Painting with Watercolors - Peony Flowers

Summer is here and I’m in the mood for some summer flowers.  Instead of gardening – I’m going to teach you how to paint watercolor peonies!

How to Paint Watercolor Peony Flowers

How to Paint Watercolor Peonies

I love painting with watercolors because it’s so forgiving. The watercolor artwork is not supposed to be super perfect – it’s those little imperfections that give your piece so much character!

Today, I thought it would be fun to give you a little lesson in painting watercolor flowers, like some easy peonies. It’s really a step-by-step process and I’m breaking it all down to show you how simple this really is.

How to Paint Watercolor Flowers

You definitely get better at painting with watercolors the more you do it. In just one session, you will be amazed at how much you have improved and you won’t believe that you can paint this good!

Painting watercolor peonies is great way to keep your mind active and positive in these unprecedented times. All you will need are some watercolors, brushes and watercolor paper. I ordered everything off Amazon so no need to leave the house.

(Here’s a little secret though – you can even use printer paper if you’re just starting out! It may ripple a little, but don’t worry about it!)

This is a great activity for the kiddos too – so tell them to follow along and let’s dive right in!

Materials:

(I’ve included affiliate links for your convenience. I earn a small percentage from a purchase using these links. There is no additional cost to you. You can read more about affiliate links here.)

I ordered this set of brushes and paints and it’s been the best thing ever! The brush quality is good and the watercolors are vibrant. If you are serious about watercolors, you will want to purchase the watercolor paper eventually – it’s thicker and slightly textured and your artwork will look really good on it.

Instructions:

We are going to make beautiful watercolor peonies. I will show you the colors I used, but once you get the hang of it, you can use whatever colors you want! The steps are the same.

Step 1: Create the center of the peony

Paint the center of the flower first

Using a medium-sized brush to dip into a light, watery peachy pink color. With your brush, create a circular backward “C” shape on the paper – it doesn’t have to be perfect! In fact, it shouldn’t be. Keep this part light and airy. This is going to form the center of our open peony flower.

Rinse your brush in the water and wipe it on the paper towel.

Step 2: Create the petals surrounding the center

How to Paint Watercolor Flowers

Now grab a darker pink color with the same brush and form little curve shapes all around the “C” shape we created in step 1. These shapes should be rounded, like little smiles, and different in size. You are basically enclosing the center you created with these ‘smiles’. Some of the shapes should go out – like petals opening up.

How to Paint Watercolor Flowers

To give the flower more dimension, paint one petal in the front that’s more rounded in shape. It looks like it’s facing you. You can also add two smaller frown shapes in the back of the center to give the illusion of more petals in the back.

Step 3: Add the stamen

To finish, take a very small watercolor brush and a black or brown color and paint some small dots in the center. Then add a few thin lines coming down from these dots to represent the stamens. This final step will really help your flower come alive!

How to Paint Watercolor Flowers

All you need to do at this point is add a light green line down from the flower as your stem. Leaves are optional but are simple to paint. Create a few strokes of green with a medium-sized brush under your flower.

Once you get the hang of it, just changing the shape of the center can create a whole new flower look!

How to Paint Watercolor Flowers

And that’s it! Aren’t these watercolor peonies so beautiful?

A set of watercolor peony flowers

Paint a whole page of these beautiful flowers and frame it after they dry. I could sit here and paint all day – the time passes so quickly when I’m watercolor painting. I love these activities that help your mind focus, because I always feel so refreshed afterward!

A set of watercolor peony flowers

If you guys like this tutorial, I’d happily create more watercolor flower how-tos in the future, just let me know in the comments below.

Thanks so much for reading, see you next month!

karen signature

See More of Karen’s Tutorials ~


karen from decor hintHello!  I’m Karen, the creator of the Home Decor and DIY Blog: Decor Hint. I’m a Native of the East Coast, but I currently live in beautiful Seattle with my hubby, our two wonderful children, and our spunky wheaten terrier.

You can usually find me with some sort of craft in one hand and a coffee in the other. And I’m always rearranging furniture or moving lamps from room to room. I have a passion (read: obsession) for decorating, DIY, and gardening. In short, I love making my house into a home.

