DIY Galaxy Rope Baskets

DIY Projects  |  February 21, 2015

This summer I was so excited to partner up with Melbourne Central and host some fun christmas workshops. I opted to teach my class how to paint a romantic galaxy.

All photography by the beautiful Heather Lighton Photography, and all text by the incredible by Brodie Lancaster.



  • paint brushes in assorted size;
  • scissors;
  • sponges;
  • water-based acrylic paints in black, white and a variety of colours. Gemma recommends getting a variety of pots of house paint from hardware stores to save money;
  • something to paint! We’re using one of Gemma’s famous rope baskets but you could use a plate, vase, mug – just about anything!


Step 1 – Load up a chunky brush with black paint and thickly paint on the base. Gemma likes to leave a “lip” or border unpainted around the edge. Get heaps of paint on your brush and drag it around, just shy of the edge, to create this border.

Leave the base coat to dry overnight. Here’s one we prepared earlier…

Step 2 – Trim your sponge so it has soft, rounded edges. You don’t want sharp corners in this design.

Step 3 – Load your sponge with the lightest colour paint. Dab off the excess.

Step 4 – Blot the colour across the black background.

Step 5 – Using the same sponge, repeat steps 3 and 4 with different coloured paint, building up the galaxies as the colours get darker.

Step 6 – Add contrasting colours to highlight – Gemma likes to use a bright pink and yellow against her base, pastel colours. “These are just the colours I like – use whatever catches your eye!”

Step 7 – Once your galaxies are complete, dip a the end of a paintbrush into white paint and start randomly dotting stars across the ‘sky’. “It doesn’t matter if they’re different sizes,” Gemma says, “They’re stars! They don’t have to be symmetrical or identical.” Gemma likes to dot some stars in silver paint as a finishing touch, even if she’s the only person who notices.

Step 8 – Let your galaxy dry overnight, then wrap it up and gift it to someone – they’re sure to get starry-eyed!


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