Valentines day bunting
Crafts Kids Arts and Crafts Activities

How to Make a Valentines Day Bunting with Painted Heart Doilies

valentines day bunting

We’re getting into Valentine’s Day making and decorating a little early this year. I don’t understand why I get so inspired by hearts every year, but I do. My kids are all for hearts year round, by the way.

This time we painted heart doilies, which we strung together into a Valentines day bunting (with the addition of oil for the suncatcher effect). This activity also creates watercolor resist heart paintings that can be used for Valentine’s Day cards or decorations.

Here’s how we did it…

A Valentines Day Bunting with Painted Heart Doilies

Materials and Set Up for Painting Doilies for Valentines Day bunting
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Watercolor Heart Doilies for Valentine's Day Bunting

This painted heart doily bunting came about in a rather circuitous manner.

First, we tried doily resist watercolor art with metallic coated round doilies (which worked great), then the same with heart doilies, and finally started painting uncoated white heart doilies inspired by a piece of Daphne’s doily art.

Watercolor Heart Doilies for Valentine's Day Bunting


1. Paint doilies

Holding the doily in place over the watercolor paper (you can tape it lightly if you like) paint the doily, the paper surrounding the doily, and inside the little holes in the doily.

Note :: Make sure you get the uncoated heart doilies rather than the kind that have the shiny coating. The uncoated doilies will soak up the watercolor paint beautifully. The coated kind won’t at all.

Watercolor Heart Doilies for Valentine's Day Bunting

Continue until the doily and the paper are completely painted.

Watercolor Heart Doilies for Valentine's Day Bunting

Or just paint the doily, if you’d rather. Maia’s friend Ava painted the details of the doily different colors.

Watercolor Heart Doilies for Valentine's Day Bunting

2. Sprinkle salt

(Optional) Add a sprinkle of salt to the wet watercolor paint if desired.

Daphne and her friend Cora, above, were very into painting the heart doilies. And very into adding salt.

Watercolor Heart Doilies for Valentine's Day Bunting

3. Dry doilies

Lift the doily off the paper and let both dry completely.

Watercolor Heart Doilies for Valentine's Day Bunting

If your kids added stickers as well before painting, pull them off now. The doily (and sticker) resist watercolor paper hearts are beautiful as is. I thought about sewing them together for another kind of bunting, but think we’ll use them as Valentine’s Day cards instead.

Watercolor Heart Doilies for Valentine's Day Bunting

4. Paint vegetable oil

Turn the doilies over and paint the reverse with a light coat of vegetable oil. This makes them more translucent (for the suncatcher effect) and the colors more vibrant.

Watercolor Painted Heart Doily in the Window

5. String doilies together

Use yarn and a yarn needle to sew through the holes at the tops of the doilies, stringing them together into a bunting.

Watercolor Heart Doilies for Valentine's Day Bunting

6. Hang bunting

Now, hang the bunting in the window where the light can shine through the colorful hearts.

Painting the doilies with watercolors is such a simple activity—both for parents to set up and for kids to do—yet the process is fun and the results are beautiful.

Give it a try!

And if you’re so inclined, use the doily hearts to create a Valentines Day bunting . . .
What are your favorite Valentine’s Day crafts? Leave a comment below!

Pin It For Later

valentines day bunting
How to Make a Valentines Day Bunting with Painted Heart Doilies


  • Reply
    January 15, 2014 at 2:44 pm

    Beautiful! We used Do-a-Dot pens for a similar effect last year, but my four year old has been drawn to liquid water colors more than ever lately, so I think we’ll give them a whirl on doilies this year. Love the oil effect especially. We just tried the melted crayon bunting you recently posted, and we love the translucent magic. :D

  • Reply
    January 15, 2014 at 4:01 pm

    beautiful! what is that holder you have for the liquid watercolors? that looks cool!

  • Reply
    January 16, 2014 at 11:28 am

    I teach an art class with all girls and many of them would be happy making hearts every day of the year :) (and rainbows)

  • Reply
    January 27, 2014 at 9:41 pm

    i want to try this with my son who is not yet 2 1/2. am i crazy? i’ve looked through your posts tagged under toddler art and they give great suggestions, but i didn’t see any particular art projects specifically for toddlers–maybe for good reason! i am just overly excited to create with him!! thanks!

  • Reply
    February 6, 2014 at 11:26 pm

    Roses, chocolates , candle lit dinner and romantic short films!! What better way to enjoy 14th Feb than to watch our special Valentine’s Day compilation.

  • Reply
    Clayton @ APS
    February 7, 2014 at 10:06 am

    Perfect timing. Now that it’s really close to Valentines day, was looking for a way to have my kids involved. Great post.

  • Reply
    Wyatt Branson
    April 29, 2014 at 3:24 pm

    What is the best painting tip with the vegetable oil, I feel like I am putting too thick of a coat on when I try to paint and it ruins the doilies. Should I use a smaller brush or a cloth. thank you.

  • Reply
    August 9, 2014 at 8:39 am

    How lovely the painting is! And the kid is lovely, too! I will teach my child to make this “painted heart”.

  • Reply
    Nut horses
    February 4, 2019 at 1:09 pm

    I used essential oil mixed with vegetable oil so when I hang them in the window the room smells good. And when the sun DOES shine, they get warmed and ooh the smell☺️

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