Homemade Taste-Safe Finger Paint Recipe for Kids

A 4-ingredient easy recipe for taste-safe, edible finger paint with vibrant colors. These dry nicely so you can keep your little ones artwork for years to come!

Taste-Safe Finger Paints | Homan at Home

So many kids crafts need paint, and this recipe is here for all your baby, toddler, and kid crafting needs. While this is a completely edible finger paint recipe, it doesn’t taste very good. That’s why I’ve labelled it “taste-safe” — it’s completely non-toxic. This means that if your younger children put their little fingers in their mouths, you won’t have to worry about hospital bills. It’s safe for crafting with kids of all ages!

That is one major reason I love making my own art supplies — I know exactly what is in them. There’s no surprises at all. This is a hug benefit to allergy moms out there, and for anyone who wants to know exactly what is going in their kids mouths (’cause let’s be real, when you’re crafting with littles, everything goes in their mouths!).

With this homemade finger paint recipe, you don’t have to sacrifice for peace of mind. This paint is simple to make, dries vibrantly, and has a smooth texture that’s easy to work with. It’s also cheap to make and very versatile. You can dye it different colors Want glitter paint? Toss in some glitter! Make it thicker for textured work, or thinner for a watercolor effect. It’s completely up to you!

Why you want this recipe: 

  • made with simple ingredients
  • vibrant, quick-drying color
  • cheap and easy
  • taste safe for little crafters
Finger Paints Wide 1

What do I need for homemade edible finger paint?

Edible Finger Paint Ingredients

Start with a few basic household ingredients:

All-purpose bleached flour

Other wheat flour types will work for this, but bleached white flour gives you the best, lightest base so that your colors can be more vibrant. This also means that these paints are NOT gluten-free. I have never tried doing this with any gluten-free flours, but if you give it a shot, leave us a comment and let us know how it went


You will use water in creating both the base and in thinning your paint to your desired consistency. How much water you need to get the paint to the right texture will depend on your climate and how thick you want your paint!


This does two things — it helps the paint to dry with vivid colors, and it keeps the kiddos from wanting to eat the whole cup. If you want a truly edible paint, you can omit the salt.  

Food coloring

With my kids, I use gel food coloring, specifically Wilton gel colors*. They’re cheap, easily available, and they give a vibrant color that doesn’t fade when dry. The downside? Wilton gels stain — both clothing and bare skin. Unfortunately, so do the liquid food coloring drops. Be aware if you decide to use either of these options.

When I’m worried about staining, I use these Natural Liquid Food Colors*. They come in all the colors of the rainbow, are skin and taste safe, and do not stain clothes or skin. The only downside is that they cost a bit more and are harder to get ahold of.

*Disclosure: these are affiliate links. If you purchase something from this link, I will receive a small commission. However, all opinions and recommendations are my own. I will only ever recommend something I love!

How do I make edible finger paint?

How to Make Edible Fingerpaint

Step 1 | Make the Base

In a medium saucepan, combine the flour, the salt, and 1 cup of cold water. Mix them together, then turn on the stove to medium heat.

Whisk the mixture constantly until it turns into a thick paste, then remove from the heat. 

Step 2 | Thin Your Paint

Whisk in more cold water a little bit at a time until your paint reaches a custard-like consistency. You can also play around with the textures of the paint here by adding more or less water!

Step 3 | Add Color

You can make multiple colors from one batch of paint. Just spoon some paint into small containers, then mix in a few drops of food coloring to create your colors. 

Step 4 | Paint!

Allow your paint to cool completely before using on your fun activity! 

Ideas for Using Edible Finger Paint

Activities for Finger Paints
Images courtesy of Learning 4 Kids, Parenting Chaos, and Homan at Home.

Finger Painting

It might be an obvious choice, but this activity is still great fun! Just give kids a regular paper and let them create their own art projects! They can use their imaginations while working on their hand-eye coordination to create works of art they can be proud of.

Messy Play

You can cover a work surface (think high chair tray or bin), and let your child play. They can track pictures, letters, or numbers, create textured surfaces, or just make a giant mess with this perfect way to get in some sensory play.

Mess Free Bag Painting

If you don’t love the idea of messy play, this idea from Parenting Chaos is genius! Your child gets tons of fun sensory experience without you having to clean up the mess afterward. Just put some paint in a Ziploc bag, and let your kiddo trace, press, and squish their way to so much fun! It’s perfect for very young children, and if you’re worried about the bag busting, you can double bag your paint!

Creative Paintbrushes

Kids have a lot of fun using these to create their art activies. The idea is simple — just find some household or natural items to clip into clothespins. They make interesting paint brushes, creating different textures and strokes as you press and brush them on the page.

