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How do I make the color pink?

How do I make the color pink?

Pink is a beautiful and versatile color that can add a fun, feminine touch to any project. While pink paint and fabric are readily available, sometimes you want to make the perfect custom shade of pink yourself. Luckily, it’s easy to make pink at home with just a few basic ingredients and techniques. In this article, we’ll explore the science behind mixing colors, look at what gives pink its signature hue, and share step-by-step instructions for making pink paint, icing, soap, and more from scratch. Whether you’re a crafting novice or seasoned DIYer, you’ll learn everything you need to know to create gorgeous pinks in any medium. So let’s get started!

What Gives Pink Its Color?

Before we dive into the how-to, it helps to understand what makes pink pink. In the color spectrum, pink sits between red and purple. But while purple contains blue tones, pink contains no blue pigment. Instead, pink gets its color solely from different concentrations of red pigment.

Specifically, the red pigments that create pink shades are a family of chemicals called rhodamines. Rhodamine dyes and pigments absorb blue and green light while reflecting back red and violet light. Our eyes perceive this combination as pink.

The more rhodamine pigment added, the darker and more saturated the pink becomes. With less pigment, pink gets lighter and desaturated, becoming closer to white. So by tweaking the amount of red rhodamine pigment, you can mix up any shade of pink you desire!

Making Pink Paint

Paint is one of the easiest ways to incorporate pink into home decor or craft projects. While premixed paints are convenient, mixing your own allows you to achieve a perfect custom color. Here are two methods for making pink paint:

Method 1: Tint White Paint

Tinting white paint is the simplest way to make a light or pastel pink shade. You’ll need:

– White paint (acrylic or latex)
– Red paint, ink, or food coloring

First, pour some white paint into a mixing container. Start by adding just a drop or two of the red tint and mix thoroughly. Add more red tint, a little at a time, until you reach your desired pink shade. Mix well between each addition of color.

For a sheer, light pink, use less tint. For an intense hot pink, keep adding more red tint. Mix up a large batch so you have enough paint for your project.

Method 2: Mix Pigments

For richer, more vibrant pinks, you can mix paint from red and white pigments. Gather:

– White paint pigment
– Red paint pigment (look for rhodamine-based pigments)
– Clear paint base or binder

Start with a 2:1 ratio of white to red pigment. Mix them together thoroughly. Then add clear base a little at a time, stirring continuously, until you reach a smooth, flowing paint consistency.

Adjust the ratio of red pigment to white to get different shades of pink. More red will give you a deeper pink, while more white will create a pale pink. Mix up a large batch so your paint color stays consistent.

Creating Pink Icing and Frosting

Pink icing is a must for cupcakes, cakes, and cookies. Here’s how to whip up custom pink icing at home:

Method 1: Tint White Icing

Start with a batch of your favorite white icing or frosting recipe. Stir in a small amount of red food coloring gel or paste, then mix thoroughly. Add more coloring slowly until the icing reaches your desired pink tone.

Pink gel food coloring will give you the most vivid results. Liquid food coloring will also work but may impart a subtler hue. Mix in just a drop or two at a time to prevent the icing from becoming too thin.

Method 2: Layer Colors

For a marbled, multi-toned pink effect, layer white and red icings.

First, tint some of the white icing red with food coloring until you reach a rich pink shade. Fill a piping bag with red icing. In a separate bag, add white icing.

Pipe dollops of each color onto your cake or cupcakes in small, circular motions, alternating colors as you go. Use a skewer to swirl the colors together. The ribbons of red and white will blend into a striking pink marbled design.

Creating Pink Soap

Whipping up pink soap from scratch allows you to control the ingredients and customize the color. Here’s how to do it:

Method 1: Cold Process Soap

Cold process soap making involves combining oils and a lye-water solution. As the mixture cures it saponifies, turning to soap.

To make pink cold process soap:

1. Prepare your favorite cold process soap recipe, using skin-nourishing oils like olive, coconut, or shea.

2. Split the batch of soap batter into two bowls. Leave one plain and add red soap colorant to the other until thoroughly mixed. Use 1/8 to 1 teaspoon pigment per pound of oils.

