Throw your own color fight

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Here we are over two weeks into 2013, and I still feel like I’m trying to settle into the new year. Way back when, I showed you the invitations for my children’s color party. Well I had a big crazy idea to have a color powder fight. I am so excited to tell you that it was so much fun! You don’t have to take my word for it, look at the joy on those girls faces.

I have been seeing things like Color Runs and the festival of Holi become more and more popular in recent years. I thought it would be so much fun to throw a color fight of my own. Thankfully my husband is always up for my crazy ideas! After a lot of googling, I realized there aren’t that many resources out there for doing this, so hopefully this will be helpful for anyone else looking to do the same thing.

First I’ll tell you how to make the powder, then I’ll take about the actual fight.

Color Powder Recipe

Supplies:

1 lb Non-toxic Tempera Paint Powder –  I liked the Colorations brand the best. Hobby Lobby carries one brand, but that is the only store that I found that had the powder in the store.
1 lb Corn Starch – Walmart has 1 lb of corn starch for $0.97
Food processor

Directions

  1.  Add 1 pound of Tempera Paint powder to the food processor.
  2. Pour about 1/3 of the corn  starch into the food processor and pulse until well combined. 
  3. Add the next 1/3 of the corn starch and process again.
  4. Add the remainder of the corn starch and process until completely combined.
  5. Repeat with as many different tempera colors as you want.

Making the color powder is actually pretty simple, but there are some things to keep in mind:

  • You can buy color powder imported from India, however it has been known to have harmful ingredients such as lead! Buyer beware. I opted to make my own for this very reason. 
  • Hobby Lobby carries tempera paint powder in the store, but it did not blend as well as the Colorations brand. The Hobby Lobby brand was “Rich Art Dust free powder paint” I was never able to get a homogenous mixture with the Rich Art. 
  • A friend was generous enough to give me her old food processor in case it ruined mine. Good news, it didn’t ruin it at all. I was able to get it clean and I would 100%  feel comfortable using it with food again.
  • I wouldn’t classify this as an ‘inexpensive’ thing to undertake. It is cheaper to make your own, than buy it, but I still spent some money putting the whole thing together.

Planning the actual fight:

I decided to get all the party guests(parents) on board with this unorthodox activity, I would purchase white shirts for all the kids participating. Adults were welcome and encouraged to participate, but they were on their own for clothes. I scoured tons of Goodwills on 50% off days to get white, long sleeve shirts, in the correct sizes for cheap. Here’s a before shot of most of the kids.

 You will notice the goggles in picture. We put in the invitation to either bring swim goggles or buy some protective eye-wear from Dollar Tree. Sunglasses would probably work just fine too. Kids are not happy campers with stuff in their eyes, so goggles were a really good idea!

We tried all kinds of methods for dispensing the powder. I envisioned everyone being chased around with powder, so I was looking for an effective delivery method. The two things that worked the best was drilling one whole in the top of the colorations paint bottle. It worked like a perfect squeeze bottle. Walmart also sells squeeze bottles for about $1 each. The other most popular method, was picking up a fistful and throwing it. You can see the paint bottle in the photo below.

We tried these awesome squirters from Dollar Tree(See photo below). They worked well but the kids couldn’t refill them fast enough. After a while they started to get jammed up a bit too. If this was an adult activity only, I might revisit the water squirters.

We set all the paint powder out in Take-out containers and Cool Whip tubs. Free and easy, and it worked great. We made a perimeter of the tubs so everyone could run freely in the inside of the circle to play and get dirty.

 Before we let the kids go crazy, we gave them some simple rules.
1. Stay in the designated color fight area.
2. Only color people who are actively participating in the fight.
3. Don’t throw color in someone’s face, purposefully. It still happened, but at least they weren’t trying.
After that, everyone just had a blast!

We stopped and took an ‘after’ picture. Technically though, it was a ‘during’ shot because the kids went out for more fun after this.

We even got a fun family picture out of it. I was really tempted to use it in our Christmas card.

Clean up

We told people to bring a change of clothes or a towel to sit on for the car ride home. When we got home we beat the clothes out and washed them right away. Everyone but my daughters clothes came 100% clean. She got some water on her sleeves at the park, which then dried. That seemed to set the color in on just her sleeves.
I would still advise wearing clothes you are okay getting stained, but there is a good chance it will come out.

This was the one big party activity, but of course we had lots of fun things going on. More posts to come on the rest of the party!

Ashley

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Comments

  1. says

    I think I might have to organize this as a play group activity when it gets warmer here (or maybe I’ll just steal it for my boys’ July birthday)!

  2. says

    that looks like a REALLY fun way to play and get colored / dirty–you should think about marketing that! or opening a party place that has this as an option!! good luck

  3. says

    Was this done at a local park or at your home? I’m just wondering if I would be able to do this at the park without getting in trouble lol. I bet my son’s Kindergarten class would absolutely love this!

