playing with petals

This weekend we needed a slow day to unwind after all the excitement of my sisters wedding (photos to follow) but with two children it’s not like we can do duvet days without them jumping off the walls and multiple fights. I have a bunch of craft ideas up my sleeve for days like this and because our garden is bursting with flowers at the moment, I wanted to try making watercolour paints from petals.

We collected all of the brightly coloured flowers we could find, using mainly sweetpeas, hydrangeas and roses. Then we picked the petals off them before squishing them up in clingfilm and putting them in jamjars with boiling water (I didn’t have any of the seal-able bags they used in the tutorial), they looked like they were giving off colour almost immediately but we left them overnight to make the colours brighter.

petals paint

The next day we used a sieve to separate the petals from the water and found that the purple sweetpeas were the only ones that gave a good colour, the rest all seemed to be different shades of orange which was frustrating! Annie had a go at painting with them anyway but none of the shades were dark enough to really show up on paper so she gave up. I promised when I started this blog I’d write about my crafting and that includes our failures as well as our successes, so there it is. Homemade watercolour paints are not our thing, we had more fun playing with petals. I’d give this another go just for how easy it was, it’d be worth trying with some other flowers.

watercolour petal paint

The best part about it was that it wasn’t something to be rushed, you just needed to sit and play with petals. I really aspire to the slow living movement that’s all over instagram (try #theartofslowliving for inspiration) but like most people, I have to work so I don’t actually have time to spend my days baking bread and sewing my own clothes (as much as I’d love to!).

My version of slow living is spending one-on-one time with my children when I can, going to the beach to let them run around and do nothing but paddle and build sandcastles and spending time in my garden. This type of crafty afternoon with Annie makes a perfect mindful activity, we spent our time collecting the flowers and pulling the petals off and with all of the discarded petals and stems we made a loveheart which I love. If you need something a little bit chilled to do, either on your own or with the children then try this – you’re bound to do better than we did and if not you’ll still enjoy the process.

Flower heart