Make It Monday: Spring Garden Organizer Part 1

by Chris Williams

Garden Organizer with Butterfly

Garden Organizer with Snail, Dragonfly and Bumble Bee.
Springtime in Georgia is a beautiful time.  The weather begins to warm, the birds are singing and building their nests, the sun shines more brightly and I begin to think of “digging in the dirt.”  From preparing the soil to watching my flowers bloom, gardening is a gratifying experience. Playing in the garden is one of my favorite “free-time” hobbies.  It ranks right up there next to crafting and painting.  So I thought, why not combine both loves and paint a tote that will help me keep all my gardening supplies organized.   I hope this project also inspires you to create a garden organizer too.  Enjoy!

So let’s begin… gather all your supplies:

Supplies for the Spring Garden Organizer

Wood crate or organizer
Bug themed wood cutouts: Bee, Dragonfly, Snail and Butterfly

Apple Barrel Paints:
20346  Pure Pink
20349  Fresh Lime
20621  White
20645  Real Yellow
20648  Mossy Green
20652  Spring Green
20662  Black

Brushes: No. 1 liner brush, ¾” and No. 8 flat brushes, stylus

Container of water, foam plate to use as a palette and a few paper towels.

Supplies for the bumble bee.

I began painting the wood cutouts first.  For the bumble bee, gather:  Apple Barrel Gloss Paints – White, Black, Pure Pink and Real Yellow.

Paint the bumble bee body yellow.

Using your No. 8 flat brush, paint the body of the bee cutout Real Yellow.  Allow to dry and reapply the same color.

Paint the wings white.

Next, paint the wings White.  Again allow to dry and reapply a second coat.

Paint the stripes black.

Follow by painting the bee stripes two coats of Black.

Use the end of your paint brush to create the eye.

The wood cutout is now basecoated with two coats of paint and dry.  Can you see the shine?  I LOVE Apple Barrel Gloss Paints!  They are fun and easy to work with and when dry, you can enjoy a fabulous shine. Now lets have some fun adding the details.  Using the handle end of your paint brush, add a Black dot for an eye.

Add pink to your brush to paint a cheek.

I added a cheek for fun!  Load one half of the No. 8 flat brush with Pure Pink.  I simply brushed one side of the flat brush into the puddle of paint and pulled it out.  Stroke a few more times to fill your brush.

Paint a half circle for the cheek.

Paint a half circle Pure Pink cheek just under the Black eye.

Paint a shadow line to add dimension.

I added a little dimension to the wings by painting a shadow line between the wings and the body and also between the two wings.  I loaded my No. 8 flat brush with White and then side loaded a touch of Black.  Blend on the plate to brush mix a soft gray on one side of the brush and white on the other.

Add a dot-line pattern to the wings.

When dry, load the liner brush with thinned Black and paint a “line – dot – line” pattern around the edge of the wings.  You can also substitute the liner brush detail and use a black, fine-tip permanent marker.

Add polka dots for extra whimsy.

My bumble bee is so cute yet she wanted to be dressed with mini polka dots to become even cuter!  I painted Black tiny dots using the tip of my stylus.  It is a handy tool for every painter.  If you don’t have one, add it to your wish list!

Add a twinkle to your bumble bee's eye.

Paint the twinkle in her eye by adding White highlights at 11 o’clock and 5 o’clock in the Black dot eye.  Isn’t she sweet?  And the beauty is, she was so easy to paint!

Gather these supplies to paint the dragonfly.

Next gather White, Black, Fresh Lime and Pure Pink and the dragonfly wood cut out.

Paint the dragonfly body Lime Green.

I began basecoating each of the sections with two coats of paint:  Fresh Lime is the dragonfly body.

Paint the wings White.

The wings are painted White.

Highlight the wings.

Next, I shaded the wings.  I loaded my No. 8 flat brush with White and side loaded a touch of Pure Pink.  Once blended on my palette, I painted a pale pink shadow on the wing edges.

Use a stylus to add eyes.

Again, look at the shine on the wood surface, isn’t it fun?  Using a stylus add two Black tiny dots of eyes.

Paint cheeks.

Using the same technique as taught in the bumble bee, paint cheeks.

Use the liner brush to add a heart-shaped mouth.

Of course, our dragon fly needs a mouth; I gave her a small Pure Pink heart mouth using the No. 1 liner brush.