Like many, I’m inspired by what I see in home decor magazines, but I’m not so inspired by the price tags.  Consequently, I love finding and creating beautiful budget-friendly home decor items. In a head to head competition, I bet you’d never know the difference between the designer items and my DIY creations!  Many of my DIY projects focus on sewing, crafting, upcycling and organizing. Some of my favorite projects have been making pretty wreaths, sewing my own tassel hand towels, and crafting these trendy wood bead garlands. I can’t wait to inspire you and spark your creativity through my DIY projects.

You can always connect with me on Pinterest, Twitter or Instagram.

How to Make Pinch Pots from Air Dry Clay

Looking for a simple craft to make and help you decompress? Make these cute clay pinch pots and use them around your house.

How to Make Clay Pinch Pots

How to Make Pinch Pots from Clay

I hope you are ready to get your hands a little messy!  Today’s tutorial is all about making some easy pinch pots out of inexpensive clay.  Right now, it feels like the days are long, and life is still so uncertain. I find that immersing myself in an enjoyable activity really helps to pass the time.  Working with the hands can be good for the soul!

The good news is, you don’t really need anything special other than air dry clay and your hands.  Plus, you don’t have to leave your house to create this project.  The terracotta clay I purchased is from Amazon and was shipped right to my door.

Crayola Air Dry Clay

This is a great craft for the kiddos too, so be sure to involve them with learning how to make pinch pots if they are looking for something to do.

Let’s dive right in!

Materials:

(I’ve included affiliate links for your convenience. I earn a small percentage from a purchase using these links. There is no additional cost to you. You can read more about affiliate links here.)

Instructions:

This project is easy, inexpensive, and very therapeutic! Let your mind focus on shaping the clay and put your worries aside for a little bit.

Step 1: Shape your clay into round balls

Shape Clay into a Round Ball

Layout a piece of parchment paper.  Grab a hunk of clay and shape/roll it into a nice ball. My clay balls are about the size of the palm of my hand. You can go bigger or smaller, it’s up to you!

Step 2: Form your Pots

Push thumb into center of clay

Now that you have your clay ball formed, take your thumb or finger and stick it into the center of the ball. Use your fingers to “pinch” the clay outward, slowly creating a bigger hole in the center. Keep going around and around until you are satisfied with the shape and size of your pinch pot.

Use fingers to pinch out sides of pot

Clay is forgiving, you add more if you pinched it too thin. Add a little water to your clay to avoid cracking. The thicker the sides (or bottom), the longer it will take to dry. Keep that in mind when shaping your pinch pot.

Step 3: Dry your Pinch Pots for Several Days

Let pots dry for several days

We left our clay pinch pots to dry on the parchment paper for several days. When they are fully dry, the pots will turn a lighter color and be hard to the touch.  Once dry, you can paint them with acrylic paint or just leave them plain.  Being the simplistic girl that I am, I just left mine plain.  But kids might enjoy a painting project.

That’s it!  As I said, this is a simple, inexpensive project.  Luckily, you should have plenty of clay leftover for next time.

Crayola Pinch Pots How to Tutorial

You might be wondering what in the heck to do with pinch pots?

Aside from the fact that it’s just a fun craft, there are tons of ways to use your new pots! A quick google search will bring up some ideas for you. But I’ll give you a few here to get you started.

  • Plant faux succulents
  • Use as a ring tray on your nightstand
  • A decor dish to decorate with

Since you can’t get the clay wet, planting a real plant in them is not going to work. But that’s ok because those faux succulents have to go somewhere and they look great in these little pinch pots.

You could also use them as a small catch-all dish on your nightstand or console table. In fact, that’s how I’m using my pinch pots! I have one sitting on my nightstand because I somehow always forget to take off my earrings at night – so this has become the perfect little spot to put them before I go to sleep.

Pinch pots from clay - use as a jewelry dish!

Finally, you can just use them as decor pieces to decorate shelves and bookcases or tables. They look very earthy, so depending on your decor style, they add a nice collected feel to your rooms. Plus – you made them! Take a little pride in your handiwork.

If you like this clay project, be sure to check out my tutorial for a heart-shaped jewelry dish.

Stay safe, stay healthy!

karen signature

~ See More of Karen’s Tutorials ~


karen from decor hintHello!  I’m Karen, the creator of the Home Decor and DIY Blog: Decor Hint. I’m a Native of the East Coast, but I currently live in beautiful Seattle with my hubby, our two wonderful children, and our spunky wheaten terrier.

You can usually find me with some sort of craft in one hand and a coffee in the other. And I’m always rearranging furniture or moving lamps from room to room. I have a passion (read: obsession) for decorating, DIY, and gardening. In short, I love making my house into a home.

