Christmas cards

I made my own Christmas cards this year. I’ve been meaning to do this for years, but I kept slacking off and/or waiting too late. I did leave things a bit late this time, so I didn’t have time to test a few ideas I had, but I managed to put together something fairly nice.


I used a combination of watercolour and stamping. The stamping is inspired from the amazing cards my sister-in-law makes and the watercolour is me just playing with techniques (some old, some new).

I started by doing watercolour backgrounds in white, blue, or various combinations of the two. I randomly painted on colour and then used salt or alcohol (a new-to-me technique; you use plain rubbing alcohol, like you find at the drugstore) to add a little je ne sais quoi (I did drops, paint strokes, and splatters from a tooth brush with the alcohol). Some of the backgrounds were a bit boring, and I would have revamped or replaced them if I’d had time. Other’s were gorgeous and I even had a few rather interesting ones that could only be described as “artsy”.

I used stamps from the Papertryink Holiday Tree stamp set to add trees or snow people and a few little snowflake or star embellishments. At the time, I wasn’t really thinking about the order that I needed to stamp the tree components, so I erred and did the trunks first (reasoning that it was bigger). It would have looked better if I’d done the leaves first. But, the only recipient who will notice this is my sister-in-law, so lesson learned and no need to stress about it.

The only really annoying thing was that some of the ink I used wasn’t great. The quality was fine … whe I first bought them. I’ve had a few colours for a while and it was pretty obvious that I need to go through my inks and test to see which ones have dried out (a project for another day).

So, there you have it. Homemade cards for a few people. Next year I want to start earlier so that I can test more ideas (I tested some in my sketch book, but would have liked to have done a few prototypes to see what they would really look like in the end) and have time to redo any screw-ups.

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