Thursday, July 14, 2011

Homemade Toys for Toddlers - Recycle Dry Markers to New Icy Watercolors!

I know you have dry markers around somewhere! Well, if you have kids, you surely have plenty of these! Somehow, no matter how often I repeat: "Close your markers when you're done, they will get dry!", my girl seams to forget to do it almost every time! :) So, I've decided to reuse some of our felt tip markers to make some watercolors! And freeze them for additional fun! It's summer after all!

What you'll need:
- old dry markers
- plastic cups (one for each color)
- popsicle sticks (one for each color)
- water
- freezer! ;)
- later on, I realized I'll need precision knife too... read it down...

What you do is:
- take apart markers and get the inserts with color
- pour water in each of the plastic cups
- cut the marker insert open with precision knife (it will help color to blend with water faster, we tried with plastic wrap on and it took ages!)
- place insert in cup with water and stir
- do it all over again with all the other markers you intended for this purpose
- you'll end up with something like this:

CAUTION: I've used some really cheap markers we received as a gift and they were not washable! If you have markers that are not washable, make sure to protect working surface as well as your own hands! I got stained with color all over my hands and now I have multicolor nails! ;)

After you're done with mixing colors, place them on the tray or directly in a freezer (if you don't have enough spare space like I usually don't!). After approximately 1 - 1,5 hours add popsicle sticks in each of the cups (or wait until water is half frozen).

I have left them over the night in our freezer and here is how they turned out:

As you can see, it's leaving really soft, watercolor like lines. Now, the biggest problem with these might be... will you have enough paper for all the artwork your kids will make with these new "old" art supplies?!

Here is one of ours finished... think it will be wonderful for wrapping paper or some background scrapbooking! ;)

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  1. Wow. That's amazing. So simple yet most people just throw those markers away. Thanks so much I love finding new ideas!

  2. Clever - I throw old markers out all the time. This would also be a great party activity for kids to gather outside and watercolor a big poster for the birthday boy or girl.

    You could probably just put them back in the freeze for next time huh?

  3. Yes Sara! You can freeze them again! Or you can use them as they are when they melt for ordinary watercolors, or even for experiment with coloring plants! Or so much more :)

  4. You could pour the colored water into ice cube trays before freezing and make smaller ones instead.

  5. Yes, you probably could if you're using washable markers. But I had those that stain. If I had them in ice tray, I could throw it away after that. ;)

  6. fun idea Michelle! Don't forget to link this fab idea to this week's Sunday Showcase my friend!


  7. Thanks for reminder Bernadette! :) Off I go!

  8. What a fun idea, and a great way to reuse!

  9. Very creative. Anything that gets me to throw fewer things in the trash is a stellar idea!

  10. great idea! you can also put those marker inserts into alchohol and make craft dye, though not for toddlers of course! thanks for sharing on craft Schooling Sunday!

  11. That looks like a fun project & Great for the summer time! Thank you for sharing this idea on The Sunday Showcase!


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