One of my mother’s favorite crafts we used to do together was the marker + coffee filters + water experiment. Essentially, you color the coffee filter with markers all over, then dip or drip water onto the filter. When the water is absorbed by the coffee filter, the color from the markers spreads all across the filter making a pretty watercolor or tie dye effect.
Super cool! When I came across these heart shaped paper doilies at Target I instantly remembered doing this activity as a kid.
I scooped them up so my toddler and I could have some fun of our own making pretty rainbow watercolor Valentine’s Day decorations. She would have fun coloring and playing with water, while I scored some cute Valentine’s Day decorations for my office.
Here’s how to make your own watercolor heart decorations with your little one at home:
What you need:
- Paper heart doilies (or simply cut coffee filters into a heart shape)
- Markers (we recommend using these Mumbo Jumbo Chunky Markers from OOLY – they are perfect for little hands!)
- Parchment paper
- Baking sheet tray
- Glass of water
- Eyedroppers (if you don’t have eyedroppers, try using a cotton ball or pad instead)
Step 1 –
First, place the hearts on top of the parchment paper.
Step 2 –
Next, color your pieces of paper or coffee filters with markers. Try making many different designs in multiple colors on each heart for a bright and colorful finished heart.
Step 3 –
Once the hearts are all colored, transfer the parchment paper and hearts to the baking sheet tray.
Step 4 –
Using the eyedropper, carefully drip water over top of the hearts. This will allow the marker colors to begin to bleed and swirl around to create a tie dye effect on the heart.
Here’s a quick video of us swirling around the water and marker colors on the hearts:
Step 5 –
Once the hearts are thoroughly covered with water, try carefully rubbing with a wet cotton bad or cotton ball to create pretty swirls of color on the hearts.
Step 6 –
When finished, remove any excess water from the parchment paper.
Step 7 –
Place a fresh piece of parchment paper over top of the wet hearts, and cover with another baking tray. Covering is not necessary but will ensure the hearts dry flat instead of warping. Allow the hearts to dry for 24 hours.
Once dry, use them to decorate any space for Valentine’s Day!
I used them to decorate in my office, but you could use them in a number of ways. For example, they could be wrapped around a mason jar and tied with twine to make a cute flower vase. Or simply write a cute message on each and hand out as homemade valentines.
How would you use these pretty paper hearts to decorate? Send us your ideas in the messages below!