diy watercolor home portraits

The fab Erin from Two Story Cottage is back today with a super fun, awfully clever idea that will leave you super excited about something so easy. It will leave your friends green with envy over your mad Van Gogh skillz. All without ever hiring an artist, or lifting a brush. So without further ado…

Forgive me, but I jumped on the trend bandwagon. I’m usually cautious when it comes to the latest and greatest, but in this case I gambled for the win. The waterlogue app is all the rage on instagram and I was intrigued enough to bite the bullet and purchase.

It is $2.99 and will give any photo a watercolor look. I was skeptical because I’m not a big lover of fake. I like “real” art and I’m not into the production stuff.

However, this uses your photos so fake or not, it is just a unique twist on your own variation of art. Does that sound like justification?

Either way, I’m sold.


Check out this iPhone photo of our house that I ran through the waterlogue filter. Fyi, you can also email a picture from your computer to your phone, save it in the camera roll, and then bring it up via the app.


I chose the natural filter, the largest size, and a border. You can do all of this by scrolling from left to right at the bottom of the screen.

I don’t usually use borders on pictures but this was an exception. When I took a watercolor class years ago, we always taped off the picture which created a neat-o border when complete. This produces the same feathered effect typical of a watercolor and makes it more realistic. Of course you can go border-less if you prefer a cleaner look.


I’ve noticed a lot of folks printing these at their local Kinko’s or Walgreens, but I did the at-home 8 by 10 version. I used watercolor paper and gritted my teeth, trying not to think about how much ink I was using. For some reason, I tend to run out of printer ink even faster than paper towels. Ugh.

You’ll notice that my “painting” is a dulled version of the final picture. It is all due to my old printer but the faded look works for me. I’m sure a professional print job would be brighter.

My original idea was to tape it up with washi tape. I didn’t want to do the traditional mat and frame because I wanted to see the border. However, it looked like I slapped it up on the wall with zero thought so I came up with a new plan.


I bought a 9 by 12 clip frame at Michael’s. It was very budget-friendly at 40% off of $6.99 . I flipped the insert over and used the thin cardboard as a background. I then washi taped the painting on. It gives it an edgy, artsy look that I like. I followed it up with the glass frame top and clips.


I hung it below a canvas painting of our first house. Now, I just need something from our second place. I might have to be a crazy stalker and sneak a picture the next time I’m nearby. I love having our homes represented. You leave little pieces of yourself at each stop along the way so it nice to pay homage to them.


Now, have you used the waterlogue app? What have you found it good for? I’d love to have a watercolor of my kids at the beach. I’m not sure if the app would be ideal for that or not but I plan to keep experimenting with it.

Oh, and this is especially fun to mess with when sitting in the carpool line. You’ll be hooked in no time.

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Responses to diy watercolor home portraits

  1. JT says:

    So clever! I haven’t even tried waterlogue yet so I’ll have to check it out! Thank you for the idea.

  2. Annie says:

    This is a wonderful idea! I had seen waterlogue floating about on the internet, but wasn’t sure what it did or how. Thank you for explaining it and this creative idea!

  3. Amy May says:

    I really like this app and the way it changes the original photo. But I really like your curtains are they homemade or store bought.