Wintery Watercolor Forest Tutorial

It's almost Christmas! Yay!

Remember how I was decorating for this holiday with some golds and greens?  I had painted three versions of these watercolor pine trees to create a winter forest scene.  The painting process is memorizing and I'm in love with it!  

Original watercolor pine trees in winter by Elise Engh 2016

And now,  the Wintery Watercolor Forest Tutorial is up on the Craftsy Painting Blog.  The tutorial details the painting process in three different values.  You can even make a mini value scale to keep you on track as you paint.

So go try it out. You might just fall as much in love with painting these watercolor pine trees as I am!

Christmas Craft Tutorial: Rustic Wood Slice Ornaments

Homemade ornaments are the best! I grew up making salt-dough ornaments with my siblings and those were always the favorite ornaments to hang on the tree.  We may have fought a little over who got to hang the cinnamon roll ornament every year :)

If you're not into making huge messes with salt-dough, you can give wood slice ornaments a try this year.  They are very simple and relatively clean.  Plus they are right on-point with the rustic holiday trends!  Gotta love that style!

Read below to learn how to make your own customized family wood slice ornaments.

Christmas Craft Tutorial: Rustic Wood Slice Ornaments

  • Wood Slices (2 1/2 inch) 
  • Wallet Size Photos
  • Drill or Dremel Tool
  • Scissors
  • Modge Podge
  • Foam Brush
  • Sharpie
  • String
Wood Slice Ornament Materials and Tutorial: grow creative blog

Step 1:  Drill a hole at the top of each ornament.

Although you can do this step later on, I prefer to drill the holes in the wood slices before I do anything else.  You can avoid having to drill through a photo that way. These holes will be used for the string that will hold your ornaments on the tree, so don't miss this important step!

If you have a drill, use a drill bit with a small diameter.  You can use a dremel tool too- that's what I used.

Wood Slice Ornament Materials and Tutorial: grow creative blog

Step 2: Cut your wallet-sized photos to fit your wood slices.  

You can lay the wood slices on top of your photos and trace an outline to get a good fit.  Trim the photos so that they are slightly smaller than the outer edge of your wood slices.

Step 3: Modge Podge it!

With a foam brush, apply a layer of modge podge to the wood slice.  Then lay your cut photo on top of it. Press down for about ten seconds to make sure the photo adheres to the wood slice well. Wait a few minutes to dry, then apply another layer of modge podge on top of the photo to seal and protect it.

Step 4: Poke a Hole.

Once the modge podge is dry, you can use a pencil to poke through the photo to the hole at the top if your photo covers the hole.

How to make wood slice ornaments with family photos: grow creative blog

Step 5:  Cut the string.

Cut your string to 5-6 inches long, thread it through the hole at the top of the ornament and then tie the ends together.  Simple!

Christmas Craft Tutorial: Rustic Wood Slice Ornaments

Step 6:  Date it! (Optional) 

Use a sharpie to write a special message or date on the back of the ornament.  One day I dream of getting a wood-burning-tool so I can burn the date into the back. That would be awesome!

Christmas Craft Tutorial: Rustic Wood Slice Ornaments

I made a few batches of these to give to the parents and in-laws as gifts this year.  I think they will be a hit!

Rustic Christmas Woodslice Ornaments DIY

DIY Watercolor Christmas Gift Tags

It's gift-giving season again! Ready to make some pretty watercolor gift tags? If you have some left-over watercolor paper scraps, this is the perfect use for them! 

Here's what you need:
watercolor paper
watercolor paints
paint brush
hole punch

Step 1: Paint!

Paint small watercolor trees, Christmas wreaths, poinsettia flowers, ornaments, or flower garlands on your watercolor paper scraps.

Have fun and play with your color palette.  I didn't paint any pink Christmas trees, but I think that would be an awesome idea! Also, don't worry about making these paintings look realistic.  The quicker and more fluid, the better.

Let dry.

Watercolor Christmas Tags

Step 2: Cut

Cut your paintings out of the paper to make small tags.  For the wreaths, I cut around the edges of the painting.  For the trees, I used my paper cutter and made rectangular tags.

Step 3: Punch

Use a small hole punch to punch out a hole in the top of each of your tags.

Step 4:  Tie

Cut small lengths of string.  I used baker's twine purchased from the dollar store.  Tie a string through the hole at the top of each tag.

Watercolor Christmas Gift Tags

When your tags are all done, use a pen to write your "to's" and "from's" on your tags.  Use the loose ends of the strings to tie your beautiful watercolor gift tags to your gifts.

Happy gift giving!

DIY Christmas Gift Ideas

Watercolor Christmas Gift Tags

Crochet Hats for Kids

It's been too long since I've posted a crochet project.  What can I say?!!  Life got busy and most of the time, if I do something creative, it involves painting.  But I still like crocheting, especially if it's something for kids.

Here are a couple of hats I made this fall. These make me smile!

Crochet Hats for Kids by Grow Creative Blog
Purple Crochet Pom Hat for girls: grow creative blog

The pom hat is one I sort of made up. I should have written down what I did, but it was an experiment.  It's loosely based on a hat pattern by Ali Crafts.

The bear hat was made from a pattern by JJ Crochet

Crochet Mint Bear Hat: Grow Creative Blog