July 19, 2014

DIY | Bubble Art


As promised, today I'm going to show you how I created the DIY gallery wall art. It's DIY Bubble Art! I'm so excited to share this project with you. It's such a fun DIY and looks great when you group them together in a gallery display. 

As an artist, I'm always looking for unique ways to create art. My love for decorating home also motivates me to create the types of art I want to decorate my home with. When I come up with a simple art project that has a big impact and can be easily recreated, I get really excited. This is one of the ways I can share what I'm good at with others.

The inspiration for this project came from the time my boys and I painted together with bubbles. I remember it made such cool geometric shapes on paper. How I could translate that into artwork that's more refined and tasteful? 

My answer was to restrict the color palette and add shading to create some drama. 

But there's no right way to do this project and I can only give you a general guideline. So feel free to make some changes, add more colors (make them colorful!), get creative and have fun! My only suggestion is to try different ways - let it be the strength of paint or color combinations - and see if you can achieve the look that suits your personality and home decor.

Without further adieu, let's get started!

* * *
Things you'll need:
- Paper
- Dish detergent
- Plastic cup or container of your choice
- Plastic straw 
- Watercolor paint of your choice 
- Water
- Charcoal pencil (optional)  
- Paint brush to mix the paint and test the color 

Paper: I used 9 x 12 in. heavy weight drawing paper for a mat frame with an 8 x 10 in. opening, just because that's the only paper I had at hand. I thought this paper might be too thin for the project, but it worked just fine. You might want to experiment with different types of paper you have and see what works best for you. 

Container: I used a takeout food container for this project. You can use any type of plastic cup or container as long as you can blow bubbles in it. It may be fun to mix different sizes of containers to create various designs.

Watercolor Paint: I used cotman's ivory black for the black color and cadmiun red pale hue for an accent (red dots). But again, you can use any colors that suit your style and decor.

1. Dissolve the black paint in water. Test the mixture on paper and adjust the amount of paint until you reach the desired strength. I ended up using a lot more paint than I thought I would need, about a third of an 8ml tube to the water about one-third or less of the container. You want to have a dark, black ink like consistency or bubbles won't stain the paper.

2. Add detergent to water-paint mixture and blow bubbles. (warning: if you use a shallow container like I did, you might want to blow gently to avoid splatter.) 

3. Gently lay your paper over the bubbles.

4. Let the paper sit until the paint starts to seep through the paper. This creates a darker and more defined effect. I probably waited about 30 seconds to one minute before gently removing the paper. If you want a darker effect, you can always add more paint here.

This is how the back side looks like with the paint is seeping through the paper. 

And this is how the painted (front) side looks like. 

5.Get creative and design. I made more than 10 different designs and chose four best ones to be framed.

6. Once paint is dry, add some shading using a charcoal pencil (optional). The more contrast you create, the more dramatic your art will be. I simply traced the already darker areas with the pencil without adding too much pressure. You can always start with a lighter touch and make it darker as you go.

7. Add finishing touches (optional). I added a red dot to each piece to give it a focal point and an unexpected touch. I simply applied the paint directly from the tube to the paper. Allow the paint to completely dry and it will be ready to be framed. 

 * * *
Here are the close-ups of the framed art. They are similar yet uniquely different, which makes them perfect for a gallery wall like this. I also painted the mats with house paint, Iron Mountain by Benjamin Moore. Yes, I painted the mats with house paint using a roller. They look pretty good though, don't they? 

no. 1

no. 2

no. 3

no. 4

Grouped together.

With a simple vignette.

I'm loving the red dots. What do you think?

Have a wonderful weekend! 


  1. Oh, my, Yuko! This is just way too cool!

  2. These pieces are ethereal Yuko, you really have so much talent!

  3. Yuko, I was just about to leave you a comment when I saw your recent one. Your antique french chair is so unique, I hope you keep it! Hope you don't this is strange but I read your whole blog last night (worth breaking my new goal of less internet time.) I love the letter you wrote to yourself and then, after reading the post about the trash can in the kitchen - was even happier that you wrote it. You are a wonderful writer and artist and I hope you continue to pursue your creative passions! All the best, Michele

    1. Dear Michele,
      Thank you so much for taking the time to visit and read through my blog! Your kind words means so much to me, especially coming from a blogger I respect. Yes, I will continue to work on my craft and share it on the blog. I was really tempted to sell my French chair for those beautiful Chippendale chairs after reading your post ;-) xx

  4. Hi Yuko,
    Oh gosh, those are very cool! And so original! Would be such a fun project to tackle with a group of friends, etc. Make it a bubble art party. Thanks for sharing!

    1. Thank you, Loi! Throwing a bubble art party is such a great idea! I should have one with my friends and family. xx

  5. Hi Yuko! I LOVE this! I just showed my husband this project. I have a grandchild who might like to do this. What a great idea! I like previous comment's idea too. Bubble Party!!

    1. Thank you, Ceil! Your grandchild will love painting with bubbles. I use liquid food coloring instead of watercolor when I do this with my boys, just in case they swallow by accident ;) xx

  6. These are so great. I'm going to send this to my sister. She loves this type of thing. I'm glad you're finding ways to decorate and express yourself every day!

    1. That sounds great, Stephen! I love getting connected with creative people :) xx

  7. Your writing style is so relaxing and enjoyable. It's a pleasure to visit here. Before I read your question, "I'm loving the red dots. What do you think?", I'd already planned to tell you ; ) The idea and placement of those little red dots is truly artistic genius! Thank you for the tutorial. It was great to see your simple approach that resulted in such cool art. I look forward to continued reading.

    1. Hi Paula! Thank you so much for your lovely comment. About the red dots, I guess great minds think alike ;-) xx

  8. All so very very beautifull!!!
    Thank you Yuko for your lovely comment on my anniversary blogpost.

    1. Thank you, Greet! I love your beautiful blog :) xx

  9. Those are fantastic! How creative:)


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