Let’s Craft: Make a Watercolor Leaf Mobile

Watercolor-Leaf-Mobile

This week’s Crafternoon guest blogger is Jessica Begum, the crafty momma behind the blog Hipster’s Tea Party. Check out her tutorial for fun and festive watercolor leaves:

“Wondering what the kids are going to do while you’re busy entertaining on Thanksgiving day?  Craft!  That’s what!  Aren’t these watercolor leaves gorgeous?  This instant fall decoration is so pretty, plus you can reuse your mobile over and over with different crafts as the seasons change.

So, so simple and really a “set up and leave” (hehe) kind of craft. Every kid, big or small will know exactly what to do when they approach the craft table without adult supervision or too many directions.  Yay!  And the best part is, you can set it up entirely the night before.

Here’s what you do:

Set aside a low work station for  the kids, somewhere where they can all gather and not worry about staining your carpet.  I covered my coffee table with craft paper and set it in the corner of my kitchen. You’ll also need a hanging mobile with little clips attached to hang the leaves from as they dry. You can make your own like I did, or take a shortcut and buy one designed for photographs. Just make sure it has clips attached!

Supplies For Hanging Mobile:

  • A 10″ craft ring (In a pinch, you could also use a coat hanger.)
  • Baker’s twine or string
  • Scissors
  • A handful of little clips (I got mine at the craft store and they conveniently have little loops on the ends for easy hanging.  But you could also use small clothes pins or little hair clips and hot glue them to the end of your string.)

 

craft
Directions:

Take 3 long pieces of twine, about 4′ long.  Just eyeball it. Tie the ends to the craft ring in thirds, so they form a triangle if you were to connect the dots.

Next, place your ring on a flat surface, pull your strings up, and tie all together in one overhand knot when all of the strings are an even length about 12″ above the ring, so your ring stays level when you lift it.  Tie tightly.

Then tie different lengths of strings to the ring all the way around. I used 8 strings with 2 clips attached to each.  You can add more or less depending on how many leaves you make.  Tip: it’s a good idea to hang the mobile from a doorway so you can see what you are doing.

Tie a clip to the end of each of the strings and a second clip above it somewhere random between the ring and the end clip. Make all of your clips staggered at different lengths.  I think it is best to keep it random, but if you feel better making a pattern, go for it!

Hang a couple of clips from the middle string too.  Trim all ends. Hang your mobile directly above the kids work station.  They can drip a little as they dry.

Next, make your leaves!

Supplies For Leaves:

  • 4″ White coffee filters (cone shaped)
  • Leaf template (you can download one here)
  • Pencil
  • Scissors
  • Washable markers in red, orange, yellow and brown. (Make sure to use washable or your son WILL draw all over your sister-in-law.)
  • Spray bottle
  • Paper towels

 

Directions:

Cut out your leaves from template and trace them onto a filter, and then cut out the filter leaves.  I double stacked (okay, triple stacked) my filters. Cut out about 20-25 leaves.

Place just the leaves and markers on your craft table for the kids. If you leave the spray bottle, you’ll have a water fight on your hands before you know it, so keep that up out of reach.

Have the kids draw on their leaves with the markers – and don’t judge the look of the leaf before it’s sprayed, they all turn out great!

When they’re done, hold the leaf above a paper towel and mist with about 3 squirts of water. Remember not to overspray or all of your color will drip off.  Don’t set the leaves down on the paper towel or the color will all bleed into the towel.

The colors of the markers will bleed together beautifully.

Just clip them up to dry and that’s it – easy as pie!

Tip – if you want to keep track of whose artwork is whose, write their names on the leaves before coloring.

Have fun everybody!  Happy leaf making!

 

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