Printable Paper Quilt Making Kits – no sewing required!

Back in 2014 I saw a paper quilt in Country Living magazine. I thought it was such a great idea, especially because I can’t really sew and have always been drawn to quilts. I was inspired to create my own.

St. Patrick’s Day Paper Quilt

I wanted to create a St. Patrick’s Day themed paper quilt. The weather was horrible, so I avoided a trip to the craft store by using patterned papers I had at home and by designing some of my own.

I created a template so I could achieve a diamond quilt design. Each square on the template was assigned a letter. I also created a key so I knew which paper went with each letter. I thought it was interesting that if I changed which paper was assigned to the letters on the key, I would end up with a different quilt.

I had so much fun creating that first paper quilt. I thought others would enjoy making one too and wouldn’t it be convenient if they could print everything from home – the template, key and four patterned papers? I also thought it would be a great craft for other holidays. So that’s what I did! To date I’ve designed six printable paper quilt making quilts.

St. Patrick’s Day Paper Quilt Making Kit

Valentine’s Day Paper Quilt Making Kit

How to make a paper quilt

  • Print the kit – four patterned papers, template and key, and instructions
  • Cut the four patterned papers into squares using the trim marks and following the instructions
  • Cut the key off the template
  • Assign the four papers to the key (gluing the squares onto the key)
  • Following the letters on the key, glue the squares one patterned paper at a time
  • Your done! Make another quilt – Print another set, assign the papers differently, create a different design!

By switching up what papers are assigned to the key – many quilt design variations are possible! Have fun!

Download a Paper Quilt Making Kit

More Paper Quilt Making Kits:

Patriotic Paper Quilt craft activity for kids and adults for Memorial Day July 4th Labor Day

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More St. Patrick’s Day Art Projects

Fields of Green Ireland Painting Tutorial
how to draw a leprechaun printable tutorial
Printable Ireland St. Patrick's Day Coloring Pages make a Coloring Book Kids Class Activity Digital Download is a great way to teach kids about Ireland. Color and fold to create a book! Perfect for St. Patrick's Day.

For more creative St. Patrick’s Day Ideas:

Read Teaching Children about Ireland.

St. Patrick’s Day Painting Project

This Fields of Green Watercolor Painting Project will get you in the spirit of St. Patrick’s Day and take you on a “visit” to Ireland!

Fields of Green Ireland Painting Tutorial

Beginner Watercolor Painting Idea for St. Patrick’s Day

Ireland is said to have “40 Shades of Green” and in this beginner watercolor project we’ll use as many shades as possible! Beginner friendly! Step by step tutorial with photos walks you through painting this Irish landscape.

In this tutorial you’ll learn:

  • Masking with tape
  • Painting fades
  • Painting layers
  • Painting dry on dry
  • Using gouache – more opaque than watercolor
Painting an Irish Landscape in Watercolor

In addition to learning all these techniques – you’ll have a beautiful final painting when you are done!

Supplies you’ll need:

  • Watercolor paper. I use 9” x 12” Arches 140 lb. cold pressed paper. Trim to 9” x 11” to create a painting that works well in a 8” x 10” mat.
  • Painter’s tape – 1” wide
  • Watercolor paint. Colors: shades of green and/or blue and yellow for mixing greens (a touch of red can be added too), blues for sky (turquoise or other blue) and ocean (prussian or ultramarine blue), black, and orange (can mix with yellow and red) AND… 
  • Gouache – White Gouache (Gouache can go over watercolor. It is less translucent.)
  • Paint brushes – 1 large round brush – #6, one thin round brush – #1
  • Container of water
  • Paper Towel
  • Palette for mixing paint with water and mixing colors. Use a plastic lid or the top of a plastic egg carton.
  • Pencil, eraser (kneaded is best), ruler and scissors
  • Scrap of paper. Always test color mixes before touching your painting with your brush.

For a list of brands I use visit: https://mycreativeresolution.com/supplies/

Download the Tutorial

For more Seasonal Art Project Ideas:

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More St. Patrick’s Day Art Projects

how to draw a leprechaun printable tutorial
Printable Ireland St. Patrick's Day Coloring Pages make a Coloring Book Kids Class Activity Digital Download is a great way to teach kids about Ireland. Color and fold to create a book! Perfect for St. Patrick's Day.

For more creative St. Patrick’s Day Ideas:

Read Teaching Children about Ireland.

St. Patrick's Day Art Project

How to Draw a Leprechaun

A Fun St. Patrick’s Day Art Project

What is St. Patrick’s Day without a few leprechauns hanging around – right? The “How to Draw a Leprechaun” tutorial is fun for all ages!

Here’s what you’ll need:

  • Pencil
  • Paper
  • Eraser – I like kneaded erasers – no pink smudges!
  • Color – use colored pencils, markers, watercolor paints, whatever you like to add color to your leprechaun!
  • Pen or Thin Marker – my choice is a Uniball Signo Black Gel Pen. It goes on so smooth!
how to draw a leprechaun printable tutorial

Download the Step by Step Tutorial!

