October 30, 2020

Repurposing your food scraps into sustainable paint for your next work of art

Painting with Vegetable Scraps

In this activity, we will be making watercolors using vegetable scraps. This is a great way to repurpose your food scraps instead of just throwing them in the trash. We always want to reduce, reuse or recycle as much as possible. Reusing food scraps is a great way to make sustainable paint. You can experiment with any vegetable, but some veggies will give you better color than others.

This activity will take about 30 minutes of preparation and is best suited for elementary school children. Before you start, it’s fun to hypothesize what paint color each vegetable scrap will make.


  • Variety of vegetable scraps (yellow onion peels, red cabbage, beetroot peel, etc.)
  • Water
  • Saucepan
  • Paint brushes
  • White paper
  • Small cups or containers


  1. In a small saucepan, boil 1/2 cup of a scraps from a single type of vegetable with 1/4 cup of water (adjust measurements if necessary) for 15-20 minutes. You do not want to use too much water because it will make paints pale. Boil out as much water as you can.
  2. Once it has cooled down, discard big pieces of scraps and pour your new paint into a small container. (You may strain out the pulp if you’d like using a mesh strainer or you can just leave in with the paint).
  3. Repeat this process for every different colored vegetable you have.

Now that you’ve got your paints, grab some small brushes and white paper because it’s time to create! White construction paper or watercolor paper work best. What will you create with your sustainable paint set?