Always try it out before giving it as a gift. These words rang in my ears a few months ago. I intended to make bathtub finger paint and crayons for Goose for Easter this year. We ended up getting invited to a cousin's first birthday party around the same time, so I thought I'd just make extra of Goose's stuff and give it away.
To be honest, I now can't find the links to the recipes that I used. Probably just as well. As I remember, I grated a bunch of Ivory soap, and added hot water and food coloring and mixed. Even though I added WAY more food coloring than indicated (I used gel), the color didn't show up on the tub. We even tried it on paper, and it didn't show up there, either! But, look how prettily I packaged it for the birthday boy:I wrapped them in waxed paper and printed labels in different colors to stick down the ends. I then stacked three crayons and tied a ribbon around them. The card reads "One little candle on the cake, One first birthday wish to make!"
The finger paint was baby wash, cornstarch, and food coloring, as I recall. It didn't really work on the tub, though we've not yet tried it on paper. I used baby-food jars to store it and made labels for them, then wrapped them in a cleaned-out cereal bag.
So, it was a bummer that it didn't work out. But I learned a lesson about trying things out first! Thankfully Goose and the birthday boy are both too little to really notice or care. For some frugal ideas that actually work, visit Life As Mom.
And for those of you coming over from Frugal Fridays, please visit my post on keeping toddlers occupied in the car (from last week) and give any suggestions you might have! I've updated the list a bit, though I need to take a few pictures of the things I've finished since then.