    • says

      Great question! We did it in a local park. The mess was actually pretty minimal. That was one of the reasons for the rules about staying in the designated area. I wasn’t too worried about the grass. You can see in the some of the pictures, there is a ring of color around the containers we had on the ground. That was really the only mess you could see when we were all done and picked up.

  4. says

    Thank you so much for the “color” recipe! I was thinking about doing a color run as a fundraiser and was wondering how. Did the powder wash away after it rained? And do you think it would stain pavement?

    • Kathleen says

      We were thinking of doing a charity 5k too, just worrying about color run and color me rad copyrights. Did you plan yours yet? Ashley, thanks o much for sharing this great recipe for fun!

  5. Anonymous says

    How many bottles of Tempera Paint powder did you buy? And how many people participated? Thanks so much!!

    • says

      I bought 12 lbs of the paint powder and we had about 20 people
      participating, most of them children. We had more than enough paint powder to go around.

  6. Anonymous says

    Great idea for kids!!! Thanks for the recipe!!! At our color run last month, they used leaf blowers to get the excess powder off everyone. Another tip is to use lotion on skin before getting colored…makes it wash off even easier.

  7. Anonymous says

    I am just wondering what is the purpose of the cornstarch? Is it just to make the paint go farther? And when I looked up Colorations Tempera Paint powder it said it was not fully washable from skin or fabric. I do not care about the fabric but didn’t it stain your kids skin? I really want to do this with my nieces and nephews but do not want a bunch of parents angry with me for staining their kids.

    • says

      Yes, the cornstarch makes the paint go farther. We came home and took a bath right away and there were no long term stains from the paint. Make sure you let the parents know ahead of time what you are planning, with a thorough explanation, and I bet they will be understanding.

  8. Anonymous says

    I would also would like to know how much paint was used per the number of participants. We will be doing this for my son’s birthday in a few weeks. Thanks!

    • says

      I bought 12 lbs of the paint powder and we had about 20 people
      participating, most of them children. We had more than enough paint powder to go around.

  9. Anonymous says

    I’m actually turning 16th this month and thought this was the coolest idea ever for a huge party! I am definitely doing this, Thank you : )

  10. says

    what an awesome idea! thanks so much for the paint recipe. oh and I find it very ironic that you bring all the paint and supplies for this very messy party in an All detergent box, lol

  11. Cassy says

    Hi! I was just wondering where you got the paint powder. They don’t carry it at Walmart or Target (where I live, anyway).

    • says

      I purchased the powder from Hobby Lobby and the Colorations brand was purchased online. Thanks for the question, I can’t believe I didn’t put that in the post.

  12. says

    From what I can tell, a lot of the colors look pastel… Are those just the colors you chose to use or did something happen to make them that way? I’m 16 and my friends and I are looking to try this with bright colors

    • says

      Hi Laura,
      Unless you buy Holi colors you aren’t going to get the bright colors like you see in the Color Run and other similar events. You can find those on Amazon as well: http://bit.ly/holi-colors
      I have never used or purchased them though, so I can’t speak to how they work.

  13. says

    Hi!
    If you could answer this ASAP that would be greatly appreciated! Thank you!
    I’m on student council and I suggested this idea for an event and people loved it. If we were to do this event, we would have to do it on the grassy sportsfield. The only problem is that they are afraid that the colored corn starch will be hard to clean off the grass. So I was just wondering if you had a problem washing to corn starch off the grass. Please email adwyer@sacredheartma.com or amdwyer97@aol.com.
    Thank you so much!!!
    Avery

  14. says

    Loved this idea and will be using it with my youth group this week…just curious do you think cornstarch and food coloring would work just as well without having to get the powdered paint stuff?

  15. says

    HOBBY LOBBY NO LONGER CARRIES THE PAINT POWDER! UGGG I SEARCHED EVERYWHERE I FOUND IT FINALLY AT A TEACHER SUPPLY STORE CALLED UTAH-IDAHO SUPPY! 3.89 for a 1lb bottle!

  16. says

    hello everyone,
    if you are reading this comment then please google HOLI…pronounced “holy”…!
    it’s a request…for more details see wikipedia results…
    thank you
    (an INDIAN)

  17. says

    Hi, if you Want to make these colors at home, natural, good for skin and with some medicinal properties, then visit this link http://hinduism.about.com/od/holifestivalofcolors/a/naturalholi_2.htm . believe me, this is safe, colorful and is also good for the skin, every different color has a different good effect effect on the skin…. some make it glow, some make it smooth….
    so now, you can have fun as well as health…
    and a very good fact thing that these colors are made from FLOWERS…

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