A fun finger painting project can turn a dull afternoon into a creative, memorable activity — but why stop there? You can make your own finger paint! Homemade finger paint is easy to make and your kids can even help mix up their favorite colors. We tried two different recipes using flour and cornstarch, with slightly different results.
Painting with homemade finger paint is a great sensory activity for kids. Toddlers and preschoolers will enjoy getting messy and expressing their creativity.
Flour Finger Paint Recipe
You can make your own sensory paint for kids using flour, a little sugar and water. This paint feels a lot like paste, but it’s a blast for kids to squish around on a piece of paper. Additionally, the heated sugar adds a bit of a glossy texture. Mix in any color of food coloring and even glitter! My kids love doing crafty kids activities like playing with fingerpaint.
- 1/3 cup flour
- 2 tbsp. sugar
- 2 cups water
- food coloring
- small containers
Flour Finger Paint Instructions
Mix the flour, sugar and water until smooth in a small pan over medium heat, stirring continually until the mixture thickens.
Pour the flour-based finger paint mixture into small containers. Use one container for each color of finger paint you want to make. Allow the finger paint to fully cool.
Once cool, add several drops of food coloring to each container and mix the finger paint until the color is fully blended.
Finally, it’s time to play! Kids can use a brush or their fingers to create art with this colorful homemade finger paint.
Cornstarch Finger Paint Recipe
Cornstarch produces a slightly more gooey texture in this homemade finger paint. It goes on the paper a bit smoother and the color looks brighter. You can mix up this kids sensory activity using ingredients you already have at home.
- 1 cup cornstarch
- 2 cups water
- 1/2 tbsp. salt (preservative if you want to save the paint)
- food coloring
Cornstarch Finger Paint Instructions
To make cornstarch finger paint, first mix together 1 cup cornstarch and 2 cups water. Add the salt as a natural preservative, if you want to store the paint for a few days. Heat this mixture on the stove until thickened, stirring continually. When it’s ready the paint will look slightly opaque and smooth.
Pour the mixture into small containers. Use one container for each color you want to make. Allow the finger paint to completely cool.
Add several drops of food coloring to each container and mix the finger paint until the color is thoroughly combined.
Kids can play with this homemade cornstarch-based finger paint using a brush or their fingers.
Homemade Finger Paint Comparison
The flour-based finger paint looks smoother at first but it gets a little pasty over time. However, it also maintains the most paint-like consistency and it’s spreadable even the next day. This flour-based finger paint is the best option for spreading with a paintbrush. You can also save your child’s artwork.
Flour-based finger paint creative kids activity
The cornstarch-based finger paint looks a lot like gelatin and gets thicker as it dries. This homemade finger paint is ideal for toddlers who love mushing the paint around with their hands because it has a gooey texture.
Make any color with homemade cornstarch paint!
The flour-based finger paint lasts longer when stored overnight. Incidentally, the cornstarch finger paint gets pretty chunky and doesn’t dry very well. I’d recommend enjoying this paint and not trying to save artwork. Kids can squish it around on paper and enjoy making handprints.
I even added some glitter to our DIY finger paint! The sparkly paint appears to dance across the page in the sunlight.
Making homemade fingerpaint is a great activity to do with kids. Play with paint indoors on days when you can’t easily go outside. Or if the weather is nice, kids can paint outside to minimize the clean-up.
Painting with DIY finger paint is a great exercise for young kids to show off their creativity.
If you’d like to save your child’s finger paint artwork, simply shake off any paint globs and allow the paper to air dry overnight. These homemade finger paint recipes make paint that is water soluble. I hope you enjoy this fun and creative art project with your own kids!
Hi, I’m Katie! I live with my husband and 3 kids in Coeur d’Alene, Idaho. I love Jesus, coffee, creative projects, taking photos and traveling. I’ve previously worked as a web designer, journalist and barista. I hope you enjoy our creative projects and family adventures!