Getting Crafty- Leo’s First Birthday!


My good friend’s baby just turned 1 and my friend still hasn’t decorated the nursery in their new house. It drives me crazy because that’s the room I’d be most excited to decorate and it’s been months. The theme of the room is going to be turtles and her mother in law got her a turtle themed crib set (still in the bag)… So for the baby’s birthday I decided to paint a turtle themed something for them to hang in the baby’s room and hopefully jump start the process…

To be honest, that probably won’t happen… I’ll probably be over there very soon doing it myself. But anyway, I chose Squirt from Finding Nemo as a good baby room subject.

I started by printing out a pic I found online as a reference. I then lightly, free hand sketched Squirt on to the canvas… Sorry, I forgot to take a pic although I doubt you’d be able to see it on there anyway. Then I started to fill in the blue around Squirt.


I like big chunky strokes so I added white to my blue and added lines to the water. I left a white halo around Squirts head and flippers a little bit only because I wasn’t sure on my proportions yet and blue is a hard color to cover.


Next I started on Squirt. I filled in big base colors all over his body leaving the smaller details for later. At the end of the day, it’s paint and if your don’t like it, paint over it. I taught kids art classes for a while and have always said that there are no mistakes in art and nothing that can’t be fixed.


I continued to add details as best I could and got a little stuck on the shell. I was trying to make it look just like the picture. I was failing horribly…

Then I just told myself: if when someone looks at it they know it’s a turtle, I’ve won. If they know it’s Squirt, even better. I just have to think it looks cool… Not perfect.


To finish him up, I first sealed the painting with a clear spray paint. Once it was dry, I used my Cricut machine to cut out the letters and then placed them on the canvas. (laying the canvas on the ground flat) I used a big paint brush and dabbed white paint around the edge of each letter to hold them down. I Repeated the process 2-3 times until I was pretty confident that the letters were secure.

I then used the same chunky brush that I started with on the water to add more stokes of color across everything. I let everything dry a little before pulling off the letters and sealing again. I didn’t want it to dry completely because the letters are harder to remove when its all completely dry.

And Ta-Dah! A very original gift for a 1 year old and a slight nudge to get your friend to decorate the nursery. 😉



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