How to Make 5 Nontoxic Paints

A kids' crafts expert shows how to make nontoxic homemade paint that kids can have fun – and be safe – when using.


Kids' crafts expert John E. Thomas shows how to concoct five nontoxic paints for children. They dissolve easily, so cleanup is easy and the cost is budget friendly.

Scratch and Sniff Paint

Mix one tablespoon of water with one tablespoon of unsweetened powdered drink mix in a plastic cup. Each color will have its own aroma that can be activated by scratching.

Bathtub Paint

Materials and Tools:

1/3 cup baby bath
1 Tbs. cornstarch
1 to 2 drops food coloring

Combine ingredients and use to paint the tub wall. This paint will not stain, but do not use more than a couple of drops of food coloring.

Pudding Paint

Combine one pudding cup with two to three drops of food coloring. Use as you would regular paint.

Bubbling Brew Finger Paint

Materials and Tools:

1 Tbs. white vinegar
1 Tbs. liquid dish soap
baking soda and water

Combine vinegar and soap in a cup. In another cup mix together the baking soda and water.

Pour the baking-soda mixture into the vinegar mix. It should bubble up. Add a few drops of food coloring and use as finger paint.

Magic Marbleizing Paper

Materials and Tools:

layer of shaving cream
2 to 3 drops food coloring

Put a layer of shaving cream on a paper plate and drop dots of food coloring around. Swirl colors just a little.

Lightly press a piece of paper on top of the shaving cream. Turn over and wipe off the shaving cream with a paper towel and you will be left with a swirl of colors.

Use this technique for stationary, envelopes, wrapping paper, mats for pictures, paper bags, etc.

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