Like many, I’m inspired by what I see in home decor magazines, but I’m not so inspired by the price tags.  Consequently, I love finding and creating beautiful budget-friendly home decor items. In a head to head competition, I bet you’d never know the difference between the designer items and my DIY creations!  Many of my DIY projects focus on sewing, crafting, upcycling and organizing. Some of my favorite projects have been making pretty wreaths, sewing my own tassel hand towels, and crafting these trendy wood bead garlands. I can’t wait to inspire you and spark your creativity through my DIY projects.

You can always connect with me on Pinterest, Twitter or Instagram.

Make Your Own Monster Dolls

Teaching children to sew can be a fun and rewarding lesson if you let them take the lead and design their own monster dolls.

let your child make their own monster doll

Make Your Own Monster Dolls

Aren’t they cute?! Okay, they may have a few imperfections, but I don’t want to hear about it because my boys made them! That’s right my 4 and 7-year-old sons made their own Monster Dolls (with a little help from me). It was a perfect way to spend a summer afternoon together. And as a bonus they learned some basic sewing skills.

My 7 year old really dove in and enjoyed every aspect of making his monster. He used the sewing machine with my help. My 4 year old needed a bit more guidance and help. He was very tentative about the sewing machine, but I convinced him to push the pedal. After one time pushing it, he was LOVING puttin’ the pedal to the metal! LOL!

Materials:

Monster Dolls Designed and Made by Your Kids | Pretty Handy Girl

Instructions:

Let your child draw their monster on a piece of paper.

Monster Dolls Designed and Made by Your Kids | Pretty Handy Girl

Help your child draw the outline of the monster onto the backside of the fleece. Explain that you might need to fatten up any skinny appendages so you can turn the monster right side out and stuff (him or her) after sewing.

Monster Dolls Designed and Made by Your Kids | Pretty Handy Girl

Pin two pieces of fleece together (right sides together.) Help your child cut out around the outline of the monster’s body. This will give you two identical pieces for the monster doll body.

Monster Dolls Designed and Made by Your Kids | Pretty Handy Girl

Cut eyes, nose, and mouthparts out of colored felt. Pin the facial features to the right side of one of the body cut-outs. Let your child use the vanishing marker to mark other facial features that will be stitched.

Monster Dolls Designed and Made by Your Kids | Pretty Handy Girl

Using the sewing machine, stitch the facial features and attach the felt pieces.

Helping Children Learn to Use a Sewing Machine:

To help my boys learn to sew, I let them depress the pedal on the sewing machine. We focus on light pressure, slowing down, and stopping. Meanwhile, I guide the fabric through the foot.

Monster Dolls Designed and Made by Your Kids | Pretty Handy Girl

To emphasize the features we drew over the stitching with the Sharpie marker.

Monster Dolls Designed and Made by Your Kids | Pretty Handy Girl

Use buttons or the Sharpie to create pupils for your monster doll.

Monster Dolls Designed and Made by Your Kids | Pretty Handy Girl

Pin the right sides together (facial features inside) of the doll. Stitch around the edge, leaving a small three-inch opening for stuffing.

Monster Dolls Designed and Made by Your Kids | Pretty Handy Girl

Trim any excess fabric away from the edges before turning the doll right sides out.

Monster Dolls Designed and Made by Your Kids | Pretty Handy Girl

Turn the monster doll right sides out. Use a pencil’s eraser side to poke out any corners and turns. Stuff the monster with polyfill stuffing. Use the pencil to push filling into small areas.

Monster Dolls Designed and Made by Your Kids | Pretty Handy Girl

Whipstitch the opening closed after the doll has been fully stuffed.

Monster Dolls Designed and Made by Your Kids | Pretty Handy Girl

Your child’s monster doll is complete!

Monster Dolls Designed and Made by Your Kids | Pretty Handy Girl

Ugly Monsters or Adorable Monsters? What do you think?

Monster Dolls Designed and Made by Your Kids | Pretty Handy Girl

Your child will surely love his creation and will definitely feel a huge sense of pride that he (or she) designed it themselves!

Monster Dolls Designed and Made by Your Kids | Pretty Handy Girl

I let my boys do as much as possible so they could feel a HUGE sense of accomplishment when they were done. They both were so proud of their monsters. They tote their monster dolls everywhere and tell friends and family, “I made it!”

