Are you ready for a watercolor Christmas card tutorial today? Each card made using this technique is one-of-a-kind and truly a work of art. Even if you make 100 of these cards, they will all be unique and special! Join in, and let’s start watercoloring!
Why Use This Technique?
The technique we’re discussing is how to make a watercolored background. Watercoloring is a way to add color to your project that uses ink and additional water. You can blend colors with a unique look, and they mix together in a way that we can’t exactly control. In my opinion, the lack of control is fantastic, because the results are gorgeous.
For today’s tutorial, not only will we create a watercolor background, we will also sprinkle salt over top. The salt pulls in some of the color as it dries, adding another layer of awesome to the resulting appearance!
Stampin Up Peaceful Nativity Bundle
The Peaceful Nativity stamp set includes some beautiful stamps…the stable, Mary Jesus and Joseph, a sheep, donkey, and star. The coordinating Nativity dies including dies for each of the mentioned stamps, plus palm trees, two more star pieces, and a second stable die. This set is beautiful, and will allow you to create beautiful religious Christmas cards, scrapbook pages, and more.
Now let’s talk about how to make these cards! You can watch along with my video tutorial or keep reading for a materials list and instructions!
Watch along here for this watercolor Christmas card tutorial!
The complete product list for this card, along with ordering links, are included at the bottom of this page. The paper materials you need include:
- 5 1/2″ x 8 1/2″ Basic Black card base, folded in half
- 4 1/2″ x 6″ Fluid 100 Watercolor Paper (will be trimmed down later to 4 1/8″ x 5 3/8″)
- 4″ x 5 1/4 Whisper White for inside
- Small pieces of Basic Black, Whisper White, and Black Glitter papers for die cuts
First you will heat emboss the nativity images onto black cardstock to give the glossy appearance. To do this you will need Versamark ink, clear embossing powder, and a heat tool. If you’ve never tried heat embossing before, you can learn about it in this video.
To reverse or mirror stamp the animals (to allow them to face both directions instead of just one), you’ll need a Stamparatus, silicone craft sheet, and white ink. I describe how to mirror stamp in this post and I’ve also shown it in today’s video tutorial.
After the pieces are stamped and embossed, you’ll need to cut them out using the Nativity dies. Also, die cut the word ‘Joy’ from the Joy dies with black glitter paper.
Now let’s talk about the watercoloring part of this watercolor Christmas card tutorial!
Prepare the watercolor paper by using washi tape to tape it on all four edges to some scrap paper. This will keep it from bending and warping after the water is applied. Then, place the paper on top of a Stampin Pierce Mat or Stamparatus Deluxe Foam Mat. This will allow a soft underlying surface which will be important in the next step.
Ink The Block
My ink colors for the cards shown today were:
- Blue card – Highland Heather, Misty Moonlight, Night of Navy
- Purple Card – Highland Heather, Blackberry Bliss, Night of Navy
Lay your size F clear block vertically on your work surface. Choose the ink that will be at the bottom of your scene and apply it directly to the surface of 1/3 of the block. I used Highland Heather.
Turn the block around, and ink the center of the block with your middle color. Mine for the sample shown below was Blackberry Bliss.
To prevent this color from mixing with my third color, I used a baby wipe to remove the color from the outside 1/3 of the block. Then I used Night of Navy, which is my uppermost color, to ink this area.
Remember, this makes a lot more sense if you watch along in the video!
Apply The Color
With plenty of scrap paper laying out to protect your work surface, use a Stampin Spritzer to spray water over the block. I spritzed 10-15 times until it was fully wet, but water was not yet running off the surface.
Lift the block, and turn it over quickly to avoid causing the ink to run. Then press it onto the surface of the watercolor paper. Press to apply color to all areas. If a few areas are left without color, we can fix this in the next step.
Remove the block from the paper and admire the fun blending of colors!
To achieve the splotchy appearance, we will next sprinkle salt over the surface. I sprinkled it just over the top half, as I think the splotches look like stars and I wanted to keep them near the top.
Using table salt gives the appearance of the blue card sample, with tiny splotches. Adding rock salt or ice cream salt, will give large blotches like on the purple card.
After sprinkling the salt, I like to give it a few more spritzes of water. If you have any areas that didn’t get color applied, this will help distribute color to those areas. It also helps make sure the salt can do its work.
Lay the watercolor paper aside and let dry. You can speed the drying process if you prefer with a heat tool, but I prefer to let it dry naturally.
The results will never be predictable! You can mix up colors for different looks, but even when using the same colors you will never have the same results!
Here is the result of the background I created in my video. This might be my favorite of the three!
More Card Ideas
Do you love the idea of making watercolor Christmas cards? Here are two others I made in years past. This shows that this technique can be used with many different stamp and die sets!
Thank you for visiting for today’s watercolor Christmas card tutorial. I hope it was helpful. If you try this, I would LOVE to see the results of your work! Send them my way 🙂
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Order the products I used and make this project yourself!
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