Tons of people have participated in color 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

FAST DIY Color Powder Recipe for neighborhood color runs and color wars!


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.

NOTE: 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 of water and mix.

Slowly pour in the rest of the corn starch and continue to mix.

Colored Powder Recipe perfect for backyard Color Runs, Color Wars or gender reveals!

Once all the corn starch has been added, use your hands to completely mix the powder, breaking up any large chunks.

FAST Color Powder Recipe for neighborhood color runs, color wars! Also great for gender reveals!

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.

FAST DIY Color Powder Recipe for neighborhood color runs and color wars!

Remove from the oven and pour mixture into a blender or food processor. Above is what it looks like prior to be blended.

FAST DIY Color Powder Recipe for neighborhood color runs and color wars!

Blend until all chunks are gone and the mixture is in fine powder form. The final powder should look like above.

Place the powder in a jar or into ziplock baggies until ready to use.

Playing with Colored Powder

DIY Holi Powder, Colored Powder in under 1.5 hours

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 son’s 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.

FAST Color Powder Recipe for neighborhood color runs and color wars! Also works great for gender reveals.

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 it when readers share their color powder photos with me. Check out this stunning photo that reader Ayla shared:

Color Powder Photoshoot