Tuesday, August 6, 2013

A Toddler Art Project Worth Hanging Up (With Homemade Finger Paint)

Am I the only one who doesn't trust things when they claim to be "non-toxic"?  And since I have a toddler who likes to put everything in his mouth, that isn't something I really want to risk!  So, instead of buying finger paint I make my own!  And not only do I know exactly what's in it, it's super cheap!


  • 2 cups water
  • 1/2 cup cornstarch
  • 3 tbsp sugar
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • food coloring

All you do is continuously whisk the water, cornstarch, sugar, and salt in a small saucepan over medium heat until it thickens.  Once it's the consistency you want, take it off the heat and let it cool.  Then separate it into however many colors you want and add the food coloring.  Voila!  I keep mine in canning jars and although it gets a little lumpy over time it still works just fine and W hasn't complained about the strange texture of his paint!

I used gel food coloring and the paint dries and looks like watercolor, it's super fun.  The paint doesn't come off his hands with just a damp paper towel, but it cleans off easily once he gets an actual bath that night.

As much as I appreciate his finger paintings, they aren't exactly something I plan to frame and keep forever.  But, I really wanted him to do some art for me to hang up with a bunch of DIY photos on canvas (tutorial for that coming soon) I'm making so I came up with the idea to cut a stencil and adhere it to a cheap thin canvas then have him paint over it.

I used my Cricut (a die cut machine) to cut the stencil out of cardstock.  If you don't have a die cut machine you could just purchase an actual stencil from a craft store.  Aside from the stencil you'll need a canvas, stencil adhesive, and paint.
Spray the back of your stencil and place it on your canvas...
And let your toddler go crazy!  My toddler actually needs some encouragement; he starts off painting super daintily:

But eventually he goes crazy:

And I couldn't be happier with the result!  We'll also be making one that says "family" and one that says "memories."

Do you have any fun art projects you like to do with your toddler?  I'm always looking for new ideas!!

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