Making Paint from Flowers DIY

Can you sing with all the voices of the mountain? Can you paint with all the colours of the wind? The stage is set for your first DIY of the new year, and gardeners – it’s blooming! We’re sure both you and the kids are eager to get back to school, so let’s make sure we send them off with some positive flower power. Here is Life is a Garden’s top activity to end off the holidays.


Pocahontas’s secrets

Did you know? The lotus flower was first used to represent the sun in Ancient Egyptian art and has since become a popular symbol of peace in yogic/health practices. During the Medieval and Renaissance period, painters and sculptures used flowers as an important motif to convey a certain meaning to audiences. The oldest archaeological evidence of paint making was found in the Blombos Cave in South Africa and was dated at 100,000 years old! Paint made from plant oils was also an essential part of Native American storytelling, on cave walls and on the body. Our girl Pocahontas is well known for illustrating the deep connection these ancient tribes had with Mother Nature.

Collecting your colours

The first ingredient you need is some flowers, of course! Gather a colourful collection from the garden or pop down to your GCA Garden Centre to choose from the huge selection of summer bloomers. Try to get a variety of different flowers as some are more pigment-rich than others, resulting in a brighter or more pastel colour. Try these colour-popping picks: Daisies, Fuchsia, Hibiscus , Roses and  Salvias.

Terrific gift tip: We know that January can be a tough month, on the budget and also for all those with birthday’s this month. Purchase plain white craft paper, fold it as a card, and get the kids to use their amazing flower paint to decorate it with. Accompany your DIY card with a gorgeous summer bloomer in a pot, available from your GCA Garden Centre.


Preparing your paint

Once you’ve collected all your flowers, you will also need to get the following simple supplies:

  • Bowls to mix the different colours
  • Paintbrushes
  • Paper to paint on (textured craft paper looks lovely and super professional)
  • Boiling water
  • Bicarbonate of soda
  • A couple of fresh lemons or lemon juice


Step 1: Remove the petals from your flowers and group similar colours together in the bowls.

Step 2: Pour a splash of boiling water (just enough to cover the petals) inside the bowls. Using a paintbrush, smoosh and mix the water-petal mixture (you should see the colour change immediately). Add more water if needed until you have a nice sloppy flower mash.

Step 3: Add a sprinkle of bicarb to one of the bowls as a tester. The alkaline pH from the bicarb will change the colour to a darker hue, which will continue to intensify if left for an hour or so. Now, you can play with both lighter and darker colours, yay!

Step 4: Use one of your other flower paint bowls for your second colour changing experiment. Squeeze some lemon juice into a bowl with yellow/orange flowers. The acidity from the lemon will turn your paint into a vibrant, almost neon hue.

Step 5: Once you have all the colours of the wind, it’s time to paint with them! Got a white wall? Paint it! Got a gift card? Canvas? Cupboard door? Adorn them all! The flower paint can easily be wiped away with a wet cloth (or rain), so there are many potential places to paint on, apart from your paper.


Top tip for tiny tots: For younger kids who might (definitely) put their fingers in their mouths, it’s best to prepare guaranteed safe edible paint. You can do so by using the sap from squished berries and herbs, or from known edible flowers such as hibiscus, dandelions, lavender, honeysuckle and nasturtium.


Top décor indulgence: Get the kids to paint a series of floral masterpieces on A5 paper. Frame their artwork using contrasting frame colours, or go for black to make the focal colours stand out. Hang their collection in the kitchen for all to admire!

What you need: Painting with flowers
What you need: Painting with flowers
Painting with flowers
Painting with flowers
Painting with flowers
Painting with flowers

With so many flowers in bloom this time of year, the colour options are endless. This activity is perfect for independent play or as a fun family experiment. Help instil an appreciation of the natural world and a love for gardening to perfectly end off the holidays. Life is a Garden, so paint passionately with yours!

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