The printable tutorial is available in my Etsy shop at www.etsy.com/shop/EileenMcKennaArt.

The pdf tutorial is 3 pages and is easy to follow.

Watch the Video

I want to see your leprechaun!

Tag me on Instagram @eileenmckenna

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St. Patrick’s Day Painting Project for Beginners

Ireland is said to have “40 Shades of Green” and in this beginner watercolor project we’ll use as many shades as possible! Beginner friendly! Step by step tutorial with photos walks you through creating this Irish landscape.

In this tutorial you’ll learn:

  • Masking with tape
  • Painting fades
  • Painting layers
  • Painting dry on dry
  • Using gouache – more opaque than watercolor
Fields of Green Ireland Painting Tutorial

St. Patrick’s Day Paper Craft

Download this printable paper quilt kit and have fun making your own St. Patrick’s Day Quilt. The four patterned papers include sheep, leprechauns, symbols of Ireland – harp, shamrocks, and the Irish flag. Fun for all ages!

Download the St. Patrick’s Day Paper Quilt Kit in my Etsy shop here.

For more fun St. Patrick’s Day ideas read Teaching Children about Ireland.

This page contains affiliate links to products/brands I use and recommend. I earn a small commission whenever you buy using these links, at no additional cost to you. Thank you for supporting my blog!

6 Tips for Watercolor Success

Watercolor Seascape by Eileen McKenna

Watercolor is such a magical medium! I love it. As I sit and paint I often think that no matter what the subject – a landscape or illustration – the painting process is similar. There are basic concepts that apply to almost every painting.

If you are new to watercolor – welcome! Think about these concepts as you paint:

Basic Watercolor Concepts

  1. Work light to dark.
  2. Work wet to dry.
  3. Work bigger brush to thinner brush.
  4. Build up the layers of paint, remembering tips 1-3. Allow time for paint to dry between layers.
  5. Unless you want colors to bleed into one another, do not paint next to wet paint.
  6. Find opportunities in your subject for the bleeding and blending of colors – that is the magical quality of watercolor! 

Basic Watercolor Concepts explained

1-3. Work light to dark. Work wet to dry. Work bigger brush to thinner brush.

When you begin a painting your brush should be fairly wet (with paint and water). The paint should glide onto the paper. You can even wet the page or an area of the page with water before you touch the brush to the wet surface.

These beginning blobs are the first layer of your painting. Usually they are the lighter colors. After they dry you can add more paint on top of them. With each layer your brush should be less drippy, so you can paint finer and finer details. With a drier brush the paint spreads less when it touches the paper.

4. Build up the layers of paint

The stages of a watercolor painting are like a camera coming into focus. The first layer is blurry. Each layer gets more and more crisp and detailed. Let the paint dry before adding another layer, so it doesn’t bleed into the last layer. As you paint the later layers, work with a thinner brush. It makes it easier to paint fine lines.

5-6. Watercolor bleeding and blending

When you want it to happen, the bleeding and blending of colors is beautiful. It creates such interesting effects. The watercolor paint is doing the work for you! Think reds and greens bleeding into one another to create fall foliage. When you don’t want this happen, let paint dry before adding wet paint near it.

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Ready to start in watercolor?

Try my “Beginner Watercolor Exploration Guide” where I walk you through the fundamentals of watercolor with exercises and projects. Learn by doing. Discover a love of watercolor today –> Learn more here!

Beginner Watercolor Exploration Guide
Six tips for Watercolor Success

How to Motivate to Finish Creative Projects

Watercolor Sunset Painting by Eileen McKenna

For three months this sunset painting sat unfinished. I couldn’t motivate to pick it up and work on it, until now. What changed?

For one thing, with the holidays behind us and a new fresh year ahead, I recommitted to creativity. My goal is to sit and paint every morning for at least 15 minutes. So far this year, I’ve done just that plus a few days at the end of 2020.

When I sit down to paint I usually have no plan. Sometimes I start by organizing my art supplies. That’s when I uncovered this painting (but immediately set it aside). I often start by playing in my sketchbook. There is no pressure with a sketchbook. I feel free to explore. As I paint, ideas come to me.

It’s so interesting how you can go from no idea…to painting bananas…to “It’s time to finish that sunset.” It just proves how important it is to regularly sit down to paint, to show up every day.

There are days that nothing exciting happens on the page, but that’s part of the creative process too. No matter what the results, time spent being creativity clears my mind.

I encourage you to paint, draw (or whatever) for 15 minutes each day. You never know what it will lead to!

*****

Ready to get started in watercolor? The “Beginner Watercolor Exploration Guide” is for you!

  • Learn the fundamentals.
  • Practice with exercises & projects.
  • Discover a love of watercolor!

Learn more here!

