It’s May and Mother’s Day will be here before you know it – Sunday, May 12, to be specific.
Here is a beautiful card you can make for mom, that looks harder than it really is. I was inspired by this stunning card at oh so very pretty, complete with intricate calligraphy, but knew my version would be a little simpler.
With the right tools and tips, you can make one too! It isn’t just for Mother’s Day either – I’ve already done a version of this card for a retirement and a birthday and I think it would be perfect for a wedding.
Watercolor Paints or Watercolor Crayons like the awesome Neocolor II Water-soluble wax pastel by Caran d’Arche. You can buy individual crayons at art supply stores.
White Ink Pen – mine is the Uni-Ball White Gel Pen and the label says it is pigment ink
Colored Card Stock to complete the card
Scrap Paper for making a template
Adhesive I like Tombow mono adhesive
Paper Trimmer (optional)
Heat Tool (optional) This makes drying time really short, but if you have more patience then me, you can still make this without a heat tool.
Determine the size of your card. I often use a half-sheet of 8.5 x 11 inch paper, scored and folded in half to make a 4.25 x 5.5 inch card.
I actually just started with my white watercolor paper and painted the heart then built a card using that. But my card is not a standard size and I will need to make an envelope to match. So it might be easier if you start with the card.
Determine the size of your watercolor paper piece for the card front. If using a 4.25 x 5.5 inch card, a piece that is 3.5 x 4.5 will work well.
Cut a heart out of a piece of paper, creating a heart-shaped template for your card front.
I recommend painting more than one heart on separate pieces of watercolor paper, because in addition to being fun and very satisfying to make, the results are lovely and work beautifully for other occasions.
If you DO make want to paint more than one heart, it’s really a good idea to make a new template for each one. The edges of the template get wet and painty and it is very easy to smear the edge of a second heart since your template already has paint on it. Take it from me.
Put a few dabs of the mono adhesive around the backside of your template – I put one at the v in the center and at the point of the heart at the bottom plus a few around the edges.
Center the template on your piece of white watercolor paper, tapping gently to adhere it but don’t press too hard because you want to pull it off when you’re done.
Now use your watercolor paint or watercolor crayons and fill the heart with color. I love the rich pigment of the watercolor crayons – it isn’t really obvious until you add some water.
You can scribble bands of different color than go back with a wet paintbrush and paint it over the crayon.
I experimented with different brushes and color combinations.
Watercolor paints work very well too – I swirl water into one color until my brush is loaded then I paint overlapping bands of different colors. I think it looks best using analogous colors so it doesn’t end up getting muddy.
I was having so much fun, I decided to try some small hearts. I used a heart-shaped punch for the template.
I painted a row of hearts and then cut the heavy paper into individual little cards.
But I’ve gotten off track. These next steps are very important: when you finish painting, carefully lift off the template. If the edge of the painted heart is a little uneven, you can use a small brush and a little paint to even things out. On the other hand, I think the raw edge of paint adds to the finished project.
Now let the paint dry. This is really important. If you have a heat tool, you can use that to dry the paint. If your watercolor paper is really wet, be cautious how you aim the heat tool so you don’t end up spraying paint around. Just keep moving the heat tool around until the paint is dry. I found the paper started to curl so after awhile I flipped it over and heated the back.
If you don’t have a heat tool, you will need to use your patience. If you try and write with the white pen on the heart, and your watercolor is still a bit damp, you won’t end up with white ink. So be sure the paint is dry.
Now is a good time to rub off any bits of adhesive that were left behind from the template. I have a little rubber square for this purpose, but a clean fingertip will do the job too.
Use the white pen to write a sentiment on the heart. Go slow and easy.
I found that even when the paint is dry, the pen tip scratches into the watercolor and needs to be wiped off. Having a paper towel handy made it easy to wipe the tip of the pen. Other times I scribbled onto scratch paper which helped to keep the white ink flowing. With most of the blue paints I was happier when I wrote over the letters a second time so they looked white and not light blue.
My hand-writing isn’t the best so I referred to a sheet I printed showing a font and used that as a guide. This is called the Vimala Alphabet and I found it in the quirky yet fascinating book Your Handwriting Can Change Your Life by Vimala Rodgers. That is another project that so far hasn’t really gotten off the ground for me. If nothing else, it is an interesting font.
Let the white ink dry then trim the piece of watercolor paper to the size you want. If desired, you can paint on “Dianne Dots” a little row of three dots. For this I made a template using a small hole punch and painted the dots to the right of the heart. Again, lift off the template and let the paint dry (or help it along with the heat tool) before proceeding..
Cut card stock for the card and another color for a layer and adhere the watercolor to the layer and adhere that layer to the front of the card. Keep the watercolor theme going, and take a small brush and use paint to paint a message on the inside of the card. I pasted a piece of white watercolor paper inside for this purpose.
Scribble with the watercolor crayons onto scratch paper to make a little palette. Swirl a wet brush through it and pick up the pigment to paint the greeting on the inside of the card.
Here is another card I made using the same technique.
I think the sentiment written in white ink looks as if the white paper is showing through the painted heart.
Even without any text, the watercolor heart is beautiful.
I don’t even know how old I was when I first put brush to paint, but my mom was almost certainly the one who washed my blue and purple fingers when I was finished. Happy Mother’s Day, Mom, with lots of love.
Thanks for the visit.