These hand-painted craft and DIY project tutorials share two main ingredients: a set of acrylic craft paints and the desire to get creative. Come see what you can create in an afternoon or two.
For a complete list of projects that do not require any power tools, go here.
Using Acrylic Craft Paints
Acrylic craft paints have really improved over the years. Today, you can buy inexpensive sets in a variety of colours and finishes (satin, pearl, glitter, chalkboard…) that work on different surfaces, and wash up easily with soap and water.
I like ones like the Martha Steward brand because they work on wood, glass, metal, and fabric, and are weather-resistant for outdoor applications. You do need to read the labels first though. Some paints are durable but only after they have cured (completely drying and adhering to the surface). The Martha Stewart paint label says to allow 21 days to cure.
Tips for Craft Paint and Brush Care
- Keep your paint containers stored upright and always be sure to close the lids nice and tight when not in use.
- Do not leave the lids open while you’re working: acrylic paints dry quickly when exposed to air and this can gum up the paints in the containers.
- If you have a lot of colours like I do, dab the lids with the paints so you can see the colours at a glance.
- Use a plastic plate or lid as a palette. Dispense the paints in smalls amounts to avoid waste. A little goes a long way.
- Acrylic paints can be combined and blended to create new colours. Also, try adding black or white to any colour in varying amounts. This will provide a whole range of colour values.
Brushes need special care too:
- Never leave your brush sitting in water. You can get brush holders if desired which suspends the brush without harming the bristles.
- Clean brushes with soapy water, and rinse and dry thoroughly after use. Store them laying down so there is no stress on the bristles.
Craft Paint Projects
Here’s are the craft paint tutorials on Empress of Dirt.
How to Paint Birds on Stones Tutorial
A step-by-step tutorial by Sehnaz Bac, showing the layering process to create these beautiful birds.
How to Paint Owls on Stones Tutorial
Sehnaz Bac shares her method and the materials for creating owls and other designs on flat stones.
Hand-Painted Garden Art Rocks
Want something bigger? See how to create animals and other designs on rocks. It’s art for the home or garden.
Hand-Painted Flower Pots
The same materials used to paint stones and rocks can be used on items like clay pots.
Hand-Painted Fruit Sign
I wanted something to represent the strawberries while waiting for the fruit to grow. A giant strawberry sign does the trick!
Hand-Painted Hose Guards
Learn to Hand-Paint with Watercolors
Beginner Watercolor Painting with Painterly Days
This one does not use acrylic craft paints but I have included it because it offers a good introduction to painting if you are new to it and want some structure to guide you.
Artist Kristi Rice has created these watercolor painting books, just like adult coloring books, for anyone wanting some guidance with watercolor painting. It’s very relaxing.
How to Hand-paint Custom Shoes
Years ago, I shared some shoes my daughter had customized with paint. There were so many questions from readers that I wrote an ebook to cover all the basics.
Hand-Painted Wood Planter Box
Make a Wooden Garden Trug with Hand-painted Details
Scrap wood and craft paints are a garden art marriage waiting to happen.
I wanted to add a punch of colour to back of my garden, so gave some old birdhouses a makeover.
Hand-Painted Garden Art Lighthouses
How to Make Clay Pot Lighthouses
As mentioned, clay pots are easy to paint. These ones were tranformed into simple lighthouses with lamps on top.
Magical Mini Fairy Garden Doors and Windows
Magical Mini Fairy Doors are a tiny version of a full-size optical illusion mirror I made for my garden. With a small mirror and some fine wood, you could create all sorts of little doors and windows that give the impression of a secret world beyond the wall.
Watch Hand-Painting Techniques
Now go get some paints and get crafty.
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