When I receive a handmade card or gift (versus a store bought one) it instantly brightens my day. It makes me truly feel the love and care that went into that thoughtful mail that was sent just to me. Of course, it would be easier to just run out to the nearest store and buy one. But creating handmade thank you cards gives me great joy and feeds my soul with peace and gratitude.
That said, I’ll preface this DIY watercolor thank you cards project with the point that I’m not a watercolor artist, by any means. But, I love to be creative and this is another outlet for me to enjoy as I Create a Beautiful LifeTM. Then I get to also share with you! It is my hope that this tutorial will inspire you or simply to let you see the beauty in everyday life.
Back in 2020, our family experienced two great losses, my mother and my mother-in-law, both within a months’ time. Out of that sadness, I poured that pain into creating something beautiful. Due to Covid, both funerals were pared down and many sent flowers or cards. To thank them for thinking of us at that difficult time, I created these watercolor thank you cards. It really helped to pour myself into this project and I was so please with how they turned out. I hope the card recipients enjoyed them just as much. For my mothers funeral, I also dove into my Cricut machine to create a DIY Keepsake Funeral Memory Board and it turned out beautifully.
These quick and easy DIY watercolor thank you cards were made with just 4 materials and each card with envelope took maybe 2-3 minutes to create. If you are just beginning in watercolor, this is a great project to start with. Just a quick note that I did not use any special watercolor paper to create these cards. I had on hand some A1 size, precut and folded, cards and envelopes and only stated “premium heavyweight cards”. But, the package did not state what pound weight they were. So, let’s get creating!
- Blank cardstock cards and envelopes, any size (this project used 3.62 inches by 5.12 inches sized cards)
- Round Watercolor brush #8
- Koi Water Colors paint (or any watercolor paint of your choosing)
- Water and papertowels/rags
What I love most about watercolor painting is that you aren’t painting to be exact or literal in what subject you are painting. I rather prefer to make simple leaves because it allows me the freedom to be creative and add my perspective to the project. Before starting this project, I’ll go over two simple watercolor leaf techniques and then you can decide which you are most comfortable with using on this project.
Simple Leaf Techniques
- Round Leaf: using the tip of the brush, paint a stem; then press down firmly on the full brush as you create the leaf. If you want more color in one or more areas of the leaf, simply add more pigment while the leaf shape is wet.
- Pointed Leaf: with this technique you will be using only the tip of the brush; create your stem, then press down lightly on the brush as you create one side of the leaf, ending the leaf in a slight point; starting back at the stem, repeat this process for the other side of the leaf.
Simply let your mind wander and your creativity will follow.-unknown
- Using burnt umber #194, or any brown watercolor, brush whimsical lines onto the paper to mimic branches. They shouldn’t be even, straight lines. Give that brush a little wiggle and let your hand float across the paper. Don’t forget to add twigs coming off the main base branch.
- Clean off your brush with a quick swish in the clean water.
- Next are the leaves. I used a small amount of three green colors to get the shade I wanted (viridian hue #092, deep green #116, green pale #114). Using my #8 watercolor brush, I actually combined both simple leaf techniques (detailed above). Again, if you want to add more color/depth, you can take up more green color and line along the edge of the leaf (while still wet) to give it an Ombre style look. You will see there are color variations in my leaves across the cards. But, as I said, I’m a beginner and I actually like how they are all different because that is what makes them unique.
- Repeat steps #1-3 on the back flap of the envelope.
- You can either use your watercolor brush or a marker to letter our “thank you” on the front of the card and you are done.
These watercolor thank you cards are just one of the many projects I’ve created with watercolor. I love creating watercolor art so much! If you are looking for more inspiration check out all my posted watercolor projects. If you are a paper craft addict like me, don’t forget to also check out my papercrafting projects.
I don’t know about you but I just love sending and receiving handmade cards. I love Christmas time because that’s when all the cards come. It’s like getting a gift in the mailbox everyday! That’s why I also try to create handmade cards each year for the holidays, like my Sparkling Snowflakes DIY Snowman Stamped Holiday Cards.
How about you? Do you love receiving handmade cards? Have you sent any recently? Share with me in a comment below. I’d love to hear from you!
If you are interested in purchasing a set of my leaf watercolor thank you cards, please feel free to contact me. I’d be happy to create a set for you! Or if you are inspired to create your own watercolor cards don’t forget to share by tagging me on Instagram and using #btdinspired, I’d love to see your work (and I just might repost your photo)!
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Disclosure: I was not compensated for this post. I just really love the product(s) I’ve willingly chosen to feature. All opinions expressed are my own and not influenced in any way.