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  • Nusaybah

DIY Liquid Watercolours (with things you probably already have + recycling!)

You might remember a while back sometime last year when we made our own liquid watercolours using old crayola feltips (just standard crayola supertips!). Since then we've used those liquid watercolours for quite a few different projects, especially for watercolour backgrounds, that you might recognise from our Instagram like these: (as well as the tutorial we shared last Tuesday!)

I'm finally writing a tutorial for these watercolours! The best part of them is that they are made of completely recycled items, that we would have normally thrown away (and I was just about to - luckily I did a quick search for crayola DIYs before though!) so this can be done at home while you're social distancing and they should be ready in a few days!

Here's what you'll need:

- Pack of old crayola supertips / waterbased felt tips (doesn't matter how old they are - the set we used were a good few years old)]

- A few jars (you'll need one jar for each colour you make, we used 5 and they can all be of different sizes) - you can scrub the labels off so you can see your watercolours better!

- Water

- You'll need a sunny windowsill/ table where you can keep the pens for a couple of days

1. Group all the pens you have into a few general colours. We did pinks and purples togther, blues, greens, oranges and yellows and browns/ greys/ black. This should have made 5 watercolours at the end, but after we made them, we mixed the yellow and green as the yellow kept darkening to an almost light green.

2. Fill up the jars halfway and then put the pens in tip-down. We put the colours where we had the most pens in biggest jars and the smallest jar with the fewest pens to make sure the colours had similar concentrations.

If all the jars you have are the same size, fill them up with different amounts of water so that the colours with fewer pens don't get too diluted.

3. Leave those beside a sunny windowsill for at least 24 hours, lid off! (But keep the lids you'll need them for storage later - we didn't keep all of them unfortunately and had to find lids from other places!)

wayyy too watery and pale!

After 24 hours I used them for pointed pen calligraphy but they were way too watery (you can see that they've dripped all over my page) and pale. I haven't tried them for pointed pen since, but I do want to!

But in terms of the colour, it was definitely already getting more concentrated!

After a few days, I used scissors to pull out the felt part of the pen (be careful with that!) and then squeeezed any remaining ink out of that. I was going to skip that but am glad I didn't because there was still SO much ink that came out - be careful though, the ink will get allll over your hands, but should wash off fairly easily as the pens are water-based. You can even chop up the felt bits to squeeze out every last bit of ink.

Finally, we just left them on a windowsill for a few weeks without the lids on and once we were happy with how concentrated they were, we moved the pens away and put the lids back!

Now when we use them, they are concentrated enough that we can put a few drops of watercolour into a well on paint palette, dilute with water and use them to paint, but a lot of the time just use them concentrated!


- After a few weeks, like I said earlier, our yellow got so concentrated it went green, so we just mixed the yellow and green and have now got 4 very concentrated colours

- The black/ brown one wasn't the nicest of colours, so we mixed some shimmery gold paint into the paint and now have a lovely starry black! It needs a shake before using though, as the gold settles at the bottom

- If the paints are running low, just add a bit of water straight from the tap. It will temporarily get a but watery (depending on how much you add) but that will evaporate as you have the jars open whilst you use them.

Now you can check out our IGTV tutorial on our Instagram (@crescentcalligraphy) for 3 ways to make fun watercolour backgrounds with these liquid watercolours! If you make them, don't forget to tag us on Instagram with your photos! Let us know in the comments if you have any questions!



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