Bring your little ones to Devonport Playhouse today at 11am for a play, while you learn some super quick and easy natural and non-toxic ways to create your own art supplies for kids. I’ll be teaching how to make your own paint, glue, play dough, nature paint brushes, and natural dye using food and plants! It’s just $2 to enter the Playhouse and the workshop is free, plus free samples to take home 😊💚
Here are the recipes we’ll be doing, in case you can’t make it:
- 1 cup of flour
- ¼ cup of salt
- ½ cup of warm water
- 1 tbsp oil
- 3 to 5 drops of natural food colouring
- Optional: glitter, couple of drops of essential oil
- Mix together the flour and the salt.
- Mix together ½ cup of warm water with a few drops of food coloring.
- Slowly pour the water into the flour mixture, stirring as you pour. Stir until combined, then knead with your hands until the flour is completely absorbed. If the dough is too sticky, add more flour until it doesn’t stick at all.
- ½ cup cornflour
- 1 ½ cups water
- Optional: one drop essential oil or a couple of drops natural food colouring
- Stir together corn flour and water in a pot, with one drop of essential oil or a couple drops of food coloring, if you wish. You’ll be tempted to use a whisk, but the cornstarch mixture is going to get pretty thick all at once, so really it’s best to use a wooden spoon or a fork.
- Heat the mixture over medium heat, but turn it down to medium-low as soon as you feel the mixture start to get thick. It gets thick quickly, and you want to be able to take it off the heat as soon as it looks smooth but translucent, exactly like Vaseline in consistency.
- Pop the cornstarch glue in an old butter tub, and keep it in the refrigerator when you’re not using it.
To apply the glue, you can use a popsicle stick or even a butter knife.
- 1 cup salt
- 1 cup flour
- 1 cup water
- Food colouring
- Mix together all ingredients until a smooth paste is formed.
- Add food colouring of your choice, and mix until colour is distributed well.
- Divide into small jars or squirty bottles.
Nature Paint Brushes
- several twigs
- string, twine or a piece of raffia
- materials for bristles (pine needles, spruce needles, cypress foliage, even tree buds, etc)
- optional: a rubber band
- Gather needles and leaves from trees of your choice – for bristles. Get several sticks that will become paintbrush handles.
- Distribute the bristle material nicely around the stick and start attaching it by wrapping raffia or twine around. If making with a small child, they may find using a rubber band easier to apply.
- Wrap raffia (or twine or rubber band) several times around the handle and the bristle material, then tie it firmly and cut off any excessive string.
- You’ve just made your very own brush! Your kids will love the process and you might end up making tons of them!
You can make this dye to colour homemade paint, glue or playdough, or to dye material.
- ½ cup of plant matter*
- 1 cup water
*Some ideas include: dried tumeric (yellow), red onion peel (pink), dried spirullina (green), raw or dried beetroot (red), ground coffee (brown), blackberries (blue), spinach (light green).
- Cut your chosen plant matter into small pieces and add to a sauce pan. Add water and mix well.
- Bring to a boil, then lower the heat to a simmer. Simmer for 1 hour.
- Remove from heat and strain the pan’s contents into a bowl, separating out all plant matter remains from the liquid dye.
- Use the dye to colour playdough, paint, glue or material.
Natural Bundle Dying
Create surprising natural patterns on material! You could use scrap material, clothing, table cloth, table runner, scarf, etc.
- Plant matter
- Light coloured material
- Prepare your fabric for dyeing. Make sure your fabric is pre-washed. In order for the dyes to set into your fabric you’ll need to mordant your fabric. To do this, soak your fabric in vinegar (1 part vinegar to 3 parts water) for an hour.
- Ring out any excess liquid and lay flat. Lay out dye materials on half of the fabric. Fold over fabric.
- Place a stick or pipe on one end and begin to roll. Wrap and tie tightly with twine.
- Steam for 1-2 hours in a double steamer or large pot. If your pot is not large enough to cover your bundle you can use tin foil to seal the pot. Every half hour, flip the bundle. If the fabric is tightly woven, you might need additional time in the steamer. Let the bundle sit overnight.
- Snip the twine and unwrap the bundle. Compost the excess dye stuff. Rinse lightly and remove excess water. Air dry and press.