Make Some Finger Paints


We made these squishy, gooey finger paints the other day and they were a hit. They were so easy, although I think I may have cooked mine a little too long. Next time, I will remove them from the stove-top sooner than I think they need to be removed. Ours was too thick and not as smooth as finger paints should be. But that was totally my fault. The kids did not care that they were a little thick, only my OCD did!

Here is how you make them:

1/2 cup cornstarch
3 Tbsp. sugar
1/2 tsp. salt
2 cups cold water
food coloring


In a medium pan, mix all the ingredients together to make the finger paint. Cook over low heat 10 to 15 minutes. (I would cook it for about 5 minutes less). Keep stirring the finger paint mixture until it is smooth and thick. After the finger paint has thickened take the pan off the stove and let the mixture cool.


After cooling, divide the finger paint into storage containers depending on how many colors you would like. Add a few drops of food coloring to each container. Stir the coloring in to the paint to determine the shade of color. You’re ready to finger paint! Cover tightly when storing.


See the artist smock my daughter is wearing. That is a re-purposed man’s shirt from my hubby’s closet. (Don’t worry babe, it was the one you wanted to donate to charity). I have since come up with an even better design that of course I want to share with you. So stay tuned for that tutorial coming soon. They are perfect for painting, play dough and all those other messy kid activities!


  1. Flick says

    we have been snowed in for a few days and i remembered this post, so i made this today for my daughter. you are right…it is very thick and goopy but she LOVED it. have you made it since? i might experiment next time with the recipe. less cornstarch??? i don't know. but really who cares. they seem to love it! :) love your blog, btw!

  2. Erin says

    I can't wait to try this. I just came across your blog. Wondering if you deleted the post about the glow in the dark slim?

  3. **Amy** says

    Erin-I didn't delete the post, I just fixed the link so it should take you to the post on how to make slime. I am glad you are enjoying The Idea Room :)

  4. Kristie says

    Can I just say THANK YOU!!!! I have been looking for a fingerpaint to use… and one that was Gluten free and this is PERFECT!!! :o) <3 I am soooo very excited to try this! YEAHHHH!!!

  5. Gabby says

    I discovered The Idea Room this summer and it has been great. I am helping with my nephews this summer and they just loved the make it yourself play dough. They want to try this next. Thank you so much for the summer entertainment!

  6. Della says

    Thank you for this idea. My grandson has sensory issues so we are always working with him to get his hands into stuff so this wilk be perfect. ty!

  7. KJ says

    Can u save the fingerprint at all? One time use? Refrigerate? Thanks for the awesome idea! Just did Father’s Day card with my 10 month old:)

    • says

      We have put it in the fridge if we haven’t used it all and then pull it out to use again a few days later. It seems to save well and should for a couple of weeks if in the refrigerator.


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