Don’t Throw Out Your Dried Up Markers! Turn Them Into Watercolors.


Little kids have many skills, but remembering to put the cap back on markers is not one of them.

It really doesn’t take long to end up with a pile like this.

how-to-make-watercolors-from-old-markersI used to just throw the dried out makers away but then I started just putting them in a small bucket and saving them. I’d heard about reviving them with a little vinegar or even making watercolors out of them and I wanted to give it a try.

To do this, you just need:
-a variety of colors of dried out markers
-4 or 5 small jars or cups

Sort the markers into colors. We did oranges, reds, browns, purples, and yellows.


Then using your pliers, break the tops off of your markers and that will open up the hollow plastic part. Your ink stick should fall right out. You may need to break the bottom of the marker off. It will depend on your marker.


Once an end is broken off, your ink stick should slide right

Drop the ink sticks (by color) into your glasses of water and let them sit.


We let our sit for two days, but you could let them sit longer for darker colors.


We ended up with nice vibrant colors. An old ice cube tray makes a great container when you are ready to paint.





Store the leftover paint in jars with lids and you now have a supply for a while.

So, there you go. Now you have a free, easy activity for the kids (or yourself)! Plus, kids love watching the process and discovering when their paints are “ready”.

Have fun!


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23 thoughts on “Don’t Throw Out Your Dried Up Markers! Turn Them Into Watercolors.

  1. This is brilliant! I’ve been saving my old markers for something but didn’t even THINK of this!!! I pinned this so I won’t forget. Also, do you want to join my Pinterest group board? I almost pinned this on that board and then thought to myself, “you should contribute to it!”

  2. WOW! What an awesome idea!! I just threw out a bunch of pens and markers. We just sold our house and I thought to myself “WHY DO I HAVE SO MANY PENS?” so in the trash most of them went. Next time I hoard markers I’m going to do this. Thanks for the awesome DIY idea.

    Young Love Mommy

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