How to Make Watercolor Cookies {Guest Post}

We very rarely have guest posters on Growing Up Madison and when we do, you know that it has to be someone very special. I met Sarah at Ruffles and Rain Boots and fell in love with her blog. She does the most amazing crafts with her little one and you can’t help but want to make them all. Today she shares a special treat with us here on Growing Up Madison. When the gray of winter starts to take a toll, it’s easy to add a bit of colorful art (and flavor) back into the day. Chase the gray away with these watercolor cookies decorated by the kids!


Before we get to our tasty watercolor cookies, I should introduce myself: hello there, my name is Sarah. I find myself drawn to create, and over at Ruffles and Rain Boots, I share tutorials for handmade gifts, decor, crafts for children, dress-up clothes, and even games. I also share a bit about our fun-filled days crafting with kids, too; it seems my little one loves to create as much as her mom. Some projects you might have seen floating around on Pinterest.

The beginning of February usually has Seattlites booking last-minute trips to sunny destinations to soak up even a little Vitamin D. Even though our months of gray are interrupted occasionally with sunshine, I set up a craft to add color to our day and incorporate a little fine art, too: watercolor cookies!

Watercolor Artists to Inspire Kids

There are so many great watercolor artists to choose from, so I used my Google to show the little one a few of my favorites. I’m a fan of abstract watercolor and it turns out ‘abstract’ is well, sometimes a bit too abstract for my 3 year old right now. I then showed her more realistic, natural scenes so she could have something to which she could relate. We focused on two artists for the day that I felt combined a little of both, and who worked in watercolors (among other mediums):

  • Georgia O’Keefe – natural scenes, close-up florals; bright colors, vibrant palette
  • Winslow Homer – natural scenes; muted colors, limited palette

Watercolor Cookies: Preparation

When I make a batch of sugar cookies, I always white-ice a few (usually in white) and leave them in the freezer. You never know when cookie decorating inspiration will strike and they are good for quite a while when frozen.

You can find links to my favorite recipes for “no fail” sugar cookies and royal icing here because I love to make my own. Sugar cookie decorating was my hobby in 2014, but let’s say you don’t want to make them from scratch – no problem. Just add some sugar cookie dough (or already baked cookies) and cookie icing to your grocery list and ice the cookies in about 15 minutes – your time is precious and this saves quite a bit of it.

The preparation for making these watercolor cookies couldn’t be easier: whip up a few colors of water and food coloring. You want the color to be very bold because it will appear washed out when it dries on the cookies. Put out new paintbrushes (or those reserved for food) and a bowl of clean water to wash their brushes between colors. Then let them paint!

The most fun watercolor technique that we explored was using a straw to blow the “paint” around. The little one decorated nearly all of the cookies this way after I introduced it., and cookies and giggles filled our afternoon.

Additional Learning and Exploration

If you’re looking to get the little ones started in watercolor, Jean from The Artful Parent, put together an amazing resource in her post here. We’ve done quite a few projects using this as our starting point and have even made our own watercolors. You can keep the fun and creativity going by setting out watercolor paints and paper to let them explore further.

Thank you so much for allowing me into your day. Stop by Ruffles and Rain Boots or we can connect on Instagram, Facebook, or Pinterest. I hope to see you again soon!

Thank you, Sarah, once again for guest posting today and I can’t wait for her to do it again.

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