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Natural Dye Liquid Watercolours

These beautiful liquid watercolors can be used as a dye-free alternative to classic watercolors, or you can substitute them into many play recipes as a way to naturally color sensory materials.

To Make Natural Dye Liquid Watercolors, You Will Need:

  • Beets (red/pink)

  • Carrots (orange)

  • Spinach (green)

  • Red cabbage (blue and purple)

  • Turmeric (yellow)

  • Water

  • Blender or food processor

  • Cone-shaped coffee filters

  • Drinking glasses or a glass jar with a small opening

  • Baking soda

Step 1: Combine 1 cup of canned or cooked beets and 1 cup of water in a blender of food processor.

Step 2: Blend for 1 minute or until pureed.

Step 3: Use a cone-shaped coffee filter to strain out the beet juice. Place the filter over and slightly inside the mouth of a drinking glass, folding the remaining paper over the outside of the rim so that the filter doesn’t get pulled into the glass. Slowly pour the pureed beets through the filter into the glass.

Step 4: Once the filtered liquid has stopped dripping, you can remove and discard the filter and its contents. The filtered liquid in the glass is your red/pink Taste- safe Natural- dye Liquid Watercolor.

Step 5: Repeat Steps 1-4 for carrots (orange), spinach (green), and red cabbage (purple), using 1 cup of vegetable and 1 cup of water for each.

Step 6: To make blue, repeat Steps 1-4 with red cabbage. Then add a pinch of baking soda to your filtered liquid and stir well. Add just enough baking soda, a pinch at a time, until your filtered liquid has turned blue.

Step 7: To make yellow, simply add 1 teaspoon of turmeric to 1 cup of warm water and stir until completely combined.

Step 8: Natural- dye Liquid Watercolors can be stored in an ice cube tray in the refrigerator for several days, or frozen in a freezer-safe container to use weeks or months later.

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