How to Add a Color to Baby Powder

By adding color to baby powder, you can create a temporary hair color for a costume, make colored Holi powder for the Festival of Colors, or even make a translucent finishing powder for your face – and save a lot of money in the process. Whatever your reasons for making colored baby powder, with the right supplies, it's a snap.

Homemade Party or Festival Powder

The Festival of Colors – traditionally celebrated in India and other places around the world, including the U.S. – involves using colored powdered that you throw at festival revelers. Or maybe you just want to create some colored powder for a kid's birthday, a Fourth of July celebration or – just because. Substitute cornstarch for baby powder if you don't have any baby powder handy, as one of the main ingredients in most baby powders is cornstarch.

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Things You\’ll Need

  • Vinyl or latex gloves

  • Measuring cup

  • Measuring spoons

  • 8 ounces baby powder

  • 1/3 cup of water

  • Wooden mixing spoon

  • Food coloring, assorted colors

  • Mixing bowls

  • Drying containers

  • Flour sifter or manual coffee grinder

  • Plastic sandwich bags or airtight containers

Step 1: Mix the Ingredients

Mix the measured baby powder and water in a bowl after putting on your vinyl or latex gloves. Add additional water in 1 teaspoon increments as needed to create a smooth paste that drips from the mixing spoon.

Step 2: Add Color

Add several drops of food coloring, mixing and adding color until you've achieved the desired color saturation and intensity. It may take as much as 1 ounce for food color to create vibrant and bright colors.

Step 3: Let It Dry

Pour the mixture into a container that you won't need for two to three days. Set the container on a high shelf in the kitchen or laundry room. Let the mixture air dry for two to three days or until cracks form and it is hard to the touch.

Step 4: Break It Up

Break up the dried powder into clumps and set them inside a manual coffee grinder or flour sifter. Sift or grind the colored ingredients until they regain a powdery consistency.

Step 5: Store the Ingredients

Store in plastic sandwich bags or covered containers until you are ready to use.


Some food coloring may stain clothing if the clothing gets wet. If celebrating your own Festival of Colors, or sponsoring a child’s birthday where you plan to use the color, advise guest to wear old clothes.

Temporary Hair Color

When you don't like the idea of adding even a washable color to your hair for a costume, just use baby powder instead, mixed with dry powdered colors. Non-toxic pigment powders come in a variety of types that include a rich array of colors. You can also add metallic hues for an interesting effect.

Things You\’ll Need

  • Measuring cup

  • Measuring spoons

  • 8 ounces of baby powder

  • Mixing bowls

  • Flour sifter

  • Airtight containers

Step 1: Measure Powder

Measure 1 cup of baby powder into a bowl.

Step 2: Add Pigment

Add 1 teaspoon of safe, nontoxic powdered pigment.

Step 3: Mix Together

Stir the ingredients together.

Step 4: Sift Them

Pour the ingredients into a flour sifter and sift them several times.

Step 5: Airtight Container

Store in an airtight container away from direct sunlight until you are ready to use.

Translucent Finishing Powder

Finishing powder adds a healthy glow to the skin and diminishes the appearance of fine lines and skin pores. Throughout the day, it absorbs the oil your skin produces, keeping you looking fresh-faced. A finishing powder prolongs lip and eye color, foundation and blush. By making a homemade finishing powder, you literally are paying pennies instead of dollars.

Things You\’ll Need

  • Measuring spoons

  • 1/2 tablespoon cornstarch

  • 1 teaspoon baby powder

  • 1/2 teaspoon colored foundation powder

  • Small bowl

  • Flour sifter

  • Small container with lid

Step 1: Combine Ingredients

Combine the baby powder and corn starch together in a small bowl.

Step 2: Mix Together

Sift all the ingredients through a flour sifter until they are thoroughly mixed.

Step 3: Add Color

Add 1/8 teaspoon of colored foundation powder to the corn starch and baby powder. Add more color, if needed. Continue to sift through the flour sifter until the powder attains the desired color.

Step 4: Storage Container

Pour into an airtight container and store in a cupboard or drawer until ready to use.


Use a flour sifter or coffee grinder dedicated to mixing these powders.

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