Fun Family Craft…It’s in the Cards!
There really is nothing better than going to the mailbox and finding real mail! You know the kind of mail that was hand addressed to you in a real-life envelope and wasn’t mass produced and sent as junk.
At the holidays we get lots of thrills with an influx of holiday cards, but it seems that they too can seem impersonal with labels, photo cards, and minimal messages. So here is an idea on how you can not only give that thrill to your friends and family to receive “real” mail, but also have a personal touch that involves your whole family!
Artist, Jennessa Durrani @justjennessa takes us through reinventing your holiday card tradition with supplies you likely already have at home, with minimal mess, but high impact. Better yet, this same method can be used for any holiday or for “just because!”
To create the samples shown here:
- Watercolor paper cut down to 5×7 or 4×6 depending on your envelope size. While you could use construction paper, watercolor paper will give you a more desired result
- Solid color scrapbook paper or construction paper
- Crayola broad tip markers
- Cup for water and paint brush
- Old paint brush or toothbrush
- White paint and a dish or waxed paper to use as a palette
- Black Sharpie
- White gel pen
- Stencil and stencil brush (optional)
Step 1: Create Your Watercolors
Remember growing up when we had the paint books where the paint was already on the pages, and you just added water?
First, decide what type of card you want to create. One that has a watercolor background and then you add a silhouette to it, or a white background and you will add a watercolor object to it. See the samples above for the two options. You of course could do some of each! The process is the same.
Take the markers and create a pattern using two colors and leaving some white space between them. You can see from the samples above; this is very loose and “sketchy.” No perfectionism needed! You could have your child make the patterns, or you can create the patterns and then they add the water with brush strokes following the pattern. You can add water to one color at a time and fill the space between the markers’ strokes letting the colors merge. Rinse your brush between colors. Let all your cards/backgrounds dry completely.
Depending on how many cards you plan to make, you could do your patterns on the full sheets of watercolor paper and then cut them down to size after they have dried.
Step 2: Add Embellishments
For the starry night samples, once your cards are dry, you can mix white paint with some water. Dip your paint brush or toothbrush into the paint and then with your thumb rub against the edge of the paintbrush “splattering” your card with the white paint creating droplets of white against the watercolor.
Once the droplets are dry, you can cut out silhouettes of trees to glue on top in either a color, black, or white, depending on the color background you created.
These were created without a template, because #perfectisboring, but you can always find something to trace online if that is more comfortable for you!
Once your silhouettes are in place, you can add a message, with stamps, stencils, stickers, or writing.
For the cards where you want to create an ornament or a present on a white card, you do the same watercolor treatment and let it dry. Once dry you can use your markers and the white pen, if you have one, to add lines, dashes, and marks. Again, this is not the time for perfectionism, just put them where you want and create one-of-a-kind patterns!
Then you can cut squares to create presents, and circles to create ornaments and glue to your blank watercolor cards. You can then use your markers to create a bow for the presents, and a piece of the dark paper to add a top to your ornament and then a pen to add the hook. You could also use the same methods to add messages on these cards like joy, wish, shine, love, merry, peace, etc.
The options are endless as you look at this method of creating patterns and backgrounds. You could do hearts for Valentine’s Day, shamrocks for St. Patrick’s Day, eggs for Easter, etc. And the trees and presents can be used for birthdays and “any occasion” cards as well.
Here is the key.
- The messier they are, with the most personality included, the more remarkable they will be and the happier your kids will be making them, and your friends and family will be receiving them!
- You could add a family photo on the back if they are flat, or on the inside if you decide to make them folded. You can purchase adhesive photo corners at your local craft store to hold them into place.
- Want to dress up the envelopes? You could do the same splatter technique on the outside of the envelope or use the same marks, dots, and dashes you used to dress up your patterns.
Try all of our experts’ winter holiday crafts and recipes and make your spirits merry and bright this holiday season!
The Content is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition.