Spring color: Watercolor egg garland

Finished watercolor eggs

Today feels like kind of a dark day in the world with the news out of Brussels, so I thought I’d share a cheerful springtime craft to try and counter some of the sadness. Sometimes it just feels good to lose yourself for a little while in making something beautiful.

Fall is really my favorite season, but secretly I admire Spring’s enthusiasm, with plants and birds and color popping up all over the place. This garland captures a little of that exuberance. We made eggs since we were in an Easter frame of mind, but you could use the same technique to make butterflies, flowers, geometric shapes or whatever strikes your fancy.

Inspired by Emily Sanford’s Spoonflower blog post about blocking off areas with tape before painting with watercolor, we’ve been experimenting with negative space and washes of abstract color around here.

Someone recently gave us a giant pad of drawing paper, so we used that and cut each sheet into two 9×12″ pieces. It was sturdy enough to stand up to the watercolor.

First we cut strips of painter’s tape the width of our paper. The only tape I had on hand was really wide, so I cut it into narrower strips. As long as I had to cut it anyway, I used the fancy craft scissors on some of the strips to get a scalloped edge. We used plain blue painter’s tape because it’s what we had on hand, but other kinds of art tape would work, too.

Speak softly and carry a big brush.

I’m trying to learn from the kids how to loosen up my painting style (kids are great mentors when it comes to art!), so we used big brushes, lots of water and lots of color. While the paint was still wet, we sprinkled sea salt in a couple places for special effects. All ages had fun playing with the washes of color and ways they combined.

The big reveal: Peeling off the tape.

Once the paint dried (that step took almost 24 hours, so plan ahead), we peeled off the tape to reveal the white stripes on our eggs-to-be. The paper on the left is mine; the right is kid-made. Our tape took off a tiny bit of the top layer of the paper, but not enough to bother me.

Painted papers.

Then I cut an egg-template, which you can download here — since it took me a solid half-hour of fiddling to make what I considered the perfect egg shape (they’re trickier than they look!), I figured I’d save you some time. I put lots of eggs on one page in case we wanted to color and cut out more eggs, but you really only need to cut out one for this project. Each egg is 4.5 inches tall.

Tracing the eggs.

Lay the cut-out space over your painted paper and decide where you want your egg to be. I like using this method because you get to see exactly what the egg will look like. When you’re happy with the design, trace lightly around the inside of the cut-out shape with pencil, then cut along the pencil line.

You could attach the cut-out shapes on yarn, baker’s twine or ribbon. I just hung mine up with tiny clothespins, since we have an existing ribbon strung up that we use for garlands throughout the year, switching out the items.

Watercolor egg garland

The bunnies are traced from the shape of an old notepad I had and cut out of scrapbook paper and other random papers we had around the house. The whole thing is happiness on a string!

Sugar scrub labels

Free printable labels for sugar scrubs, by Lellobird

I recently hosted a pedicure party as a fundraiser for our local school, and I thought it would be fun to give the participants a little treat to take home.  After a little research (hooray, Pinterest!), I made sugar scrubs for everyone and designed some custom labels for them.  I thought you might like to have a printable version of the labels, too – they’d be perfect for goodies at a spa day or bridal shower, or as a quick gift for a friend.

I tried two different recipes I found online.  My favorite (and the most popular one at the party) was the Brown Sugar-Vanilla Body Scrub from Fiber Artsy & Craftsy.  It smells good enough to eat (like cookie dough!) and contains just four ingredients, which you probably already have on hand.  I added an extra cup of white sugar beyond what the recipe called for, because it seemed too moist at first.  The recipe filled five of the 8-oz jars.

I also made the Lemon Sugar Scrub from Hey Wanderer.  With just three ingredients, this recipe is super-easy, too.  The finished product didn’t seem quite lemony enough to me, so if I did it again I might use lemon essential oil instead of lemon extract.  It made enough to fill six 8-oz jars.

Brown sugar body scrub label by Lellobird

Overall I probably spent about $10 on ingredients making scrubs for 10 people – and I have sugar and olive oil left over.

And I found these cute wide-mouth half-pint jars at Target for just over $1 per jar: Ball Wide-Mouth Half-Pint (8 oz) Jars with Lids.  So at just over $2 per person, that’s a pretty easy and inexpensive give-away — and one that everyone seemed happy to get.

I made two different versions of the labels for you (right click to save PDF).  They’ll print six per page on letter-size (8.5 x 11″) cardstock:

With ingredients listed
Sugar scrub labels by Lellobird (with ingredients)

Without ingredients listed, in case you want to use your own recipe or add a personal note
Sugar scrub labels by Lellobird, without ingredients

NB – Since all the ingredients are technically food, these scrubs are pretty safe – but, of course, you are the best judge of what you should put on your skin, so use common sense.  And do be careful with glass in the bathroom, for heaven’s sake.

These labels are free for your personal, non-commercial use.

Fonts used:
Veneer Extras (crown)
Bombshell Pro
Bergamot Ornaments (sun rays)