No Thanks
Keep In Touch With

Sign up and we'll send inspiration straight to you.

Martha Stewart takes your privacy seriously. To learn more, please read our Privacy Policy.


Finger Paints

Homemade finger paints are nontoxic, washable, and always available.




  • 4 tablespoons of sugar
  • 1/2 cup of cornstarch
  • 2 cups of cold water
  • Containers
  • Food coloring


  1. Step 1

    Stir 4 tablespoons of sugar and 1/2 cup cornstarch together. Add 2 cups of cold water and heat over medium heat until the mixture is thick (the mixture will further thicken as it cools).

  2. Step 2

    Divide into four or more containers, and add food coloring as desired.

Martha Stewart Kids, Volume 3 2002



Reviews (7)

  • IlonaP 20 Feb, 2009

    Regular old white sugar worked just fine.

  • IlonaP 20 Feb, 2009

    Of course food colouring will stain: it's a DYE. What were they thinking? I used a tablespoon of tempera paint instead. (I suspect a tablespoon of tempera powder would be just as good.) It worked beautifully. Tempera, especially red and purple, also stain, but they will fade after a few washings. When I taught kindergarten, we'd mix a tablespoon of dishwashing liquid into the paint, and it washed out. I'll try this with my next batch.

  • matts_mommy0906 10 Sep, 2008

    I don't know what the person who came up with this was thinking but this stains EVERYTHING!

  • Bromache 13 Jul, 2008

    Be warned! I just tried this with my son and he now has red hands and a red face! Hopefully it will wash off eventually. LOL.

  • Susan94 19 Jun, 2008

    What kind of sugar is it that we use? Powdered or Granulated white sugar? Please help?

  • masuda66 8 May, 2008

    This seems like a great project for my Kids Group at the local homeless shelter, but I'm wondering if this paint will attract ants if I hang them on the wall.

  • barryroy 21 Feb, 2008

    This looks like an easy to make and safe recipe for finger paints. I'm wondering how long they will keep in sealed jars (i.e. baby food jars). Will the paints harden in time? Thank you.