Hands On: Watercolor Rainbow Craft

Story and photos by Nicole Lee, Tucker Maxon School

Portland’s mercurial spring weather can hand us rain, sunshine, hail and vivid rainbows all in the same afternoon. This art project captures the beauty of our ever-shifting skies in a vibrant and fun way. Children get a chance to learn weather terms, color names and work in a team with an older sibling or adult, since this project works best if a big kid or a parent pre-cuts the raindrops. And you can expand on the project if you want, getting extra creative by adding 3-D flowers and more.



1-2 sheets of white cardstock

A pencil


A white crayon

Watercolor paints


A paintbrush

A cup of water

Paint color sample cards or colorful construction paper

Cardboard (you don’t need much, about a 3-inch by 5-inch piece)



Tape or hot glue sticks and glue gun


1. Draw a cloud on the white cardstock and cut it out. With the extra cardstock, make two raindrop-shaped templates, one a bit smaller and the other a bit larger. (A big kid or parent can help draw and cut these out.) This will be used later in the project for tracing raindrops.

2. Use the white crayon to draw or scribble on one or both sides of the white raincloud. Use watercolor paints, paintbrush and the cup of water to color the raincloud, making it colorful or stormy.

3. While the raincloud dries, use the previously made raindrop-shaped templates to make raindrops on different colors of paint color sample cards or construction paper. (We made different shades of raindrops using the colors of the rainbow: red, orange, yellow, green, blue, indigo and violet.)

4. Cut out the raindrops. Also cut small squares of cardboard to fit between the raindrops. Glue one cardboard piece between the raindrops to give it depth. (We matched our colors: big dark red raindrop with a small light red raindrop.)

5. Attach a piece of string to the pointy end of the each raindrop. (You can use tape or make it extra strong with hot glue — with the help of an adult.) Arrange the raindrops under the raincloud and tape or glue the other end of the string to the cloud. Cut one extra length of string and tie a loop. Attach the loop to the top of your cloud for hanging your art.


Nicole Lee
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