Color Runs are huge right now. Tons of people have participated in these fun runs because they’re, well, FUN! Kids especially love the explosion of color powder that happens at these events, so why not bring the fun to your backyard with DIY Colored Powder. However, every recipe I found for Colored Powder takes DAYS to create. What?! This mama does not have days to let the powder sit around and dry, so I came up with a recipe that can be made in about 1 hour and 15 minutes!
Whether you’re planning a color run or a celebration, this fast-drying color powder is easy to make, so let’s get to it!
Fast Drying DIY Colored Powder Recipe
- 2 cups Corn Starch
- 1/2 jar Icing Coloring (.5 ounce)
- 3/4 cup Water
- Rubber Gloves are recommended
Preheat oven to 170 degrees Fahrenheit.
Pour 1 cup of corn starch into a mixing bowl.
Add in a 1/2 jar of icing coloring in the color of your choice. I used Wilton brand icing coloring from the cake section at Walmart. Liquid food coloring can also be used, but the colors won’t get as vibrant. If you do use liquid food coloring, put in about 50 drops.
Pour in 3/4 cup water and mix.
Slowly pour in the rest of the corn starch and continue to mix.
Once all the corn starch has been added, use your hands to completely mix the powder, breaking up any large chunks.
Pour the mixture onto a cookie sheet, spreading it out into a thin layer.
Bake in oven for 60 minutes, stirring mixture every 20 minutes.
Remove from the oven and pour mixture into a blender or food processor.
Blend until all chunks are gone and the mixture is in fine powder form.
Place the powder in a jar or into ziplock baggies until ready to use.
Playing with Colored Powder
What can this DIY Colored Powder be used for at home? Set up a family color run with the kids – or make it an obstacle course! Think climbing things, crawling under things – kids LOVE obstacle courses. Check out the simple one we made for my sons Army Birthday Party if you need ideas. I set up our color run for around the house and used a sprinkler as the finish line. Right after the kids jumped through the sprinkler I showered them with powder for an extra bright finish!
Since sharing this color powder recipe I’ve had tons of people reach out in the comments, via email, and on social media telling me how they’ve used this recipe for their gender reveal parties. How cool is that? If you’re planning a gender reveal and want a fun way to do so, this powder could be just the trick! The most common theme has been adding it to balloons.
I’ve also heard that people are using this fast color powder recipe to make Holi Powder. I had never heard of Holi, so looked it up and found that Holi is a popular ancient Indian festival. It’s also known as the “Festival of Love”, the “Festival of Colors” and the “Festival of Spring”. Holi Festival celebrates the eternal and divine love of Radha Krishna.
After our Backyard Color Run, the kids had a color war! It was so fun to watch and they were giggling away the whole time. Feel free to wear swimming goggles to protect your eyes! The kids wore white shirts so that the color really showed up and they are already asking when we can do it again. I was a little worried about my kids walking away stained, but no skin was stained when all was said and done! We did hit the showers afterward to clean up entirely though! FYI: I washed my son’s shirt immediately afterward and it was clean as a whistle when it came out.
Wouldn’t this make a super fun family photoshoot idea? Take some nice pictures before the crazy color action and then photograph the whole she-bang!
Check out our Color War:
I love when readers share their color powder photos with me. Check out this stunning photo that reader, Ayla, shared:
This is really cool it is just the best
Just wanted to say this method works great!! We’ve been to a color run and playing with the colored powder was so much fun! My daughter is having a 13th birthday party this weekend and wanted this for a game. I found another recipe first that called for flour, water, and food coloring. The instructions were to roll it out 1/4 in. thick and let it dry overnight, then blend it….it did NOT work!! It was a horrible mess and I about gave up, but I decided to give this recipe a try. It was so easy and the colors turned out amazing! Thank you so much!!
I’m so glad and I hope your daughter has a wonderful birthday party! –Kim
I second that! I looked up countless recipes and yours is flawless and so easy! The color icing was truly a life hack! I couldn’t imagine myself counting 50-70 drops of 12 different colors! Lol thank you!
I’m so glad it worked well for you! Hope everyone had a blast.
The color comes right off if you use a leaf blower too!
HAHA! I bet the kids loved that. Thanks for the tip.
Do you think this would work in a fire to reveal
The baby gender
If you mean would it turn the fire a color, I don’t think so. You could fill a black balloon and pop it, or a ball that bursts when you strike it with a bat.
We used this tonight in nylon “color bombs” while playing Capture the Flag.. The kids had a blast. I made it with gel food coloring and used a full squeeze gel bottle per batch. The color was very vibrant. Thanks for sharing this. The kids loved that it was easy to wash up afterwards.
We did it for a gender reveal. So glad we found your recipe as we had very little time to put it together! Worked great!
I love that! Did you get pictures?! I would love to see them.–Kim
We did, how do I send you a picture?
You can share via my facebook page, http://facebook.com/inspirationmadesimple, or via email at [email protected]!
DOES THis work if you substitute the corn starch for flour?
I can’t answer this as I’ve never tried it. The corn starch works perfectly, so I’m not sure why you would want to substitute?
