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DIYdiy projects

DIY Watercolor Thank You Cards

by Francesca Stone

watercolor-thankyou-card-21.png Handmade gifts and cards instantly brighten up my day. There is so much joy that I get when I see something that’s been done with a lot of love. Creating thank you cards is such a beautiful way to express your gratitude to someone whom you dearly care for — and a pop of color can make it look perfect.

Of course, it’s easier to just dash to your nearest card store and pick one up. But what satisfies my soul most is when I create for myself, and it’s no different when I create for others, too. With the holidays due shortly, these DIY watercolor thank you cards are sure to be a huge hit. —Zakkiya of Inkstruck Studio.

about

Hi! I’m Zakkiya, the creative mind behind Inkstruck Studio. I’m an illustrator and designer currently based in Doha, Qatar. Although ethnically Indian, I was born and bred in Dubai. I love creating illustrations in watercolor, graphite and colored pencil. I let go of my profession in architecture in 2013 to follow my passion for art, and since then there has been no turning back.

watercolor-thankyou-card-19.png

Materials

Steps

1.The double color-wash card

Cut out some watercolor paper of size 8″ by 6″. We’re going to create a card of the size 4″ by 6″.

watercolor-thankyou-card

Then, fold it in half and smoothen the crease by using the blunt side of a cutlery knife. Ideally, a bone folder is what’s used for this purpose but if you don’t have one lying around, this works just the same way.

watercolor-thankyou-card-1

Open the card and lay it down on the table. Get your size 8, round watercolor brush out. The colors I’ve used for this card are “turquoise” and “viridian hue.” You can use any combination of colors you wish to.

watercolor-thankyou-card-2

Take a good amount of the color turquoise on your brush. Lay down a few strokes of the color.

watercolor-thankyou-card-3

DIY Watercolor Thank You Card

Clean out your brush and take some viridian hue watercolor. While the paint is still wet, lay down a few strokes, making sure it is in contact with the turquoise.

DIY Watercolor Thank You Card

Again, clean out your brush and take some turquoise color. Paint a few strokes on the other side of the card. Continue until it touches the viridian hue color. This should be done when the paint is still wet.

DIY Watercolor Thank You Card

Wait for the card to dry.

DIY Watercolor Thank You Card

DIY Watercolor Thank You Card

Now we’re going to write the words “thank you” on it. There are a number of methods you can use. Here I’ve used a dip pen and white acrylic ink to write. You can, however, use a smaller sized paintbrush with white acrylic ink, gouache or poster color. Another method is to use a white gel pen. Allow the card to dry.

DIY Watercolor Thank You Card

DIY Watercolor Thank You Card

DIY Watercolor Thank You Card

2. The single color-wash card

Unlike the previous card, I’ll be using a single color for this. Create a card from blank paper using the steps as explained above. Starting from the top left, start painting a heavy wash of color with a flat brush. Make sure there is enough pigment and water on your brush.

DIY Watercolor Thank You Card

Continue to paint until you’ve covered about 3/4th of the paper. Create a bit of texture wherever you stop. You can do this by removing the excess water from the brush, leaving only a bit of pigment. Wait for the card to dry.

DIY Watercolor Thank You Card

Using a dip pen or any of the techniques I’ve mentioned above, write “thanks kindly,” or your own choice of words. I went for a slightly whimsical style of lettering for this card. Allow the card to dry. In case the card doesn’t close well, put it inside a heavy book and keep for a few hours.

DIY Watercolor Thank You Card

DIY Watercolor Thank You Card

DIY Watercolor Thank You Card

DIY Watercolor Thank You Card DIY Watercolor Thank You Card DIY Watercolor Thank You Card

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Comments

  • This is so beautiful and simple! I would imagine if you wanted to simplify a bit and weren’t so confident in your writing with a pen like that, you could also use a wax crayon before you start painting? I’ve never had such good luck with watercolor painting when I’ve tried it before, but I suspect i’m not using high enough quality paints. For anyone with experience, is there a huge difference between tube watercolor and the blocks that you wet (assuming it’s professional grade palette blocks and not those Crayola kids craft ones)?

    • Hi Steven,
      I have Winsor & Newton in both tube and half pans, and I see no difference in quality. It’s more about convenience. If you use only a little, pans can be easier. If you use more and love mixing, then go for the tubes.
      If you want to write before painting so you can make corrections, you can use drawing gum. Write/paint with it, then watercolor over it and erase it when it’s fully dried. It worked great for me.
      http://www.dickblick.com/products/pebeo-drawing-gum/

  • I love the look of white ink over watercolor/gouache, I use that a lot in my work as well. Sharpie makes a nice white paint pen in a variety of nib sizes that make lettering over color easy, and it’s pretty opaque too. Thanks for sharing this tutorial!

  • ive been looking for a tutorial on watercolor cards and this one is definitely my favorite. so easy to follow along, too. Thanks!

    Amanda

  • Wow these are so gorgeous! I am studying fine art at university and I sometimes struggle with small detail or writing with paint, and never thought of using a dip pen so thanks for the inspo!

    Jess xxx

  • Thanks so much for posting this … I’m not at all artistically talented … I couldn’t even draw a stick figure when I could still write … but nowadays I can’t even write my name … however it seems that it’s opened up a portal into my ‘creative ideas’ in my brain … I have always loved watercolour artwork … & have been thinking of adding to my purchased art collection with some abstract pieces just using either watercolour pencils or watercolour paints … & adding a few little bits & pieces such as using silver or gold gilding along with maybe some silk threads, etc. When I saw your watercolour, I immediately thought the same as Steven M … I guess it looks similar to the old wax crayons on paper with finger paints. So, thanks to your article, I now have a little more knowledge than I did before … I wasn’t sure of what type of paper that I would need to achieve what I wanted. I do now! :)
    I also like this idea of yours because not only is it nice for Thank you notes, but if one were to make several pieces of watercolour styles of notes, etc. & dry them out … they’d also be very pretty for various other cards & gift tags, incl. Christmas cards & tags if one used red or green. Thanks again .. Wendy M.

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