Decorate the wings.

I thought she needed a fancy design on her wings, don’t you?  I painted Pure Pink swirls on the pair of large wings.

Decorate the lower wings.

The lower wings were highlighted with Pure Pink brush strokes using the No. 1 liner brush.  Of course, you could also add polka dots or stripes if you like.

Add Black polka dots to her body.

And lastly, her body was given a mini Black polka dot pattern.  Again, I used my handy dandy stylus to paint the mini dots.  I love her, don’t you?

Gather these supplies to paint the snail.

Gather these colors for a simple and fun snail – White, Black, Mossy Green, Spring Green and Pure Pink.

Basecoat the snail.

Begin basecoating or undercoating each section.  The body is painted Spring Green.

Paint the swirl Mossy Green.

The swirl shell is painted Mossy Green.  Remember to allow to dry and reapply a second coat.

Brighten the head with White.

To brighten the edges of the head, highlight with White using the No. 8 flat brush.

Shade the neck with Mossy Green.

Shade along the neck and inside the swirl shell with Mossy Green.

Highlight the shell.

I painted a highlight along the top edges of the swirl shell.  Load your brush with Mossy Green and side load with White.  When blended stroke the White side of the brush along the top edge of the shell.

Add eyes.

Of course our snail needs an eye.  I dotted an eye using the handle end of my paint brush and Black.

Paint the cheek.

And like all the other bugs we have painted, our snail needed a cheek too!

Add accents to the shell.

As a fun accent, paint Spring Green dots on the swirl shell.  I started with a large dot at the tail or base and continually painted a smaller dot.  You can switch your dot making tool from the handle of a paintbrush to a stylus.  Gotta love the shine of Apple Barrel Gloss Paints!

Paint the wings of the butterfly.

And now let’s paint the fourth and last bug for our garden organizer.  Oops, I forgot to take a supply shot for our butterfly.  Please gather Real Yellow, White, Black, Pure Pink and Spring Green.  Begin by basecoating each second with two coats of paint. The upper wings are painted Real Yellow.

Paint the lower wings Pure Pink.

Paint the lower wings, Pure Pink.

Paint the head and body Spring Green.

Spring Green is the color of the head and body.

Paint a smaller wing inside the large with Pure Pink,

Next, I painted a smaller Pure Pink wing just inside the large Real Yellow wings.

Add eyes and cheeks.

And once again the facial feathers, Black dot eyes and Pure Pink cheeks and a smile.

Add diagonal stripes and black polka dots.

Paint Real Yellow diagonal stripes on the lower pink wings.  Paint curving lines of Black mini dots on the body.

Paint yellow brush strokes in the upper wings.

Real Yellow brushstrokes are painted as an accent to the upper wings.  And if you prefer, paint large polka dots using the handle end of your paintbrush!

Highlight the upper wings with White polka dots.

Now let’s highlight the upper wings by painting a row of mini White polka dots along the Pure Pink edge. To achieve the same sized dots, reload your brush each and every time.

Add polka dots to the diagonal stripes.

And polka dot the diagonal stripes on the lower wings.  Voila!

I hope you have as much fun painting these adorable little bugs as I have. Once you’ve finished them, come back on Thursday for part two of this project — painting the organizer. Happy crafting!

4 Comments to “Make It Monday: Spring Garden Organizer Part 1”

  1. Hi Cher, It’s always nice to meet a fellow gardener! How does your garden grow? Please do give this project a try. I am sure those you plan to paint for will thoroughly enjoy your efforts and the love behind giving them!! Send me a pic when you have one painted, cwilliams@plaidonline.com. I would love it if you shared.
    With thanks, Chris Williams

  2. Hi slammie, I am glad to know that you are enjoying my projects. Thanks for posting (even though you usually don’t! ha) You are always welcome here in Georgia, come visit anytime! I hope that when school is out, you are able to give your paint brushes a whirl! Continue following and enjoying!
    With thanks, Chris Williams

  3. Gardening is one of my favorite things and I have many gardening friends. I just love this idea!! It is something that I can give that I now will be of good use. Thank you so much for your ideas!

  4. (1) Totally making me homesick with all this GA talk!
    (2) Love all of your projects even though I’m too lazy to post saying so. I’ve bookmarked some for activities for when school is out. Thanks for all of the great projects and ideas!

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