 

 

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thumbprint pillow tutorial

Envelope pillows are the easiest pillow covers to sew. Combine a beautiful pillow with a personalized thumbprint design and you have a great gift idea for parents or grandparents!

How to Make Thumbprint Design Pillows

How to Make Thumbprint Design Envelope Pillows

Hello, it’s Cristina from Remodelando la Casa once again happy to share an easy and fun project where kids are more than welcome to give a helping “thumb” 🙂

Thumbprint starfish pillow2 with tag

Envelope pillows are the easiest pillow covers I’ve sewn and let me tell you, my sewing skills are not that good.  A fabric rectangle is folded to create an “envelope”, four simple straight lines to sew and your cover is done! No zippers, no Velcro, the envelope holds the pillow really well.

Materials:

(I’ve included affiliate links for your convenience. I earn a small percentage from a purchase using these links. There is no additional cost to you. You can read more about affiliate links here.)

*Pre-wash and iron the fabric

Instructions:

For a 17″ x 17″ pillow insert, use the following dimensions.

Envelope pillow 17x17

Once the fabric is cut to size (18″x 40″), hem the left and right edges.  (Fold  in ½”  twice, as seen in the picture below.  Iron it flat and hem.)  Do the same on the other side.

envelope pillow side hems

To create the opening on the back, fold the left side over and iron.

Envelo pillow first fold

Do the same on the other side.  These folded lines are a good visual point to help you center the design on the front face of the pillow later on.

envelope pillow second fold

Before sewing across the top and bottom of the cover, let’s work on the design (the fun part!)  Print the starfish and seahorse silhouettes. (for these pillows print at 120%.)

starfish and seahorse silhouttes

Place each design on top of a big piece of contact paper, tape it in place.

starfish profile

Using the x-acto knife, cut through the printout and the contact paper following the outline of the silhouette.

cutting starfish profile out

After cutting, peel off the outer piece of contact paper and center the design on your pillow cover.  Press the contact paper firmly all around the design to prevent paint from seeping through.

contact paper silhouete on fabric

Now it’s time to call all those little artists and give them each a set of fabric paint.

kids thumbpainting

The thumb-printing / painting can begin…

thumb painting

…until the shapes are filled.

thumbprint starfish and seahorse

Let it dry according to the paint manufacturer’s instructions.  After the paint dries you can sew across the top and bottom, making sure the designs are on the inside.

sawing across envelope pillowIf desired, wash and iron the pillow covers. Insert your pillow form.

Thumbprint seahorse pillow front and back

Place it on your favorite chair and enjoy!

Thumbprint starfish pillow1

Our pillows are a present for a special person close to our hearts.

Thumbprint pillows with tag-2

Of course, the artists had to sign it, or thumbprint it! Well, we did both!

Thumbprint pillows with tag

Are you ready to give the thumb printing a try?  Kids love it!  Hint, hint… this could be a nice project for Father’s Day (or Mother’s Day).

Photobucket

  ~ Learn more about Cristina ~

Need an activity to do indoors that will help the kids burn off a little excess energy? An Indoor Hopscotch Game with Painter’s Tape is just the thing you need.

indoor_hopscotch_painters_tapeIndoor Hopscotch using Painter’s Tape

When the weather outside is frightful and your kids are less than delightful, lay a roll of painter’s tape on your floor and soon your kids will be having fun indoors.

(I’ve included affiliate links for your convenience. I earn a small percentage from a purchase using these links. There is no additional cost to you. You can read more about affiliate links here.)

How about that for a quick little limerick? Well, this project is almost as quick. All you need is a roll of painter’s tape (I used ScotchBlue for delicate surfaces, but you can use any type) and a pair of scissors.

scissors_tape

Lay out your hopscotch grid on the floor. (It was easy on our square tile floor because the tile layout acted as a guideline for our course.)

lay_out_hopscotch_on_floor

Add numbers inside the squares.

painters_tape_hopscotch

And let the kids loose. Soon they’ll be a hop skippin’ and a jumpin’ that energy away…

boy_playing_indoor_hopscotch

…well, maybe not all their energy.

boy_jumping_in_air

Important note, don’t leave the tape on the floor for weeks on end or you may struggle to get the adhesive up. But, in the meantime, have fun and let’s pray we can all venture out safely soon!

Anyone else have any great ideas to let kids burn off energy indoors? Please, leave me a comment, I need help here.

PHGFancySign