Beginner Watercolor Exploration Guide pdf download | how to guide beginner watercolor

Set yourself up for a creative 2021

The new year is thankfully here. Like many people, I’m trying to figure out how to be the best I can, in the new year. What systems help me and what bad habits hurt me when it comes to staying creative and working towards my goals?

Aiming for a daily illustration. This one is inspired by Flow Magazine’s book “Inspiring Women”

Daily dreaming and planning in my notebook. This helps me stay focused on what I want to work on. I dream, I plan, I look back and see what projects I may have forgotten about. I’ve been doing this almost every day since I started my blog 7 years ago, maybe longer.

Painting early in the day vs. attacking my to-do list. I’m more likely to paint if it’s one of the first things I do. If I start with work or other to-do list items I’m doomed for the day. I find it so hard to get back to a free creative mind after the other stuff.

A project. Whenever I have an ongoing project or theme that I’m working on, it is so much easier to motivate myself to sit and create. There is something driving me.

The weather. A bright sunny day and time spent outdoors help inspire me to create.

Regular creatively. Even if it’s just 10/15 minutes a day, regular creativity inspires more creativity. Although I made the resolution 7 years ago and started this blog to reinforces it, I still regularly have to recommit to creativity. It’s constant work – but so much reward!

 

Eileen McKenna watercolor artist

I’m Eileen, a watercolor artist. 13 years ago I didn’t draw or paint! A lack of confidence held me back for years. I now believe talent is just a starting point. Creativity is for everyone! It has brought so much joy and opportunity to my life. What are you waiting for? I’ve developed a process for you to follow! Get my book “Creative Exploration” and explore mediums and subjects to find your thing! Develop your own creative practice! Learn more here.

Creative exploration

Northern Lights Homeschool Art and Science Lesson

The Northern Lights are a magical phenomenon! They make a great subject for an art and science combo lesson.

The Northern Lights also know as Aurora Borealis is the result of “charged particles from the Sun reacting with particles in the air. Although the magnetic field protects Earth from most of these particles, some slip through in the weaker areas near the North and South poles, creating amazing light shows such as the one seen in the video above.”
Source of explanation: https://www.sciencekids.co.nz/videos/earth/northernlights.html

The video below gives an easy to understand explanation of how and why these lights form.

After showing the above videos, allow kids to create their own Northern Lights. Use the step by step printable painting tutorial – available on Etsy – to guide the kids to create a beautiful painting! With this tutorial, kids will have the opportunity to play with watercolor and build their artistic confidence.

This fun painting project produces beautiful results! Practice five watercolor techniques including:

  • Masking areas with tape
  • Wet on wet painting
  • Splattering
  • Dry on dry painting
  • Painting layers

The Northern Lights Polar Bear painting tutorial is available for download on Etsy here.

A Creative New Year

Sketchbook

I’m always relieved when the busyness of the holidays is over. After Thanksgiving “the holidays” – a small thing on my to do list – grows with each passing day until it’s the main thing I’m working on. I become consumed with shopping, taking inventory of deliveries, decorating, wrapping, planning, baking, more shopping…

And then it’s over. The week that follows is usually a fairly quiet week of not much more that reading, tv watching, and eating leftover candy. I happily devour the creative magazines that filled my stocking. Magazines like flow and Mollie Makes. I read about other creatives and plan and dream about the New Year.

It was during this time, seven years ago, that I committed to regular creativity and started this blog – My Creative Resolution. Seven years ago! My kids don’t remember a time when a section of the table wasn’t filled with art supplies. They assume I’ve always drawn and painted. 

Starting a blog added a level of accountability that prevented me from putting my creative goals aside. Before the blog, there were several Christmases where I received a new sketchbook, vowed to work in it every day, but ultimately forgot about it. Creativity has brought so much joy to my life, and many unexpected opportunities! It is impossible to plan everything. You have to start your own journey to find out what twists and turns await you!

Not sure where to start?

I’ve created a process for you to follow, that walks you through trying things, while developing a regular practice of creativity. Fifteen minutes a day can be sufficient!

We start with the basics – no fancy supplies needed – and slowly work up to trying other mediums. Your interests are taken into account. After all, your exploratory journey should be based on you!

Ready to get started?
Download the “Creative Exploration” ebook or order a paperback copy on Amazon today. Click here for more information.

Your creative journey awaits!

Creative Exploration | How to be creative How to start an art practice

Start now by clicking here!

 

Creativity in Midlife

I’m on a podcast! “Women in the Middle” with Suzy Rosenstein, Episode #179 “Finding My Passion to Teach Creativity in Midlife with Eileen McKenna”

Our conversation covers:

  • Why it’s important to pay attention to your deepest desires.
  • How to look for clues about what you’ve always been passionate about.
  • Why exploration itself needs to become a skill you can get better at.
  • How paying attention to your inner voice can help you get unstuck and find your own voice in midlife.
  • How being uncomfortable can be a normal part of the process of your own personal development.