Mar 14, 2013

DIY Color Powders

One of the places I would like to visit is India, I would especially like to be there during Holi, the Spring Festival. This year Holi is on March 27th and I am making colored powders for my own play of colors.

DIY Color Powders

So far my color powders aren't as vibrant as the store-bought ones, but they are less expensive and totally edible (when throwing it around some definitely ends up in your mouth!). Here is how I made these:

Supplies:
Large Bowl
Spoon
Sifter/Strainer
Cookie Sheet
Oven
1 Pound Corn Starch (for each color)
Food Coloring
Water

How To:
1. Pour some of the corn starch into a large bowl.
2. Mix 1 cup water and 50+ drops of food coloring (in the picture above, the green used 40 drops of food coloring and the blue used 50) and pour into the bowl.
3. "Stir" the water and corn starch together while slowly adding the remaining corn starch. Once most of the corn starch is added, it may be easier to use your hands to mix.
4. Sift the wet, colored corn starch through a sifter or strainer onto a cookie sheet.
5. Dry the corn starch in a 200°F oven for approximately 60 minutes checking and mixing every 10-20 minutes. Note: A lower temperature and longer time will reduce the likelihood of the starch cooking and forming hard chunks.
6. Once the colored corn starch is dry, sift it through a sifter or strainer again to get rid of any clumps then store in the corn starch container or a zipper storage bag until ready to use.

DIY Color Powders

I have only made blue and green colored powders, I'll be making some other colors this weekend and I'll update this page with any DIY color powder breakthroughs I may have! Also, who wants to get together to throw colored corn starch at each other?

49 comments:

  1. SO SO SO excited to have found this DIY! Thank you! I'm running in the Color Me Rad 5K tomorrow, and my kids are disappointed they don't get to play with the color bombs, which are colored cornstarch. So I wanted to make them some and maybe have a fun photo shoot. This is perfect!

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    1. You're welcome! I hope you and your kids have fun with the DIY color bombs.

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  2. Mine came out %60 overly chunky stuff. Did you do something to grind it?

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    Replies
    1. That's a bummer.
      I just sifted it both before and after baking. My second batch was a bit more lumpy than the first, but only a few tablespoons worth.
      Try setting your oven at a lower temperature and drying it for a longer time; the starch seems to have cooked up causing the clumps.

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  3. How can you get the dye to set to stay in your clothes after a color run??

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    Replies
    1. To make the color stains permanent before the run make sure your clothing is 100% cotton (it dyes easily) and wash it well to remove anything that could prevent dying. After the run try setting the color with a hot steam iron and washing in cold water. The color will likely be less vibrant than expected. Good Luck!

      I don't think these DIY colors will stain as much as the powders used at the runs.

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    2. Evidently you can put your clothes in vinegar for 20 mins before washing and it will help with setting the colour.

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  4. Have you came across any other colors?

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    Replies
    1. I'm not sure what you mean; you can make the powder other colors by using different colored food coloring.

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  5. Can you use the paste colors instead of liquid food coloring?

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    Replies
    1. You can certainly try. I've never worked with paste colors, but they are a food coloring so they should. The amount of water and color may need to be adjusted, let me know how it turns out!

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  6. Do the colors stain if you get the powder wet?

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    Replies
    1. They could, but my color powders weren't very bright so they didn't do any damage.

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  7. I'm trying to make this..and when i place it into my oven it gets hard on top but turns into a 'gel' under that...is there any way to fix this...?

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    Replies
    1. It seems like the corn starch mixture may be really wet. Try reducing the water or stirring more frequently during the drying process.

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  8. So does this powder stick to clothes/skin like paint? Not permanently but long enough to last throughout an event? I am hosting a color run type event at my school and need a lot of powder but not enough funds to buy the real stuff. So I need a recipe that will be cheaper but still act in the same manner..

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    Replies
    1. The powder is dusty and will stick to skin and clothes, like flour does when baking; it will stay on until it is wiped or washed off.

      Good luck with your event!

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    2. Wonderful! Thanks so much :)

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  9. What do you suggest to put the powder in so that you can throw it? I need something that will hide the color of the powder and then bust on impact. I am doing a gender reveal photo session and we were gonna get messy with powder. :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. The first thing I thought of was egg shells (confetti egg type), but you could also do paper bag balloons and pop them in your hands or even sprinkle the powder out of the bags. Good Luck!

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    2. Awesome!! Confetti eggs are PERFECT!!!

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  10. So for the 1 cup of water, you use the whole bag of corn starch?

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  11. Is there a difference if you are using the corn starch in a canister?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Corn starch in a canister will work too

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    2. How many cups of corn starch do I use?

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    3. One pound of corn starch is about 3.5 cups.

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  12. This my be an obvious question but does it stain skin? I am doing a school event with it as well but am considering just putting it on student clothing and not skin.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. If the powder was very bright and got wet it may temporarily stain your skin. It is just food coloring and non toxic.

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  13. Hi. Can you use flour instead of cornstarch??

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. You can use flour (it gives a brighter color), but it can cause chafing so if you are making the color powder for a running event use corn starch.

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  14. Do you know if this would stain cement? It might be a stupid question, but I want to do a color fight for my birthday and my parents would flip if I stained the backyard haha

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    Replies
    1. It shouldn't. The powder isn't very bright, but any color could be hosed off like sidewalk chalk.

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  15. I was just wondering, will it be hard to wash out of my hair? Ps, this is a great idea and little site you've got here ;)

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    Replies
    1. Thanks.

      The color powder will easily wash out of your hair with shampoo.

      Delete
  16. I am making this for family photos... If I used flour to make bright colors do I still use 1 cup of water for 1 lb of flour?

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    Replies
    1. The ratio should be about the same, you just need enough water to disperse the color.

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  17. How well does it stick? I'm hosting a color run for a bunch of kiddos and I want to get them as colorful as possible!

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    Replies
    1. The powder will stick like flour does when baking.

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  18. How much cornstarch did you use in the first step?

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    1. I'm not sure, maybe a cup? It doesn't really matter how much, it is just easier to disperse the color with a smaller amount of dries to start.

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  19. Hi, mine came out very lumpy even after being shifted and dried. It fell as clumps. How can I make it smoke-like?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. You can try reducing the water and drying it at a lower temperature for a longer time. Remember to mix it at regular intervals, every 20 minutes, it really helps with clumps. I sifted mine after it was dry; you can try running it through a blender or food processor if it is still lumpy (I'm not sure how well that will work though).

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  20. Can I color chocolate this way?

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    Replies
    1. I would use just white chocolate and food coloring, skipping the starch.

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  21. How much color powder did this make. I'm hosting a powder paint fight with about 15 people. So i'll be needing alot

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. One pound of corn starch is about 3.5 cups. You will get approximately the same amount of finished powder as the amount of corn starch you started with.

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  22. how will this do at a church camp? i dont want it to stain ANY cloths... as well as make a HUGE mess

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    Replies
    1. If you are worried about staining clothes, I wouldn't do this. There is a chance that the colored powder could stain.

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