Make your own fingerpaints

Make your own fingerpaints

Cheap and non-toxic. Try this easy step-by-step recipe for homemade art materials completely safe for little hands


Fingerpainting is a fun craft activity for toddlers and can even boost pre-school learning if children make letters, numbers and shapes in the colourful goo. Follow our recipe to mix up your own fingerpaint – it lasts for ages and it’s completely non-toxic.

Homemade non-toxic fingerpaint recipe

You will need:

  • A bowl or small container for the paint
  • A cup (to serve as a measuring jug)
  • Cornflour
  • Food colouring (choose red, yellow, blue so you can mix these to make more colours)
  • Hot water

How to make your finger paint:

  1. Start by pouring two cups of cornflour into a bowl.
  2. Add one teaspoon of food colouring.
  3. Add two cups of cold water and mix until you get a smooth, lump-free mixture.
  4. Add three or four cups of hot water (not boiling) until you have a silky texture that isn’t too runny. NOTE It will not have the same consistency as store-bought paint, and will have a gel-like feel as it cools down.
  5. Wait for the paint to cool down completely before giving it to children.
  6. If you don’t use it all, store it in a sealed pot for another day.
Perfect rainy day fun

Paint and paper at the ready, why not try these 30-minute art projects with your little ones?

Finger people

Use your finger paints to create a street scene with lots of people. Their faces are the prints from little fingers, big bellies are made with thumbs, and legs and arms are made with the side of your child’s fingers. When the paints are dry, give your kids a black pen to draw expressions on the faces.

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Dotty flowers

Light touches created with paint on fingertips can build up to make colourful blooms even Monet would be proud of. Encourage your child to use shades of the same colour to create layers of petals.

All at sea

If your child loves to keep moving, keep fingers busy doing wiggly lines of paint to make a seascape of stormy clouds, big waves and watery beasts like an octopus and a shoal of shimmery fish.

More ways to get creative at home

For more inspired ideas for days at home and craft activities, check out Rainy day activities for kids, which includes our recipe for homemade play dough.

What to do with all those paintings

There isn’t room for every work of art to feature on the fridge door, so what do you do? Laminate it and make it into table mats? Mount it on Grandma’s next birthday card? We’ve come up with clever ideas for using your child’s paintings to Create instant art for your walls.

We’d also love to hear your tips on what you keep your children’s art, where you store it… and how you decide what to throw away eventually. Please tell us in the comments below.

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