Make: DIY Sidewalk Paint for Kids

Sure, the weather is getting chillier and it might be getting tougher to figure out some quality family time outdoors with your tots.  Well, fear no more! The genius ladies at ARTifact in San Francisco have come up with a super fun, super cool alternative to summer’s sidewalk chalk art adventures.

They’ve even made it spoooooky Halloween-themed for us!

The best part of this project is that the container for these starts out looking like just white powder (the food coloring is hidden inside) so your kids will think you are a magician when you pour water into each white powder and come up with a variety of bright colors.

To make your own sidewalk paint you’ll need:


  • Corn starch
  • Food coloring
  • Small containers with lids (baby food jars, Bell Jars, anything really)
  • Paintbrushes (all sizes)


  • Black and orange tissue paper and ribbons

DIY Sidewalk Paint Instructions:

  1. Fill small containers with corn starch

    Fill containers 1-thirds of the way with corn starch and create a crater in the center of each with a finger.

  2. Add food coloring

    Squeeze 3-4 drops of food coloring into your craters. The corn starch will ball up around the drops of color. To make the specific colors we made for Halloween you can use these color formulas…

    Goblin Green: two blue drops + four yellow drops
    Dracula’s Purple Cape: three red drops + two blue drops
    Jack-o’-Lantern Orange: three red drops + three yellow drops
    Full Moon Yellow: five yellow drops + one red drop
    Werewolf White: three red drops + three blue drops + three yellow drops

  3. Cover

    Cover the color balls with more corn starch and put the lids on the containers.

  4. Once outside, add water and paint!

    Head outside, let your ghouls and goblins add water and be amazed at the colors, and paint away!!

** Gift idea: Wrap each container in a square of tissue paper and tie with a ribbon; tie on a paintbrush and instructions: “Mystery Sidewalk Potion: To paint the town, mix one-part potion with two parts water and watch the paint reveal its true color.”

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team barley and birch
This post is from the barley & birch archives


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