Tuesday, February 17, 2015
Turn old markers into new water color paint - by Beth Koon
Over course the year as the markets run out students can collect markers in a marker recycling box. When the box gets full have students sort out the markers into similar colors. Once you have about 20 or 30 markers of the same color you can start extracting the ink for the markers and turn it into liquid watercolors. Brand-name does not really matter so long as they are pretty much the same color.
Using a pair of pliers pop off at the back of the marker
I use a weaving needle and poke it into the foam middle part of the marker to pull it out. You could also use a clay needle tool or take it out with pliers; whatever works for you, works.
Once again use your pliers and pull out the tip. For most colors you are able to use the tip, however I have found that with yellow the color is too light and is mixed with other colors so most of the tips are not able to be used. Also if the marker is too old the tip will just crumble so don't worry about getting those.
Once you've extracted all of the cores of marker, rubber band them together. Then slipped a craft stick underneath the rubber band so that it will suspend in your cup of water.
The cores must be suspend in the water. If the cores are submerged in the water then the water will not draw the ink out.
I use jars from Country Time Lemonade powder mix but you can probably use any cup that will accommodate approximately 20 ounces of water.
Be sure to run cold water over the marker cores into an empty cup this will help to push some of the ink down and out.
Place the tips in a baby food jar full of water.
Leave the cores and tips to soak in the water for about a day and a half. Be sure to squeeze the cores out to get the last bit of concentrated ink out. This will get ink all of your hands so if you don't want ink stains on your hands, use gloves.
I typically end up with 2 to 4 L worth of liquid watercolors every year. See below for examples of what the paint looks like when used by students.
Sophia 4th grade
Elijah 4th grade
Libby 2nd grade
Macallister 2nd Grade