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Basic Toolkit - Equipment for making your own watercolors

What do I need to make my own watercolors at home?

Where can I find what I need?

You have come to the right place because today I will share with you a basic video overview of everything you need to make your own watercolors. Please note that this is not a "how to" video. This is a "what you need to get started" on the "how to". The "how to" will come soon.

I have already shared with you a baseline binder recipe. I had one question asking how many cups Gum Arabic to water? The answer is in the recipe. You need to figure out first what ratio you are working with and apply the ratio rule in the recipe. It says 1 part Gum Arabic to 2 parts water. That means whatever the amount of Gum Arabic you measure, you double it for the water part. For example; if you have 1 cup of Gum Arabic, you add 2 cups of water or 2 cups Gum Arabic to 4 cups of water. Fractions are not everyone's strength I am aware but if you are going to make your own watercolors, please make sure you are confident when applying ratios. (P.S. I hate fractions too!)

I spent just about all day on less than 10 minutes of video below. I wanted to make sure it was concise but explanatory. Sourcing your watercolor making equipment may take time so be patient and shop around for comparisons for prices. By far, Jackson's Art Supplies seems to be the most affordable option for international purposes but if you are a US resident, you may find a cheaper source there. I often do not ship much from the US because of the shipping prices. I will for special pigments but that's it. I often ship from China, UK and parts of Europe including Australia. I will try from New Zealand but little ole' New Zealand is fairly limited in options, let alone affordability.

Did you know that you can source your own glass sheet locally from a glass warehouse? It will be affordable too. I recommend looking into it.

Tool Kit:

  • Non - slip mats - can be bought in rolls and cut to desired length.

  • Thick Sheet of glass with sharp edges covered and roughened surface area.

  • A glass muller or equivalent glass object with a smooth, flat surface.

  • Palette knives - whichever you are most comfortable working with. For mixing and pouring pigment.

  • Measuring spoons for binder and/or pigment measuring.

  • Pans to pour your mulled paint into or alternatives such as sea shells, bottle caps, metal eye shadow palette pans. You can get really creative with this!

  • Safety mask so you don't get high on cadmium. I have no idea if that's possible but yeah, no sniffing that pigment please! Especially if it is something extra special like Authentic Indigo!

  • Pigment - whichever pleases you! So many choices!!!!

  • Binder - you can make your own or buy it pre-made from most art shops.

  • Gloves

  • Paper Towels, Rags or wet wipes for cleaning.

  • Cream cleanser or an abrasive cleanser for cleaning pans, hands and surfaces. Handy for those pesky staining pigments!

  • Notebook and pen for recording your notes, recipes, do not's, do's etc.

  • Watercolor paper and paintbrush for testing colors - the other fun part!!!!!

Helpful Links:

  • Muller from Jackson's Art Supplies

Dimensions of sheet of glass featured - 51cm L x 40 W cm x 4cm D

There are many more burning topics I have on my radar BUT is there anything in particular that you are curious about?

Let me know in the comments below.


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6 comentários

Jenni (secondjenletters)
Jenni (secondjenletters)
12 de jul. de 2019

I love how thorough and helpful you are. I feel like I'm right there in the process with you! And someday maybe I'll try for myself, but probably not since I can just keep buying your magical products <3


Stacey Dodd
Stacey Dodd
08 de jul. de 2019

Hi Becky, I think that some makers use a combination of both or sometimes just the honey. The glycerin itself is an organic natural source. Use sparingly however.

Hi kerry, alternatives - funnily enough I started out with a glass door handle that had a flat surface but I've even seen a wine glass and glass ornaments used. The key is glass and a flat surface. Stacey xo


Hi, Stacey. This is so interesting! do I understand correctly that honey is used as a substitute for glycerin by some makers. as opposed to both in the binder recipe? Thank you- Becky


Kerry (inkyloft)
Kerry (inkyloft)
05 de jul. de 2019

Mullers are expensive and I know this puts off a lot of people! So do you have an recommendations for alternatives?


Giulia (MamaCanWrite)
Giulia (MamaCanWrite)
04 de jul. de 2019

This is wonderful Stacey, thank you so much!!! 🥰

When I was browsing for tools for scratching my “homemade watercolors” itch I found a suitable slab right at home. It was a glass sheet bought from Ikea, they sold it as a writing board (don’t know the exact English word, like a chalkboard but made of glass). Only downside is it has holes in the corners to hang it but it’s really large, the borders are rounded and it’s even sanded on one side! It was very cheap also, like 13€ if I remember correctly... I hope this might be useful!

Lots of hugs, Giulia

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