3. Alternate pouring the white and pink soap batters into the mold, creating swirls and layers.

4. Insulate the filled mold for 24-48 hours until the soap has fully saponified.

5. Unmold, slice, and cure the soap for 4-6 weeks before using.

Method 2: Melt and Pour Soap

Melt and pour soap base is a convenient shortcut. To make pink bars:

1. Start with a clear/white melt and pour soap base. Chop into chunks.

2. Melt the soap base in a microwave or double boiler.

3. Once melted, add liquid or gel soap dye a little at a time until the desired pink shade is reached. Stir thoroughly.

4. Pour the pink soap into molds and let cool completely until hardened.

5. Unmold the soap and enjoy your custom pink bars!

Making Pink Slime and Putty

Whipping up homemade pink slime or putty is a fun weekend activity with kids. Here are two easy methods:

Method 1: Pink Glue Slime

1. Mix one 4 oz bottle of clear glue with 2 tablespoons of liquid starch in a bowl.

2. Add red food coloring one drop at a time until the desired pink color develops.

3. Knead the mixture with your hands for 2-3 minutes until it develops into a smooth, stretchy slime.

4. Let the pink slime sit uncovered overnight so any excess moisture can evaporate.

Method 2: Pink Fluffy Putty

For a lighter, fluffier putty texture:

1. Mix together 1/2 cup white glue and 1/4 cup warm water in a bowl.

2. Add red food coloring a drop at a time until the glue mixture is pink.

3. Mix in 1 teaspoon borax powder dissolved in 1/4 cup warm water.

4. Stir continuously for 3-5 minutes. The putty will form into a soft, stretchy blob that retains its shape.

5. Knead the putty to increase elasticity. Store covered when not in use.

Making Pink Play Dough

Kids will love playing with this easy homemade pink play dough:


– 1 cup flour
– 1/2 cup salt
– 2 tablespoons cream of tartar
– 1 tablespoon vegetable oil
– 1 cup water
– Red food coloring


1. Mix the flour, salt, cream of tartar, and oil in a medium pot.

2. Stir in 1 cup water and 4-5 drops of red food coloring.

3. Cook over medium heat, stirring continuously until the dough forms into a ball.

4. Remove from heat and knead the warm dough for 2-3 minutes until smooth.

5. Let cool completely before playing. Store covered when not in use.

The more coloring you add, the darker pink the dough will become. This play dough keeps for weeks refrigerated in an airtight container.

Making Pink Lip Gloss

Whip up custom pink lip gloss at home with just a few ingredients:


– 1 teaspoon coconut oil
– 1 teaspoon beeswax pellets
– 1/2 teaspoon shea or cocoa butter
– 1 teaspoon vitamin E oil
– 1/2 teaspoon pink mica powder pigment


1. In a small microwave-safe bowl, combine the oils, beeswax, and butter.

2. Microwave in 30 second bursts, stirring between each, until melted and well blended.

3. Remove from heat and quickly mix in the mica powder until fully incorporated.

4. Pour the liquid into lip gloss containers or small jars.

5. Let cool completely at room temperature before use.

Makes 2-3 containers of lush, soft pink lip gloss. Tweak the mica powder amount to achieve your perfect pink shade.

Making Pink Bath Bombs

Pamper yourself with relaxing pink bath bombs you can customize:

Ingredients Amount
Baking soda 2 cups
Citric acid 1 cup
Cornstarch 1/2 cup
Coconut oil 1 Tbsp
Pink soap dye 1/2 tsp
Water 4 Tbsp
Fragrance oil 1 tsp


1. Mix the dry ingredients together in a large bowl.

2. Add the wet ingredients and mix quickly. The batter should clump together.

3. Firmly pack the mixture into bath bomb molds.

4. Allow to fully dry for 48 hours before use.

Drop one into a hot bath for an instant fizzy, pink soak!


As you can see, it’s easy to produce gorgeous pinks for any project with just a few basic supplies. Whether you use paint, food coloring, soap pigments, or other pink mediums, you’ll enjoy the process of tweaking and perfecting your own custom shades.

The versatility of pink makes it fun for people of all ages to work with. So get creative with the techniques in this article and see what unique pinks you can dream up. Your homemade pink creations will add a cheerful, rosy touch to your space or make wonderful homemade gifts. Have fun unleashing your inner pink artisan!