Glue+Food Coloring = Paint!

Ok so I absolutely love using paint in the classroom, but it tends to be one of those messy things that I hate to drag because it's so......well.....messy! I feel awful for not bringing it out more because I know the kids love it and it really allows them to express their creative side. Then I heard of a possible solution --- making "paint" by coloring glue!

Ok, so I know what you are thinking.....glue???? Well, heck that's messy in and of itself......but trust me on this! The way we are going to use it, it won't be near as messy as you think AND it will be tons less messy than using traditional paint. The kids will think it's cool and YOU WILL TO!

I know at the end of school, I always have these half-empty bottles of glue. Being ever the teacher and trying to conserve supplies, I used to marry all the bottle together to create as many full bottles as I could. WELL NEVER AGAIN! I've learn something to do with those half-empty bottles that's WAY COOL and keeps me from trying to get them all full again.

Now for this to work best -- you NEED HALF-FULL bottles of glue. It actually can be anywhere for 1/2 full to 3/4 full. The important thing is to have room to allow movement of the glue. VERY IMPORTANT!!!!


1. Get a 1/2 full to 3/4 full bottle of glue. You can use regular white glue or clear glue. If you use white glue, the "paint" will dry in a matte finish. If you use clear glue, the "paint" will dry in a gloss finish. You can actually use a fuller bottle with the clear glue as it moves around better than white glue. The glue itself looks different depending on whether you use white or clear glue - so experiment!

2. Choose the color of "paint" you want to make. You will use food coloring to color the glue.

3. Open your bottle of glue and drop anywhere from 5-15 drops of your preferred color into the bottle. Obviously the more drops you put in, the dark the color will be. Experiment a little. This is also a great way to demonstrate color mixing for the kids. I'm totally thinking of this story..... :)

 4. Close the lid on the glue and shake, shake, SHAKE. You will notice that there is still lots of white on the bottom. Here is what I did - use a popsicle stick to mix it in the bottle. You can also place the bottle upside down for a couple of hours. It will help it mix.

5. It's ready to use! It really is so simple and so fun. Personally, I love using the glue bottle as my paint dispenser. It gives you great control. What a fun way to have children work on their fine motor skill while having fun!

I can totally see using this "paint" in an art center! However, my first thought of using this stuff is as a fun way to reinforce letters and names... I know I'm on the letters and names kick....what can I say - I'm a kinder teacher at heart. I used it with my son to practice letters and even writing his name with the glue. He did a great job!

Here's a video I made showing you how to do it!

Here is Reagan using the paint! See how easy it is for him to use?

 Never mind the "no shirt"'s summer in Texas. That's how he rolls! :)


  1. What a cute idea. Thank you for sharing this. I can't wait to try it. :)

  2. I love this! I can't wait to try it when we go back in August.

  3. What a neat idea! Glue was so precious in my room last year! I have to find a way to make it last longer... I may just do this so the kids want to keep it around longer?! Kids would loveee colored glue!!

    Teacher Talk*

  4. Thanks for sharing! Love this idea...this makes me excited to meet my new kinders and try it! :)

  5. What a great idea!I will have to try it.
    Eileen Boyle

  6. Great idea! Makes me want to head to school and dig out all my partial bottles of glue! Thanks a bunch!

  7. What a great idea! Makes me want to head to school and dig out all my partial bottles of glue! Thanks a bunch! :-)

  8. I used this a lot when I taught K-1 the kids loved it and it was good motor skill practice, tracing with the glue :)

    The Resource(ful) Room

  9. Thanks for sharing! Will be doing this with my daughter this summer!

    Success in Second Grade

  10. What a great idea! I never thought of this! This is so adorable!
    ~Your newest follower,

  11. If you use contact paper and cookie cutters and let dry and then peel you can create letters or any shape. I use on my light table.

  12. Fun! Thanks for sharing! Can't wait to make some!

  13. My Kindergarten class will enjoy this.