painted snowman tealight shade thumb2

Welcome to Day 2 of Pennywise Presents.  If you are here for the first time we are currently in a series featuring all handmade, all under $10.  Today Colleen from Just Paint It! is here to show us how to make some festive tealight shades.  Colleen has told me for years that painting it easy.  I never really believe her but watching her step-by-step instructions I think I could actually handle this one.


painted snowman tealight shade

Hi! I’m Colleen from Just Paint It! I’m so excited to be here today because I can honestly say Beckie was my very first bloggy friend ever. She’s been incredibly generous and supportive over the years and I’m thrilled to be here and give her some well-deserved time off!

This darling little tealight is made from watercolor paper, a wine goblet and a tealight candle, making it a very affordable gift. You can even find the wine goblet and tealights at the Dollar Tree.


One sheet of 9” x 12” watercolor paper

Shade template (provided)

Acrylic paint – white, light blue, black & orange (you can add more colors too – have fun with decorating your snowmen!)

Pouncers – not required, but they certainly speed up the painting Paintbrushes – I used a 3/4 flat, #6 flat and 10-0 liner, but use what you have on hand.



Tea Light Candle


fine tip sharpie, if you don’t want to paint small details

scissors with scalloped edge

If you would rather watch the process then click below…

1. Here’s my fancy-schmancy tealight shade template. It measures approximately 13-1/2” wide by 4-3/4” tall. Depending upon the type of goblet you use, and the height, the overall size might need to be adjusted. Make a pattern out of scratch paper first to check your sizing before using your watercolor paper.



2. When you have your size correct, trace the pattern onto watercolor paper. You can get a pad of watercolor paper at craft stores for under $3. It’s also great for greeting cards & other crafts too. Don’t cut your watercolor paper just yet. Wait until you’re done painting. Moisten your brush with water and dampen the paper, then stroke on a little light blue paint in the damp area. Continue working in sections until you have the entire shade base-coated. Allow it to dry fully.

3. With a little white, paint loose strokes along the top 1/3 to 1/2 of the shade, where you want the sky to be. This will be very faint, so don’t worry about it. It just adds a little background texture to your painting. I promise.

4. Now, paint the bottom with little mounds of of white – just little curves. You don’t have to fill them all the way in. Let some of the blue show thru.

paint background

Now for the fun part! The snowmen/family/people. (what do you call snow mommies & girls, anyway?)

5. If you have pouncers, great. If not, use a few bottle caps of different sizes and lightly trace your circles then fill in. Either way works. I use Martha Stewart foam pouncers. First, load one side of the largest with the same blue we used for the background. Pounce the bottoms of your mommy and daddy snowmen, er, people.  Then grab the middle sized pouncer and do the same thing. I used the medium size as the base for the kids. Then the smallest one for the parents’ heads. For the kids, just find a small circle – pencil erasers might work fine. Now, let the blue paint dry. Foam pouncers create some texture so there’s more drying time. But . . . you can add a couple trees if you want.

basecoat snowman with blue

6. You can just draw a trunk and little branches and at the end of the branches make a “Y”. Or two. Or three. With the blue paint. Simple! Try it! When the blue paint dries, topcoat the tree and branches with white.

So far we’ve just used two colors of paint. Pretty economical, huh?

7. When your snow family is dry, flip the pouncers over and dip them in white paint and cover up the blue. Ok, so you won’t actually cover the blue paint. It’ll peek thru when the white dries. So, why bother? Because the blue adds some dimension, without a lotta effort. You wind up having “puffy” snowpeople, not just flat white ones.topcoat snowmen with white

Still with me? Good! Before you start shaking your head at this next section, lemme give you an escape hatch. . . sshhhh . . . you don’t have to paint the fine black details. You can just use a fine tip Sharpie.

But, hey, if you have a pad of watercolor paper, why not give it a try? You just might surprise yourself and have a lotta fun in the process.

add details
8. Let’s start off with the faces. Black dots for the eyes and teensy-weensy dots for the mouths. Or a line – your choice. A simple top hat for Dad and stick arms. Just like the trees with “Y’s” at the ends. For Mom & the kids I used the same blue, again, painted simple hats and scarves and just a hint of black outlining. You could decorate them however you like with whatever colors you want.

Want some more ideas? I made these snowmen magnetic paperdolls last year with all kinds of clothes. You don’t even have to put clothes on them, if you don’t want to. They’d be cute just in all their snowiness.Once all of your paint has dried it’s time to create the shade.

9. I cut it out first with regular straight scissors, then I use the scalloped ones. It’s up to you but I found it easier that way. After it’s cut out, flip it over and dampen the backside of the shade with water again. Roll it into shape and fasten it with clothespins or paperclips until it dries. Once it’s dried, overlap the edges a bit and glue them together. Any glue will work but if you use a liquid glue, fasten the shade with the clothespins again while it dries. make tealight shade

If you want, you can dress up your wine goblet too. Tie a pretty ribbon on it, stencil some snowflakes, whatever you want to do!

See how the snowpeople have a texture, even after the paint dries? That is from the foam pouncers. And, see how you can’t really see the blue, yet there’s some dimension? It’s an extra step, but I think it adds a lot.


Here’s another shade where I used red accents.


Make one in red and one in blue. That way you can keep one for yourself. Or have two presents!

I hope you enjoy this fun & easy paint project as much as I enjoyed sharing it with all of you. If you’d like some more ideas for paint projects, drop by Just Paint It some time. This month I’m starting vlogging, which means at least once a week I’ll have a free painting video tutorial!

Thank you, Beckie, for allowing me to be a part of Pennywise Presents series this year. I can’t wait to see what other gift ideas are coming up!

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  1. So cute! At first I thought there was NO WAY I could paint such cute snowmen but then I saw your instructions… I think I can! I can use dabbers! So, my snowman shape will look good but I’m not sure about the rest. I can’t draw worth beans. Even with a sharp tip marker. But dang it, I’m going to try!

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