Monday, February 3, 2014

[Crafty Lady] Be Mine, Valentine - Mess Free Watercolor Tutorial

Ashlynn and I have been working on her Valentines for a few weeks now.  This is actually a super easy toddler and parent craft, but my little one seemed to lose interest and want me to "help" (do it for her), so I'd just pack up our supplies and pull them out a few days later - which worked to my advantage of finding activities to occupy us.

Of course my 21 month old couldn't make these handmade Valentines solo, but she made the "art" all on her own.  I'm actually so impressed with how they turned out, I'm thinking of using the method to make an actual art piece for our house.

Toddler Supplies:
White Coffee Filters
(Washable) Markers
Paintbrush or Sponge

Parent Supplies:
Modpodge or Gluestick
Glitter or Glitter Glue

First up, let your toddler go to town drawing on the coffee filters.  Mine was a bit more interested in drawing on herself (as evidenced here).

Next, wet a paint brush or sponge (don't saturate), and let your toddler "paint" their artwork.  The water on the filter will make the marker colors bleed and turn it into a paint and mess free watercolor looking art.

A sponge brush worked better for us, but an older toddler might be able to use a paint brush and cup of water without spilling or soaking the filter to the point it tears.

After they finish 'painting' the filters, allow them to dry.  

Now it's time for the adult to get their craft on... naptime is craftime!

I first cut a heart template to use on the filters.  I traced the heart on the filters over the portion of the 'painting' I wanted to use.  

Using the first heart as a guide I made two more templates to layer the heart upon.  

Then it was time for modge podge.  Again, if you have an older toddler, they could do this part or perhaps use a glue stick.  I actually wanted Ashlynn to use a gluestick and try herself, but we didn't have one and I wasn't prepared for the mess that allowing her to try to modge podge these together was going to bring.  

Mom's OCD always ruining the fun... 

I layered the hearts onto their matting of sorts and then grabbed my Martha Stewart Glitter Glue tubes.  I figured no Valentine is complete without some glitter!

I changed up my colors and designs- some got two colors, others got one, etc.  Once they were dry, it was time to add a message on the back.  

Since they are obviously hand made, I figured why stop now.  Skipping a printable, I cut some white cardstock and taped it on with cute pink washi tape with jimmies on it (how South Jersey am I?), that's sprinkles for the rest of the country.  I hand wrote our cutesty Valentine message and signed them from the girls.

Hopefully they put a smile on the face of the friends who receive them, and hopefully this tutorial gives you a low mess art activity for your little one!


  1. This is too cute. What a great idea, love that it's not very messy and I think my little girl can handle this! Markers are one of her favorite things. :)

  2. These are so cute!

  3. This is so cute! I wonder if it would curb lex's desire to ALWAYS be painting. I'm fully giving it a try! Genius!

  4. Such a great way to create a craft that Ashlynn got to help with while also catering to mom's OCD! ha! I'm going to try the coffee filters with Owen soon!

  5. seriously! paint just stresses me out. even when I know it's washable, the fact that I know its going all over just makes me not want to pull them out. This was the perfect compromise of coloring and using a paint brush (stuff she likes) and not making a mess (stuff I like)!

  6. I sometimes give ashlynn a dry brush and she "paints" the house. Probably a terrible idea for the day she isn't strapped in and can wonder around with paint on it, oops

  7. Definitely easy for toddlers of any age! Great gift for grandparents too ;)

  8. Genius! Seriously. Genius. I tried making valentines with finger paint the other day and Mason was having none of it. Apparently he is the cleanest boy ever and hates getting his fingers dirty lol. This is perfect!

  9. Love this idea! That would be fun to make into a V-day garland for my house!

  10. Love this idea, TOTALLY trying it with Waverly! Thanks! XO

  11. super cute! don't be surprised when you see me doing this next year! pinning! ;)

  12. why wait until next year? I think we'll be making some green watercolor shamrocks :p

  13. We made the same things last year, and this year made them into mini garland. I LOL'd when you said jimmies (before you made the South Jersey reference). Where are you from?? We live right outside of Cherry Hill.

  14. So so cute and love that Ashlynn helped! Ethan loved his!! xoxox

  15. I grew up in OC, but live in suburbs in PA now :)

  16. This is so cute! I love how easy it is!!!


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