Inspiring children one color at a time

Princess and the Pea Art Lesson

By on Jan 1, 2012 | 18 comments

Here is a great lesson that uses oil pastels/crayons and watercolor for a classic resist lesson. Very easy to draw, this Princess and The Pea project can be achieved in two, 45-minute class sessions. This project was inspired by a Princess and the Pea art project on the Easely Amused website, a children’s art workshop in Mississippi. They have great lesson ideas, so check it out!

You’ll need the following supplies:

12″ x 18″ white construction/sulphite paper

Black oil pastels

Colored oil pastels or crayons

Watercolor paints

Brushes (medium)

Gold glitter

White school glue

Here’s what you do:

For a final flourish, children dabbed white school glue onto the crown and we sprinkled with a tiny bit of glitter. We all agreed it was the perfect finish to this very fun project!

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Third Grade Princess and the Pea Art….


  1. LOVE this craft! This is one of my daughter’s favorite books. So will definitely be doing this craft with her.


    January 1, 2012

  2. Patty,
    Last school year I discovered your website and have been an avid fan ever since. Thank you for all your great ideas and lessons! I LOVE doing art with my 2nd and 3rd graders and they’re all enthusiastic. This lesson was well received and had rave reviews. It was especially touching to see my special needs student take off with this, as fairy tales are her favorite.

    Linda Bierbrier

    January 21, 2012

  3. Hi. My Year 3 class did this activity ;ast week and they came out magnificently well. Thanks for the great idea. Love your web site.

    Jocelyn Gallimore

    March 5, 2012

  4. I just have to do this project. It has been calling out to me since I first saw it. It’s May, i better get going!


    May 2, 2012

    • Do it, Janis! It’s a really fun lesson….even for the boys!


      May 3, 2012

      • ilike deep space sparkle a lot


        May 25, 2012

  5. I have a smaller group of 6 children for a summer class and would like to use some of your lessons. My question for you is do you think with a smaller group of kids we might be able to finish this project faster? I have them four different times for 1:15 each time, and would like to do a different project each time.
    Thanks for your help!
    Love your blog,
    Heather Salisbury

    Heather Salisbury

    May 4, 2012

  6. I love the idea, I might try the format of this lesson but instead of a princess, have the students design their perfect bed and make themselves resting on the top instead of the princess. Still thinking about it—maybe have their favorite stuffed animal on top too?


    June 21, 2012

  7. Found this lesson while searching for ideas for a first grade fairy tale unit. These turned out so well! I’m not an art teacher, so I might not be able to dedicate this much time to it, but they’re so awesome that I’d hate to leave any steps out. Really like the way you incorporated the mixed media with the scrapbook paper and watercolor and pastels. Thanks for sharing!


    December 7, 2012

  8. Patty,Great project-check out this beautiful book version”The Princess and the Pea” by Rachel Isadora for an Arfican twist to the story with beautiful illustrations .

    kathy neet

    October 13, 2013

  9. I found a rendition in spanish (La Princesa y el Guisante – 2005) that is worth looking up for the artwork. The author/illustrator team is Lauren Child (Charlie and Lola cartoon) and Polly Borlund.

    I occasionally dusted off my high-school spanish and read to my girls…I told them our dog liked to hear me give it a try- which may have been true because she did curl up with us.

    Also- there is a game that is rather cute- by HABA…I love the HABA games as artwork themselves- in this one, there is a cardboard bed, little stuffed mattresses and pillows in 4 colors- a dice is rolled and you try to stack onto the bed without tipping it over.

    I will try the lesson with my girls- we will love it. You say boys dont mind it? I was wondering about that in regards to another lesson too- the Degas ballerinas which I love for the spatial concept …when do boys start taking umbrage against such girly subject matter, and do you offer them alternatives or try to balance out…or just avoid those lessons for the mixed girl/boy groups?

    January 24, 2014

    • Hi Becky,
      I would love to see that game. It’s been a while since I played games with my kids so I have no idea what’s out there anymore.
      As for the boy question–well, I get asked that a lot. I really don’t have a good answer except that it never occurred to me that they wouldn’t enjoy it. The boys in both the “Princess and the Pea” art project and Degas Dancers really enjoyed the lesson and did very well. Most of the time I focus on technique so that is what we talk about. If the boys in my class mind, they never say. I suppose like many things in life, it depends on your delivery.
      Thanks for your great comment!

      Patty Palmer

      January 25, 2014

  10. What a wonderful lesson! LOVE the results. I so love art and teaching kids helps them love art, too!

    I suggest art lessons on the artist and the style before visiting museums. It helps layer the learning!

    Thanks for a wonderful lesson.
    Natalie, The Educational Tourist

    The Educational Tourist

    February 11, 2015


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