Cabbage Inks



For thousands of years, people have used colors collected from nature to create art. Many plants have natural pigments, and the one in red cabbage (anthocyanin) is very special — it can change color when it’s mixed with ingredients from your kitchen. In this activity you will use acids (like lemon juice) and bases (like baking soda) to make your own rainbow of colorful paints from red cabbage! 

Design Challenge

Mix your own colorful paints using pigment from red cabbage. Use them to create a piece of art!


Biodesign, Chemistry, Art




Extract: 1 hour  |  Mix: 30 min  |  Create: 30 min-3 days

Key Concepts

Pigment, pH, acids and bases, paint

This activity was made possible by a Science Education Partnership Award (SEPA), Grant Number R25 GM129220, from the National Institutes of Health (NIH). 

Getting Started

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