Monday, February 3, 2020

Watercolor and Paper Cut-Outs Valentine's Day Cards


Each year I participate in a Valentine's Day card exchange. I try to make the cards if I can. For last year's exchange, I made a set of cute narwhal cards using my spray paint marbled paper.


I started out by making a watercolor background on my card stock. I wanted to make an ocean blue pattern and I knew that watercolors were the easiest way to do this. I taped down a frame so the edges would be clean (ish). and so that the paper wouldn't warp too much with the water.


Well, there's a reason why they make special paper for watercolor painting. I did my best to use a few shades of blue and do a color wash that gets a bit lighter towards the top (like the ocean), but the paper came out pretty wrinkly. I used a heat gun and some air drying time on all of the cards and as soon as they were relatively dry, I shoved them under something heavy to try to smooth them out a bit as they finished. It sort of worked and the wrinkles reduced, but it wasn't perfect.


Next I needed some narwhals. Because who doesn't need narwhals. I found some basic clipart in a google search and traced it in the Silhouette Studio. I tried a few different versions before I landed on the one that I used. But when I figured it out, I cut a whole sheet of Narwhals.


The regular settings for card stock need to be bumped up a bit when cutting the spray painted paper. It's also a bit bumpy and doesn't always like to stick to the mat, but I got it to mostly work.


Some of my narwhals peeled right out, but the others had to be carefully popped out of the paper. I was really pleased with how speckled the spray painted paper looked. It was very whale-like. Before I started assembling my cards, I ran my ocean-painted card stock through the printer and added "Narwhal you be my Valentine?" on the front and "Happy Valentine's Day!" on the inside.


After my narwhals were all punched out of the card stock, I used some distress stain blotted on the edges to make sure the narwhals would stand out against the ocean backdrop. I used a makeup sponge to get in all the nooks and crannies.


After the distressing was finished, I punched some hearts out of red glitter paper and used some TomBow Mono Multi Glue on the heart and whales before sticking them on my cards. Because of all the slightly bumpy surfaces, glue worked a bit better than double stick tape for these cards.


After I had made one successful card, I repeated the process and made a whole stack of narwhal cards. If I had to do this design again, I'd come up with something a bit different for the ocean background, but they still turned out super cute!


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