Fun with DIY Non-Toxic Homemade Finger Paint

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DIY Non-Toxic Homemade Finger Paint Recipe #Clean2TheCore AD @walmartIf there was ever a kid who loves to make a mess, it’s my five-year-old son, Dub. Just look at this face. This is a face that loves dirt! There is no telling what he will get into on any given day, but odds are that whatever it is will be messy, dirty, sticky, or wet. Even though he keeps me up to my eyeballs in dirty laundry, I love his enthusiasm and sense of adventure.

DIY Homemade Finger Paint Recipe #Clean2TheCore AD

We’ve been in the middle of a heat wave which means more inside time than usual. While spending more time in the air conditioned house, I need to find ways to let Dub be Dub and get his hands dirty while also keeping the mess level manageable.

To find a middle ground, we decided to make some homemade finger paint! I found a recipe for non-toxic finger paint that has been a huge hit in our house! It’s so easy to make, too.

DIY Homemade Finger Paint Recipe #Clean2TheCore AD

How to make homemade finger paint

All you will need to make homemade finger paint is cornstarch, sugar, salt, water, and food coloring. {recipe below} After you have gathered your ingredients, warm the mixture in a pan on medium heat until it thickens. When finished it will be almost the consistency of petroleum jelly. If you would like it thinner, you can add some extra water to the mixture.

Once your mixture has thickened, take it off the heat and allow it to cool to room temperature.

DIY Homemade Finger Paint Recipe #Clean2TheCore AD

Once the mixture has cooled, add it to small jars for coloring. I used 8 oz. mason jars and they worked perfectly; baby food jars would also be a great choice.

One of the most fun parts of this project was combining colors to see what we would end up with. You could be more traditional with your color choices or use some neon food coloring for more vibrant colors. I used standard food coloring as well as neon and I love the colors we created.

DIY Homemade Finger Paint Recipe #Clean2TheCore AD

This homemade finger paint is technically edible and doesn’t contain any preservatives. Because of this, it may eventually start to go bad if your kids don’t use it up. This isn’t a problem in our house, but to get the longest amount of use out of your finger paints, keep them in jars with a tight lid and store them in a cool, dry place.

DIY Homemade Finger Paint Recipe #Clean2TheCore AD

Now for the really fun part: painting! Dub had a blast combining two of his favorite things, art and getting his hands dirty. Our homemade finger paint kept him happy and busy for the afternoon while I was able to control the mess level (sort of). This is a win-win for the both of us!

DIY Homemade Finger Paint Recipe #Clean2TheCore AD

The paint is also fun for creating new colors on your fingers. Dub enjoyed making new colors in his hands and transferring his color creations to the paper. I love that in addition to having fun, he is learning more about which color combinations make new colors. This is a skill that will serve him well in Kindergarten this fall.

DIY Homemade Finger Paint Recipe #Clean2TheCore AD

Because of Dub’s talent for making messes, I need a detergent that gives me the most powerful clean possible. Thankfully, I have all® POWERCORE™ Pacs OXI on hand. Its powder-liquid combination offers superior whitening and brightening, which is exactly what we need to clean up after our little mess maker.

all® POWERCORE™ Pacs OXI at @walmart #Clean2TheCore AD

all® detergent has always been a go-to brand in my house so I was happy to discover convenient all® POWERCORE™ Pacs OXI and all® POWERCORE™ Pacs Plus Removes Tough Odors on display at the end of the laundry aisle while shopping at Walmart. With easy to follow instructions on the container, you too can let your kids be kids and still have white, bright laundry.

Find out more about all® on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.

How do you let your kid be a kid, dirt and all? I would love to hear about your projects and adventures in the comments. We’re always looking for new ideas!

Homemade Finger Paint

Homemade Finger Paint


  • 6 Tbs sugar
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 cup cornstarch
  • 2 cups water, plus another cup for thinning if needed
  • Food coloring
  • 8-10 8 oz. mason jars or baby food jars


  1. Add all of the ingredients in a warm pan and stir until it is the desired consistency. If it's thicker than you would like, add more water until it's the consistency you would like.
  2. Cool to room temperature. When cooled, add to jars and mix in food coloring.


Adapted from Macaroni Kid

DIY Non-Toxic Homemade Finger Paint Recipe #Clean2TheCore AD

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  1. Hi! I am so excited to try this with my 1.5 year old? Will this stain his fingers?? I will be taking photos in a few days to crop him in with santa…

    1. Hi Lexi,

      It was several years ago that we made this but I don’t remember it staining my son’s fingers.

  2. Hi! Is this washable or will it stain clothes. I just relocated to Colorado. Love your blog!

    1. Hi Tristen,

      Thank you and welcome to Colorado!

      You know, I haven’t tested it in that way, but I think I should. It comes off hands but we didn’t get it on clothing so I honestly can’t say. There is food coloring in it which is not washable, but I’m not sure if the other ingredients would create a barrier. For now, to be safe, I’m going to say be careful with clothes you care about.

  3. When my son was in preschool, I would often say – if he didn’t come home dirty, it was a boring day! He’ll be entering second grade (gasp!) in the fall, and that is still my mantra! During the summer, we love playing in the dirt and painting. all makes it easy to let them be kids without worrying about stains and dingy clothing! #client

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