What if you throw it on the floor? Can you clean it with a broom??
I personally wouldn’t want to, but yes, you could certainly sweep it up. I feel like it would stay in cracks and you would find it for days!
Going to try and use this for someone else’s gender reveal this Saturday- just made my first test batch and it turned out great. It did however require longer in the oven to get better dried out. Will try to remember to update with the results!
How fun! I’m sure climate can play a part in the drying process as well. The 1 hour was plenty for my powder, but I don’t think there is a negative to keeping it in longer, as long as you’re stirring it every 10-20 minutes to prevent it from browning. I can’t wait to hear about the gender reveal!
Would Wilton gel color work?
I would assume so. I used gel icing coloring and it worked well.
Does this stain…either clothes or skin?
It does not!
Do you think you could substitute vodka in place of water? I would think it would evaporate completely, removing the need to bake to dry?
I don’t know, but I sure am interested to find out!
I have a question… We did this hastily. We used 1 lb corn starch and 14 oz of water, mixed all together and poured into a pan.
I was making dinner had the oven at 350 and so we threw this in with it.
after about 40 min. I turned to oven off..
we left it sit over night.. Epic Fail
It is like a piece of rubberized concrete!
Going out to get 5 more boxes to try to do it exactly like you have written.
Gotta get it right!
We bought 100 lbs of corn starch and colorant for a Teen/Youth event!!
Oh no! I’ve never made a batch that big, but it is definitely doable! You may want to make several smaller batches to make it easier on yourself!
Did you manage to make it work with a bulk batch? I am planning a youth event this month as well and would love to be able to do this!
I never tried a bulk batch, but I know many of my readers have.
Using the measurements you provided, about how much powder was created? In other words, how many children could enjoy the amount of colored powder in the batch?
I was able to fill 4 16 ounce mason jars with the batch that I made. I would say a jar per person, so 4 people.
I have a question. Is this easy to clean up off the ground? and if so how would you recommend to do so?
We used it on the grass… didn’t really make much of a mess. But a simple hose should wash it away.
Can you clarify this for me? Was the batch you made the 2 cups of corn starch and you were still able to fill 4 16 oz jars?
That is correct!
Do you think it would stain a cement court? I love this idea!
No, I doubt it. Should wash away with rain or a hose!
Do you know why the paint doesn’t stain on the concrete?
There is no paint used in this recipe.
could baby powder be used instead of cornstarch?
I’ve never tried it, so I’m not sure!
I am looking for a recipe that will stain the white tshirts. Is there anything i can add so the color will Cling?
what temperature oven?
170 F sorry:)
Hi my daughter sent me on a mission to find colour powder by the next morning for her art project.
I hunted high and low with no luck and thought the DIY way was gonna be a fail till I came across your way…..Amazing and I’m now the cool mum lol…Thank you you so much! Kelly.
Ha! Always happy to help out another mom! <3
Question: when you say .5 oz, were you using half of a .5oz jar? So really .25oz of coloring per batch?. OR using the 1oz jar? And really using .5oz per batch?
I’m about to make a HUGE batch for a gender reveal and don’t want to go over board on the color cause I see it getting pricy if I’m using double the coloring.
So sorry for the delay. It is just .5 oz total for the recipe, so half of a 1 oz jar.
I had so much fun make it and can’t wait to use it with my children! Thank you very much!!
I hope they enjoy! I just made another batch last week and my kids and the neighborhood kids had a ton of fun! My driveway was nice and colorful until it rained. LOL
Does this stain clothes? We are considering using at a football game when the team runs out the student section would throw it but don’t want any issues with staining.
It doesn’t stain at all!
Does this recipe make approx 1 lb of finished product? Looking to make 5-10 lbs for our gender reveal!
I’m not sure the weight, sorry!
Where can I purchase jars of Icing Color. Thanks!
Walmart has them in the cake decorating aisle. Michaels carries it, as does other craft stores, and some grocery stores.
Question: Do you know if this will work with a car burnout gender reveal?
Hi Tracy, I don’t actually know what a car burnout gender reveal is!
I’m currently making this for a gender reveal. It’s working well. While following the recipe the initial mixture is more of a runny paste. But I dries out well with mixing in the oven. After the 60-minute bake with stirring I am putting it in a food processor instead of the blender. It’s working better for me this way. Each recipe is making almost one and a half pounds.
Correction* watch recipe is almost 1lb. I did my math wrong.
Glad it’s working. I imagine a food processor would definitely get the job done!
How far ahead can I make these? A week?
As far in advance as you want. Just store it in air-tight containers.
Do you believe a small coffee grinder could do the trick just as well as blender mentioned in the instructions?
I’ve never used a coffee grinder, but I would assume so.
Thank you so much for this very efficient and fast powder recipe, it worked wonderfully and I was able to get some photos with my powder! Definitely have some more learning to do so my powder is more consistent, but super happy with how much this recipe helped me out.
Ayla! That photo is stunning! Thanks for sharing and I’m glad it worked for you!