Liquid Watercolors from
Up-cycled Dried-Out Markers
Liquid watercolors are a versatile art supply that kids love to create with.
You know you have dried-out markers lying around- so why not make your own liquid watercolors for free and in the process break down those plastic markers and use for recycling and up-cycling.
To begin, take the markers apart- you’re aiming for that ink reservoir inside the marker barrel, but since you have to tear the marker completely apart to get it, you might as well finish the job and recycle what you can! Even if your markers aren’t Crayola brand, the method for getting out the ink reservoir will be just about identical, although you’ll probably have to just trash those marker barrels if you can’t determine if they’re recyclable.
Separate the ink reservoirs by color into containers with well-fitting lids to hold the liquid watercolors. If you have a ton of dried-out markers, you can use containers as large as Mason jars for this project. Recycled pill bottles and spice bottles would also be great containers.
Fill each container about three-quarters full of plain water, then put one end of each ink reservoir into the water. You’ll immediately notice the bottom end of the ink reservoir turn white, but otherwise the ink will dissipate into the water very slowly, so you may not see a difference for a while. The containers will need to sit for several hours, preferably a full 24 hours.
After about 24 hours, you should notice that the container of water is well tinted, but nevertheless milk any remaining ink that you can squeeze out of the ink reservoirs as you remove them from the containers–this is SO messy, but quite worth it! (Gloves will prevent temporary staining of your fingers).