brenna bergerDIYdiy projects

diy project: hand-painted valentines

by Brenna

Of all the holidays, Valentine’s Day seems to scream “handmade cards” the loudest. Glitter, doilies and lace are the usual suspects for decorating, but why turn to them when you can easily create a sophisticated ombre valentine? With this simple technique, there is no need for vats of dye, oodles of drying time, complicated instructions or any special tools. Using materials as simple as paint, water and gravity, the paint pigment naturally fades and blends as it flows down the card, resulting in a painterly ombre effect without all the fuss. The edges of each card are then gilded so your love shines through the moment the envelope is opened. Paired with a classic “roses are red, violets are blue” poem and some heart-shaped Red Hots to fill the envelope, it is the perfect combination of chic and kitsch. And it’s handmade. Happy Valentine’s Day! — Brenna

Read the full how-to after the jump!


  • X-Acto knife
  • straight edge
  • white mat board
  • watercolor paper or heavy cardstock
  • watercolor paint
  • 3 paintbrushes (wide, narrow and disposable)
  • liquid gold leaf
  • paper towels
  • dish of water



1. With the X-Acto knife and straight edge, cut the mat board to fit in the envelope you are using.

2. Cover your work area with a layer of paper towels.

3. Hold the card horizontally and flood the front of the card with water.

4. Fill the narrow paintbrush with color. Run the brush along one edge, wiping a good amount of paint along the top edge of the card.

5. Tip the card vertically and let the paint flow with the water down the card. Be sure to touch the bottom edge of the card to the paper towel, as it helps to wick the color down.

6. Let dry.

7. Using the disposable brush, paint the liquid gold leaf along the edges of the mat board.

8. Send to someone you love!

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