Hey friends! I have a practical project today that you can use year-round for DIY birthday cards, DIY Christmas cards, DIY thank you cards, and SO MUCH MORE! These watercolor DIY greeting cards use stamps as an outline, so painting them is just like coloring in a coloring book.
I mentioned in my last project, the decoupage painted rocks, that I used watercolors to create my pineapple images. Today, I’m going to expand on that process a bit, and show you how easy it can be to create watercolor images even if you don’t have any artistic flair. Many people enjoy adult coloring books as a calming activity, which is a bandwagon I never quite jumped on. However – I do enjoy being able to blend my colors with a brush, using pre-sketched images. For today’s watercolor cards for beginners, I’m not actually using watercolor paints (although you can)! I’m using water-based inks, and if you’ve ever been curious how you can use ink in your projects – here’s one way.
How to use inks to make watercolor DIY greeting cards:
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- Waterproof archival ink (I’m using Ranger Archival ink in black)
- Water-based ink (I’m using Ranger Distress ink in Peacock Feathers, Seedless Preserves, Mustard Seed, Twisted Citron, and Mowed Lawn)
- Angled flat paintbrush, around a size 10
- Any size blank greeting cards (I’m using A2 size white cardstock)
- Clear unmounted stamps (Mine are an inexpensive Amazon find!)
- Acrylic stamp block, large enough to mount your stamp(s)
- Paper towel
Begin by mounting your cling stamps to the acrylic block. As long as both surfaces are clean, it will stick right to the surface, and you can easily peel it off to adjust it or to move stamps around. (If you haven’t used unmounted stamps before, you’re going to love them! They save SO much space. I keep mine in a binder and they cling to plastic pages.)
Apply the waterproof archival ink to the stamps, and create your pattern. You can use several flowers, and when you get to the point of filling in, just one at a time. You can see through the block to know the EXACT placement of where the stamps will go, so there’s no worry about whether you have them lined up well. A tip: if you’re going for an all-over pattern like I am, be sure that your stamps extend past the edge. You can stamp on paper towel or another protective surface to make sure you don’t get permanent ink on your work surface.
The archival ink needs very little time to dry, so clean up your stamps and put them away. You’ll use your acrylic block for a different purpose now: to hold your water-based ink. I have the small ink pads, and I just press them directly onto the surface of the acrylic block. Add a few drops of water to the edge of the ink colors to create a tinted water solution that you will use to paint.
You can easily blend colors together, and go lighter or darker on each color depending on how much ink you add to your drop of water. If your color is too light, you can blot some of the water out by touching the brush to a paper towel, and re-blending your ink and water solution. If you find it’s too dark, just add more water.
You can use your brush flat to color larger areas, and use the point of the angled brush for smaller areas.
When I finish coloring in my images, coloring-book style, I like to lightly paint around them. In this case, because flowers grow in grass and among greenery, I’m filling in a very light green color. Try to limit the amount of water you are brushing onto your card, though, because it’s still paper, and too much water will warp your paper or cause it to pill slightly.
I blended the green background back to blue closer to the top of the card to fill it entirely with color, although how you paint it is entirely up to you! You will have a slightly warped card when you are finished, so if you set a heavy book on top of it, it should flatten it most of the way out.
This is a great technique for personalized DIY greeting cards, but if you check out my previous post about my Pineapple Decoupage Painted Rocks, you’ll see that there is a lot of room for how to use your watercolor images!
Thanks for joining me for this easy, stress relieving project, and I’ll see you all again soon!