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Watercolors made easy!

Updated: Jul 19, 2023

Valentine's Day is coming up! You could buy a package of cards on your next trip to Target, or better yet, you could make your own! I recently discovered liquid watercolors and I am in love with them. Here is a fun project that I just did with my kids. Watercolor hearts with crayon resist.


  • Crayons or oil pastels

  • Q-tips (with plastic sticks)

  • ice cube tray

  • thick white paper (preferably watercolor paper)

  • scissors

  • heart shaped stickers (optional)

  • salt (optional)

  • glitter and glue (optional)

  • Wax paper (optional to keep floor clean)

Step 1: Cut the hearts out of white watercolor paper. I was able to cut 3 per page. If your child is old enough, they could draw the hearts and you could cut them out or vice versa. If you don't have watercolor paper, don't stress about it, just use the thickest paper you have.

Step 2: Set up your workspace. I like to put a sheet of wax paper on the floor with the sides taped down so it doesn't slip around. This will give your child an area to work on. This project works well inside, just avoid doing it on carpet, because the watercolors could stain.

Step 3: Draw on the hearts with crayons, oil pastels and or add heart shaped stickers. The watercolor won't stick to the crayons, demonstrate this to your child. Your child might scribble or draw a picture on the hearts with the crayons. Show them how they could put a heart shaped sticker on, add paint, and then peel it away and see a white heart.

Step 4: Put a little bit of liquid watercolors in an ice cube tray. I love using ice cube trays and Q-tips with little kids. The Q-tips act as disposable brushes, and help to keep all the colors bright. Add water to each of the colors in the ice cube tray. By adding water the colors will still be very bright and you won't waste your liquid watercolors. You can create different shades of colors by adding more or less water. Place a Q-tip in each color (you MUST have the plastic stick Q-tips, otherwise they will get wet and floppy). Let your child get to work creating.

Step 5: Once the hearts are nice and wet with watercolor paint, show your child how they can add a pinch of salt to create an interesting texture. When the heart is dry you can brush off all the excess salt that they used. Typically kids will use way more than they need. If you didn't use watercolor paper this part might not work. Regular paper soaks up all the water and leaves very little to be soaked up with the salt, which is the purpose of the salt.

Step 6: Once it is dry, you can help your child write a note on the other side to their friend for Valentine's Day.

My 4 year old daughter worked on these hearts for a good hour. In the end she had one for every kid in her preschool class. My 2 year old son worked on his hearts for about 20 minutes. He made two for his two friends in his gymnastics class. Have fun and check out the finished ones below!

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