Splish splash, I was takin’ a bath…
But I was bored and wanted something to draw with. So I dripped water all over the floor and reached for the bathtub crayons I keep under the sink for the nieces and nephews. Let’s just say Matt had a surprise note waiting for him on the shower wall the next time he got in to wash up.
What’s more fun than drawing on things you normally aren’t supposed to draw on? This MUST be what the inventor of bathtub crayons was thinking when this bath time art supply was invented.
This tutorial will show you how to make your own natural bathtub crayons so family members can enjoy a little drawing time in the tub. Your kids will love helping with this project, and you’ll love the money you saved by making your own!
Who knows, you may even discover the next Picasso right in your own bathroom.
Homemade Bathtub Crayons
You will need:
- 1 bar of white soap, grated (about 2 cups) (find one here)
- 2 tablespoons hot water
- natural powdered colors (find them here)
- small ice cube tray or silicone mold
- 1 medium mixing bowl, several small bowls
- 1 large spoon, several small spoons
1. Put grated soap in a medium bowl and drip the hot water into the soap while stirring. (Do not use more than the recommended amount of water or your bathtub crayons will have a longer drying time.)
2. Spoon equal amounts of the mixture into several small bowls (depending on how many colors of crayons you want to make). Sprinkle your powdered colorants into the separate bowls, stirring after each addition, until desired color is reached. You will end up with a very thick paste.
3. Tightly pack the colored soap into your molds, washing hands before working with each new color. Set aside in a warm, dry place to harden.
4. Allow to dry for 5-7 days. Once crayons are dry, gently remove from molds and allow to dry for 2-3 additional days before using.
**The above recipe makes about 15-20 small crayons. Double or triple ingredients for a larger batch of crayons.
A few notes about homemade bathtub crayons
Choosing your soap – Choose any type of soap you are comfortable using. You can use a homemade bar of soap, or use a plain white store-bought bar. White bars provide a perfect pallet for making brightly colored crayons.
Choosing your dye – I have used natural dyes from vegetable colorants (like these), but the crayons lose their vivid color once dry, resulting in a batch of earth-tone crayons. These still work wonderfully in the tub, and you can relax knowing that your kids won’t be bathing with artificial dyes floating in their bath water. I have also made these with liquid synthetic food dyes, which produces very brilliant colors. But I always worried about kids soaking up the artificial colors through their skin. I finally found these natural powdered colors that are typically used to color mineral makeups and soaps. They are derived from things like minerals and plants, and create a very vivid bathtub crayon without the concerns of synthetic dyes.
The choice is yours — use the colorant you’re most comfortable with.
Packing into molds – Larger crayons will take longer to dry. I use a miniature ice cube tray and only fill each slot about 2/3 full. Packing the soap tightly into molds is the most important part of this project. If soap is not tightly packed, crayons will come out of molds cracked and crumbly. Your kids will cry because they waited more than a week for their finished crayons. So pack. Pack tightly.
Clean-up – Since these bathtub crayons are made out of soap, they wash right off non-porous shower/tub walls…not even the slightest trace of residue left behind. (The colorants won’t even stain your fingers when you make them because it’s suspended in SOAP!)
Using and sharing your bathtub crayons
These crayons are so cute when finished. They would make delightful little party favors or colorful additions to an art-themed birthday gift for young children. They can be used as stocking stuffers (there’s still time!), added to an Easter basket, or handed out as an alternative to candy on Halloween (labeled so kids don’t try to eat them, of course).
Or…maybe you’ll just use them to entice your dirty children into the bathtub. Your children will enjoy using these to create masterpieces on the bathtub wall while they’re cleaning up!
Do you know someone who would enjoy these? Will you jump in and try this project?