! I’ve always wanted some liquid watercolor paints, but I never got around to buying some, plus they can be a little expensive. So I was so excited when I came up with an easy recipe for making my own that used supplies I already had!

There are a couple of different recipes out there for making your own liquid watercolors (See Happy Hooligans and Preschool Inspirations) but I was never able to use their recipes because I didn’t have the right supplies. I was thrilled when I realized I could make our own using a common art medium for kids, and that it actually works great!

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These DIY Liquid Watercolor Paints use a common kid's art supply and is so easy to make a preschooler could do it! | Stir the Wonder

This post contains affiliate links.

DIY Liquid Watercolor Paints

To make these liquid watercolor paints couldn’t be easier! You only need a few supplies and most homes with kids already have them in their craft closet or where ever you keep the arts and craft supplies!


I came up with this recipe for liquid watercolor paints when I realized washable tempera paint is water soluble, which means when you add water it breaks down the paint into a more liquid state and that’s what makes it washable with soap and water. So I decided to give my idea a try! I squirted a little tempera paint into my small glass jar from IKEA and added some warm to hot water. Then I put the lid on and shook it up until all the paint had dissolved into the water. What I had left was liquid watercolors! 

DIY Liquid Watercolor Paints are an affordable way to add to your art and crafts supplies! | Stir the Wonder

These liquid watercolors can be used in many creative ways! You can use them to add a little color to a fizzy science activity or sensory bin, like our Fizzy Alien Planet Sensory Play bin or just use them to experiment with a variety of painting techniques! We first tried out these paints using a pipette or dropper and the results are amazing! These pictures really don’t do the color justice!

DIY Liquid Watercolor Paints

You can control the vibrancy of the colors with the amount of paint you use to mix up  the liquid watercolors. More paint and less water will give you brighter colors, less paint and more water will give you pastel colors.

Watercolor painting

These homemade liquid watercolor paints also work beautifully for traditional watercolor painting! I just love how my painted heart turned out! The colors blended together just enough to make it interesting! I can’t wait to use these paints to try other painting techniques!

DIY Liquid Watercolor Paints - It's so easy to make a child could do it! | Stir the Wonder

What is your favorite painting technique? Stop by my Facebook page and tell me all about it!

Check out my Paint Crafts for Kids board on Pinterest for more awesome painting ideas!

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14 thoughts on “DIY Liquid Watercolor Paint”

  1. Felissa says:

    This looks like a lot of fun! I had no idea you could DIY watercolors! I would be honored to have you join the fun at Inspire Us Tuesday!

  2. Lauren says:

    Hey Thanks! I almost bought some paint for my oldest tot this morning but figured I would make some instead. The only time I have tried at home “paint” was an edible mixture I made up because I knew he would try and eat it but now that he is older i do think watercolors would be a great idea and yes, your heart is cute 🙂

    1. Samantha says:

      Thanks so much for stopping by Lauren! Let me know how it goes with your kids~

  3. My kids love to paint, so I will have to try this. We have a ton of tempera paint. Pinning!

    1. Samantha says:

      Thanks so much Tammy!

  4. I love this idea, can’t wait to try it.

  5. Spring Break is coming up and the kiddies are going to have fun finger painting! Thanks for sharing.

  6. Amanda says:

    Can’t wait to try this!

  7. I actually have these exact Ikea pots for my herbs! I’m tempted to use them for this, such a great idea. Thank you for sharing!

    Mama Bee

  8. Danielle says:

    I am trying this over the weekend! Earlier this week I made my own watercolor paints with gel food coloring, but it stains so much that I decided not to use them anymore. This is a wonderful alternative!

    1. Samantha says:

      Let me know how it turns out!

  9. Oh, what an awesome DIY project for kids! Love making our own supplies, We made homemade watercolors last year. Super fun!!

  10. Barbe says:

    I teach preschool and we love liquid watercolors too. We discovered that when watercolor markers run dry they still have lots of color left. We took the core out of the marker and put it into a small jar of water and after a few days we had free liquid watercolors. I saved eight jars and put four to six marker cores in each jar for each color. We use the paint at our easels.

  11. Amanda Sanders says:

    I’m doing this with my paint group at my Library today! 🙂 LOVE finding ideas that help save some money with my tight budget!

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