Paper Gem Watercolor Geode Planters

by Crafty Lumberjacks

Paint a vibrant geode effect with a few easy steps then turn it into a paper geode that is perfect for faux plants or air plants. Watercoloring is an extremely relaxing activity. We love to pull out some watercolor paper and shut off our minds and just let the paint do what it’s going to do.

In this post we are going to share some tips on how to get a geode effect with just a few colors. Even if you think you aren’t a skilled painter, this technique is for you. It’s so simple and the last step always takes it over the top!


If you love this project, check out our geode magnets!

Prep Your Space – Before starting most projects we like to get our space ready, just so we don’t have to continue getting up while we craft. Gather all your materials and a couple of paper towels…just in case.

Trace Gem Template – Tear off a piece of watercolor paper, make sure the watercolor paper is slightly larger than the Gem Template. Place the template onto the paper and trace around it with a pencil. We were hoping that we could do more than one template on a piece of paper, but it just didn’t fit. More scrap paper for the scrap paper bin!

Before Painting – With this project it’s best to choose colors in the same family. If you try to add to many colors it becomes muddy. A lot of water color pallets have a few variations of reds/pinks, blues/purples. Pick a color and stay in that hue. In a lot of watercolor techniques you wet the paper first to help blend all the colors together. However, when we did that the paper got very soggy and thin because we were working on such a large surface. So we would not recommend doing that for this project.

Paint – Dip the brush into the water and swirl it around the color you want in the pallet. Start painting inside the drawn area. Add more color as you go. The truth is, once the geode is assembled the watercolor will look a lot different so don’t focus too much on how it looks. Continue to layer on different hues and depths of the color. This part is super relaxing so let the brush and water take you where it goes! If the paint job is looking all too similar take a break and let the paper dry and the begin to layer again on top of that.

Add Texture – While the paint is still wet sprinkle on some sea salt. The sea salt will dry up some of the paint and leave a textured look. Once the paper is dry wipe away the salt. It’s a small detail, but little details like this really take it over the top. If you don’t have any salt or want to add extra texture you can always saturate your brush with lots of paint and little water and splatter it on by flicking the bristles with your finger.

Cut Out The Gem- Once the paper is fully dry cut out the gem on the traced lines as precisely as you can. If it is hard to see the traced lines after painting, place the Gem Template back on top and retrace.

Score The Gem- Place the Gem Template back on to the paper and score the tracks or slits with the Scoring Stylist. We like to score each slit at least three times with moderate pressure. You don’t want to cut into the paper, you just want to make a good indent.

Fold The Gem – Carefully fold the scored lines and start to build your gem. This might seem confusing at first, but it really comes together in the end with out you even knowing it!

Glue the Gem together – We found this part to be a little tricky. We tried all different types of glue, but because of the thickness of the paper and the water color treatment we found it just wasn’t sticking together.  We found what worked best was a glue gun! Using a very small amount of glue is the trick, because you don’t want the the glue to create a raised layer when it hardens. Begin to glue the tabs and the sides together until your gem is complete.

Add Gold Detail – This step really take the gems over the top! Shake a metallic paint pen or marker really well and begin to trace all the sides of the gem. Don’t focus on it being perfect. In fact we added some imperfections to really make the gem feel more organic. Once done with all the sides add some specs and swivels to the flat sides of the gem. If you don’t have a paint pen or marker, you can always use gold or silver acrylic paint with a very thin paint brush.

Cut hole for plant – Use a pair of scissors or even a craft blade to cut slits into one of the sides of the gem where you want the plant to go. Place your faux plant or air plant into the hole and cut it larger if needed. Tip: If your plant is too heavy and tips the gem over, add some rice or tiny rocks into the hole to keep the gem bottom heavy. 

5 Ways You Can Use Paper Gems

  1. Hang them to make a mobile.
  2. Make the gems out of vellum paper and add them to fairy lights.
  3. Turn them into place settings.
  4. Add them to a garland.
  5. Make fun treat boxes for a party.

This is a great craft to do with almost any age group and once you get started, you’re not going to want to stop! What we love about this craft is that you don’t need many materials to create something magical!

Watch the full tutorial from our live class we did with Fiskars through Michaels!

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