I started looking at other art teachers' blogs about a year ago to help me get more project ideas and other nifty suggestions. One thing that I have run across most recently is a way to 'make paint' using old markers. Initially I thought it was a crock. However, its the end of the year and I'm sorting through materials to toss so I decided to put this theory to the test. Can one really make liquid watercolor paint out of old crusty dried out markers?
I did the following to find out:
1. Rubber-banded 5 or 6 dried out water-based markers of a similar color together (I used Crayola and liqui-mark brands). I removed their marker tops and I'm saving those little goodies for another occasion.
2. Then I poured water into glass baby food jars below the screw top area.
3. Put the color tips of the markers into the water and just let it be. If you look closely at the green jar you can just see the color gliding out of the markers and sinking to the bottom. It was fun to watch and I showed several of my students whose classes attended that day.
The longer it sits the better. I had a few jars that sat all school day (8 hours) and another set that sat all night long. Both turned out well. 2 to 4 hours isn't near enough time.
4. I removed the markers and sent them to live on a farm with other retired markers (aka: gave them a good heave-ho into the trash). I tested these on paper and found that they work quite well considering how it was made. In fact, I've already stained my hands a multitude of colors just testing out all my paints.
I'm quite excited to find a really green and cheap way to make liquid watercolors. They usually run atleast $40 for a set of 8 bottles. I already have 10 jars complete in my cabinet with intentions for more. I wish I had known about this sooner... all the markers I've wasted over the years. All the potential paint.
In summation, I answer the question above with a victorious Yes! you can make watercolor paint with old markers. And I'm all the happier for it!