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11 Wonderful Ways to Paint With Watercolors

Let the colors — and the creativity — flow!

Margo Gothelf and Sarah Burns


Artful Painting

Watercolors aren’t your typical paint. While they are beautiful and quite vibrant, they have a tendency to want to flow in their own direction, especially when they get mixed together with salt. See for yourself how many amazing ways there are to create using watercolor paint, thanks to the activities below!

Watercolor Seahorse

Want to know the secret craft supplies needed to give these watercolor seahorses their gorgeous and flowy mane? I’ll give you one hint: If you have some extra, it could result in a future delicious treat if you play your cards right. Ready for it? They’re cupcake liners! The unusual craft supplies work perfectly alongside the vibrant watercolor paint, making the magical seahorses look like they are gliding swimmingly through the ocean.

Watercolor Paper Towels


Gift of Curiosity

You know how paper towels are super absorbent and basically create a project of their own whenever you clean up after painting? Well, Gift of Curiosity had the genius idea of making that process into an art project using watercolors and paper towels. The watercolors bleed directly into the “paper” creating a super eye-catching and abstract design. Also, using paper towels to make art pretty much makes clean-up a breeze! 

Watercolor Bookmarks


Projects With Kids

For some reason, salt and watercolors don’t make a good match. We can get into the scientific reasons later, but for right now all you need to know is salt will make the watercolors quite runny and bleed into each other. The good news is, this chemical reaction results in a pretty abstract design! Want to learn how to take that design and transform it into a bookmark of your very own? Head over to Projects With Kids where she’ll teach you how to control the reaction of salt and watercolors to make a one-of-a-kind bookmark perfect for holding your spot in your favorite story. 

Watercolor Spider Web Art


Projects With Art

Spiders might not be the cuddliest creatures out there — okay, not even close to the top of the list — but they sure do make truly beautiful homes for themselves with their webs. Projects With Kids has found a way to make spider webs even more beautiful with her watercolor spider web activity. The craft uses a wet paper on wet paint technique that gives the watercolors a glass-stained window-like look. Once you’ve got the technique mastered here, see how you can apply it to your other art projects. 

Abstract Giraffe Painting

Giraffe-Art -31

Arty Crafty Kids

Ever heard of watercolor resist painting? Well if you haven’t, you are in for a treat. The painting technique creates a masked, or water-resistant surface using wax or rubber cement. So, basically, it blocks off a section of the paper where the watercolors can’t enter. If you want to see it done up close and personal, head on over to Arty Crafty Kids and see how they apply it to their abstract giraffe painting craft. No matter how you do it, it will definitely be worthy of hanging up on the fridge. 

Friendly Watercolor Monsters


Adventure in a Box

You know how they say monsters are scary, mean, unfriendly creatures? Anyone would have to disagree after seeing these adorable friendly watercolor monsters. I mean, look how cute they are! To get these super fluffy monsters, Adventure in a Box uses a straw instead of a typical paintbrush. The straws unpredictably blow around the watercolor paint, creating some funny-looking monsters. If you have different-sized straws around, or even unconventional items like a paper towel roll, try them out and see what kind of monster they will make.

Raised Salt Painting


Artful Painting

I know salt normally stays with the cooking projects, but today it’s coming over to the craft section to hang out with the watercolors. While watercolors and salt have a mixed relationship — literally, they tend to blend when mixed — with a little guidance from the glue in this activity, the mix turns out just fine. Head over to Artful Parent where she’ll give you a full rundown on this raised salt watercolor painting project.

Watercolor Paper Crowns

watercolor crowns

Kitchen Table Classroom

Turn an average day into a royal adventure by transforming paper doilies into paper crowns with the quick addition of watercolor paints. Paper doilies have a great texture for sopping up watercolors and resemble a crown when folded just right. Start by painting a bunch of doilies different colors. When they are dry, follow the instructions over on Kitchen Table Classroom to see how to fold them into a crown. Since they are kind of delicate, store some painted ones away and wait to fold them until the other ones rip — don’t worry, they’re made of paper, so it’s bound to happen. You’ll still have royal status in our books!

Watercolor Winter Hat With DIY Pom Poms

watercolor hat

One Little Project

Want to make a design appear out of nowhere? This painting technique will show you exactly how to do it. Head one over to One Little Project to see how to apply this technique on a winter hat craft, complete with a pom pom. It will make your paintbrush feel more like a magic wand!

Watercolor Coffee Filter Butterfly


Crafts by Amanda

There’s a good reason the coffee filter butterfly craft project has been popular for years. It’s pretty simple to make and is quite easy to upgrade if you want to add any additional elements to the basic structure. Crafts By Amanda has got you covered on the essentials, but if you want to  take the craft to the next level, go for that glitter pipe cleaner or even that galaxy-themed watercolor pattern on the coffee filter. It will definitely give a timely remix to a classic project.

Watercolor Pointillist Art


The Artful Parent

You may have already tried pointillist painting without realizing you were doing it! This famous painting method is pretty much just painting with dots. Easy, right? Artful Parent explains how she does it using just watercolors and Q-tips. It’s super simple and an effortless craft to set up when you want to make something beautiful and easy.

Watercolor Painting Essentials