Winter Birch Trees


Have you ever been to Art Projects for Kids? If not, run there, right now, but be prepared to stay for a long, long time. Kathy Barbro is an experienced and gifted art teacher, and she shares over 600 projects on her blog. Whenever I need inspiration for kid crafts, she’s one of the first places I turn.

She shared a wonderful watercolor project for Winter Birch Trees. I’m going to let Kathy give you the actual directions, but I’ll share our enjoyable experience making our own trees. Michelle and I enjoyed the experience as much as the wee ones. The kids were able to do everything themselves except I cut numerous long strips of tape for Pixie, but she decided on the placement and did the rest herself. Oh, I also taped the paper to the table, both to hold it in place and to create the matted look border. I have plans for a number of other projects using this technique.

Taping to table, cutting strips, and making tape trees on watercolor paper.

Watercoloring the whole thing.

Sprinkling with Kosher salt.

Drying. If you are the impatient type… like one little Pixie we know… you can speed the drying with a blow drier!

Removing the tape.

Adding lines on tree, shadows and snow.






It’s your turn now :)


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    • Michele says

      I want to do this with my grade 3s but want to clarify a few things..
      Is the kosher salt to be used as snow? If not, what makes the white snow dots?
      I’m assuming the lines were added with a sharpie?
      Anything else?
      1. Tape for border and trees (kids tear tape for trees as the want?)
      2. Paint with water colour
      3. Sprinkle salt
      4. Let dry. Add lines
      4. Remove tape
      That all correct? I’m not great with art and a very concrete thinker so I need steps :)

  1. says

    Thank you so much for the details. I’ve seen this idea with the paint trees online recently (pinterest) and I’m grateful for your step by step details.


  2. says

    Thank you for posting this project and for the link to the art projects site. My three girls all love art projects. I know they will enjoy making the birch trees, and will also find lots more ideas at the Art Projects for Kids site.

  3. says

    How beautiful! I’ve been wanting to make some kind of “winter watercolor” activity with the kids this winter, and this is exactly what I was looking for! I’ll be making this with them either later today or tomorrow for sure :)

  4. StephanieK says

    I made these with my girls today and they turned out awesome! The results are beautiful! Thank you for sharing!

  5. says

    thank you for sharing this!! i love seeing gammies and mommy’s too :) an art project for all ages :) i think i may be brave enough to try this at my preschool. xx

  6. says

    Thank you Wee Folk,
    You just made my day with your beautiful photos! I really appreciate all your kind words AND all your careful work. It really shows. Please tell your family that I thing they are all amazing artists.

  7. Gigi says

    My daughter’s class did this art project last year and then I turned the art work into a fleece blanket. The result was beautiful! I even photo copied a couple of the artwork to fabric and made matching coasters. Used the blanket and coasters, along with cocoa mixes and cups for our Auction basket. The basket sold really well as it was unusual AND functional. The teacher also got her own blanket as end of the year gift. The blanket cost about $50 from

  8. says

    GREAT! I just labled this post and will store it for later use- I LOVE birches and am looking foreward to try this with my kiddos some day soon (with a link to you of course)
    greetings from Switzerland

  9. Lauren Reeves says

    Hello! Thanks for sharing this great craft. I am planning to do it with an art club at the library where I work. I was just curious… we only have about an hour and a half to do it. Do you remember how long it took to dry? I am hoping we’ll be able to do it all, including the shading details, in the same session and wasn’t sure whether or not we’ll have time. Thanks!

    • Kimara says

      If you get started right away there should be no problems. I think we worked on them for about an hour. I suggest you bring in a few hair driers. The paint needs to be dry (mostly) before you remove the tape or the paint can smudge. You want the nice, crisp lines.
      Hope you all enjoy yourself. This project was enjoyed by all of us, young and oldish :) alike!

  10. susan says

    I led my  son’s first grade class to do this art lesson, and they made these in Fall, 2012 and it was wonderful!  Thanks!   Susan

  11. Bridget says

    This is a great project!  I was wondering if you used a particular type of paper?  And what did you use for tape?  Painters tape? Was the moon cut out of tape as well? 

    • Kimara says

      We used watercolor paper and painters tape. And, yes, we cut the moon out of tape, too. At some point I want to make seasonal trees using this method. Have fun! ~Kimara~

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