3 Methods for Creating Your Own Liquid Watercolors

Out of watercolor or don’t have it in the budget for the coveted liquid watercolor?  No problem. I have a few methods below for making your own watercolor on the cheap!

We LOVE watercolor projects but LIQUID watercolor is really superb for creating vibrant art and for using with a variety of fun processes. Some of our go-to activities include Marbled Paper, coffee filter and paper towel diffusion, and making potions!

The DIY methods below have really saved me in the classroom by providing some lovely, vibrant paint while teaching on a budget or waiting for my school funds to kick in. They are practically free. I do this at home with my kids when we are out of watercolor also!

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See my 3 easy go-to methods for making your own LIQUID watercolor below:


1. Dissolving cake pans- Watercolor cake pans are great for less mess and for using in the classroom with 20+ kids but to be honest, they just don’t last that long. There are always those favorite colors (like blue and magenta!) that get used up first and the trays are left with a few skinny rings of paint around the edges.

Those skinny little rings of dried paint can be salvaged by popping them out and putting them in a cup with water (I love these cups with lids!). The dried watercolor will dissolve in the water and create an easy DIY liquid watercolor!

2. Watered down liquid food coloring– This is an easy one.

Just drop several drops of food coloring into some water and that’s it! You can even play around with the colors and mix some different combinations (ex: blue+green= turquoise). *This method can create stains on clothing, so use caution!



3.  Dried markers– This one is my favorite for the classroom because there are always a TON of dried Crayola markers on a weekly basis. Instead of throwing them away (or recycling!), I have a bin that I put them in to save. When I am in need of some liquid watercolor, I begin collecting several of the same color and put them in cups of water. The more markers in the cup, the better, and I let them sit for several days for a more vibrant color.


That is it! Which methods have you tried and what is your favorite?

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Looking for more watercolor ideas? Try these: Coffee Filter Pointillism ButterfliesPainted Doily DreamcatchersLandscape with Layered Mountains


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