Hand/Fingerprint Crafts

When my children were very little, I used these paints all the time to create a variety of keepsake crafts. I still have my Valentines Baby Crafts from when Alex was 9 months old, and these adorable handprint leaves from the preschool years. 

The Spruce Crafts has 14 adorable ideas for fingerprint crafts that my kids have loved. 

Other Homemade Paint Recipes

No Mess Bathtub Paint | Homan at Home

Bathtub paints

Let your little ones express their artistry during tub time! These two-ingredient paints are tear-free and wash away at the end of bath time.

Scratch 'n Sniff Watercolors | Homan at Home

Scratch ‘n Sniff Watercolors

Make your own scented homemade water colors using Kool-Aid. These watercolors are non-toxic, edible, bright, and extremely fun!

How do I store edible finger paint?

In an airtight container. Baby food jars are great for this, but anything with a tight-fitting lid will work. These plastic condiment cups* are just the perfect size!

You’ll want to wait for the paint to cool to room temperature before you put the lid on in order to avoid condensation that might mess with the color and consistency of the paint.

This paint has a shelf life of about 1 week in an airtight container at room temperature. The ingredients may separate, but you can stir them back together just fine!

Edible Fingerpaint | Homan at Home
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Edible Finger Paint

Four ingredients gives you the perfect finger paints!
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 10 minutes
Total Time 15 minutes


  • ½ cup flour
  • 1 cup water
  • ¼ tsp salt
  • food coloring or water colors
  • cold water for thinning


  • Combine flour, salt, and 1 cup water in sauce pan.
  • Heat flour/water while whisking. The mixture will be clumpy, then smooth, then thicken into a paste.
  • Once it has become thick and pasty, remove from heat.
  • Whisk in cold water a few tablespoons at a time until desired consistency is reached.
  • Color with food coloring or water colors.
  • Allow to cool completely, then paint!
Tried this recipe?Mention @homanathome or tag #homanathome
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  1. How about the amount of salt to use? I might be missing it but I can’t seem to figure that part out!! 🙂 Thanks!!

    1. Thanks for letting me know. It’s a 1/4 tsp salt (you don’t need very much – it just keeps the paint from getting too crusty with the flour).

      1. Good to know for next time! I used an 1/8 cup Thinking maybe the salty flavor would keep him for liking it too much!! Did a test peice — seems to have dried okay but likely why I had to add so much (at least a cup) water to thin at the end!!

        Looking fwd to a cute Father’s Day card — thanks again!!

  2. How do you store this and how long can you store it for? I want to use this for my daughter’s birthday party, but I want to make it atleast a day or 2 in advance.

    1. I store it in an airtight container at room temperature. The most I’ve stored it for us a week, and it still worked well. Let me know if you have any other questions and happy birthday to your daughter!

  3. I want to make a suggestion that for your additional offerings please list what the photo is all about as it’s hard to tell.
    Your site is so lovely and the lettering & layout is calming!
    Can’t wait to make the finger paints!
    Love & Happiness,
    ~Emily Trevor

  4. What flour did you use ?? I can not seem to find out what flour you used ! Plus you might want to add what flour you used 🙂 I am hoping to make it tomorrow for my just turned one year old who eats everything on the flour .. so this should be a fun activities for her …

  5. 5 stars
    Thank you so much it was quick easy and looked great even though I forgot the salt. The mothers day finger print flowers were awesome for grandkids to give to their mom.

  6. 4 stars
    Thank you so much for this recipe! It worked great. I made a batch a few days in advance, but it developed a bad smell, so I whipped up another batch the day of the project. Maybe it wasn’t sealed well? All in all, it was just the right texture and took color beautifully!

  7. 5 stars
    Hi thanks for the recipe. I tried without cooking it. I only put hot water and stirred it well. Then add some cold water ( maybe around 2-3 tablespoons). It worked fine. I will use it during our online session with our toddler group. thanks again!

  8. Do you know if this would show up on black frosting? I am making a monster truck cake for my grandson’s birthday and want to paint the details on but don’t know if it will work on such a dark background

  9. If this is used on a canvas and hung up, do you think the paint would hold up well over time or get weird? Thanks!

    1. That’s am interesting question! I’ve never used this on canvas, but I have paintings on paper my kids did 4 or 5 years ago that have held up fine. I’m not sure how it would do on canvas, though.

  10. I am interested in making your recipe with watercolors. Do I just take each one of them out of the package and add it directly?

  11. 5 stars
    The texture and colours came out perfectly. I was a bit intimidated about staining given my hands are beautifully colored from making the paint but, the paint itself seems to be fine (only have done a quick test). We’ll find out tomorrow once the artwork creation begins 🙂

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