When the Holidays come around, I find myself looking in the stores for pretty Cards. I’m usually very discouraged! After the amount of time searching and the gas driving around, why not spend an hour making your own? I’ve decided I’m going to make my own Original works of Art, really, my friends and Family will love them because I made them specially for them.

You can purchase the in my Etsy Shop, Made to order.

https://www.etsy.com/listing/479848577/beautiful-haindpainted-greeting-cards

I bought Strathmore Photo Frame Cards box of 40 Cards and Envelopes on Amazon for $23.96.  That’s like $1.70 a piece. I make my husband proud! Lol

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I use Canson Watercolor Paper for my classes I teach, it’s relatively inexpensive $6-7.00, and you can find it at most Art supply stores. With 140lb paper I still like to tape down so it doesn’t get ripply.

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I always use Drafting Tape to tape down paper because it almost never rips it when I lift it up. Again, you can usually find it at Hobby Lobby or Michaels. With these cards I just barely covered to ends with tape.

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I found with these particular Greeting Cards it’s best to cut the 4 1/4 x 5 1/2 inches. They fit nice and snug in the cards so there’s not much movement in the window.

I then tape them down to a wood board or something sturdy and flat.

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I used Folk Art Large Painting Stencils 30731 Leaf Variety, that were $5.98 on Amazon. I cut them carefully apart to place the where I want.

Tip- things in 3 create a lot of interest.

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At this point you can clean up the outlines and using an eraser, gently softener your lines but not too much.

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I usually, and I would suggest unless your seasoned with watercolors, to start with the lighter color (yellow) to see where you’re placing the water. Then you can add the darker colors wet into wet in your leaf.

Tip- For these I’d stick with Reds, Oranges and Yellows for your Watercolors in a single leaf or Greens and Yellows in a single leaf. You can’t go wrong! Just ease into it, start with small amounts of color and add till you like it. I always keep a rag or paper towel close so I can lift excess water or icky looking areas.

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Let the Watercolors do their thing! Watercolors are beautiful because we are limited by the control we have using them. You can even let them spill over the lines and they’d still be beautiful.

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I added green to my other piece to experiment, if you don’t feel comfortable, don’t.

I usually go back and forth with my cards to allow the Watercolors to mingle. But, those who know me, know I’m impatient, so I’ll use a hairdryer with a diffuser ( not to push the colors too much) to speed it up. If you don’t have a diffuser, I’d wait a little longer (10 min or so) then hold your hairdryer about 7 inches or so from the paper. Or go make some coffee and relax for a few.

Tip- try not to mess with areas that are drying by adding more watercolor. Once it’s not cool to the touch and is completely dry you can go over it again if you want to.

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After I finished my cards I wanted to outline them with something. I chose Martha Stewart’s Gold shimmery acrylic paint.I usually can buy craft paint for between $1-3:00 a bottle.

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I outlined the leaves and gave the veins in the leaves definition. I like to use Mat paints with Shiny paints or materials. It’s important to add interest to your work. You can use whatever color you want really, I think they’d be beautiful any way.

 

 

I lifted the tape carefully, not to rip the paper. And gently fit them into the card window.

I always like to add a special something on the Envelopes to. With these envelopes, I don’t feel they’d stand up too well with me using Watercolors, so I’ll use my Gold Acrylic Paint carefully to add something matching the card.

 

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I gently took small amounts of paint and with the side of my brush dabbed it straight up and down.

Note- I did hold the stencil with my other hand, I just had to take the picture 🙂

………..And Viola! My very own hand painted Cards with matching Envelopes!

 

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I hope my Mom doesn’t read this Blog post, or she’ll know what’s coming in the mail!

Happy Creating!!

Susan