Monday, 14 September 2015

An easy way to make beautiful hand-made cards...

Hand-painted card for any occasion
Hand-made cards are a beautiful personal touch to any gift or for any occasion. I will show you how easy it can be to make a series of gorgeous, unique cards in three fun steps.

Materials for this project:

  • YUPO 11 X 14 inch Watercolour Paper *Note this is very DIFFERENT to normal watercolour paper. It has quite a thick, very smooth and almost shiny finish.
  • Schmincke Aero Colour inks 
  • Spray bottle of water
  • Spray bottle Diggers Isopropyl Alcohol
  • Hair dryer
  • Mexpy Design Markers (24 basic colours box)
  • Fine paint pens (such as Posca brand) in white and black (and other colours if desired)
  • Gel pens (such as Uni-ball Signo in assorted colours)
  • Canson Coloured Card in assorted colours to match your colour scheme
  • glue stick or glue tape runner
  • Craft knife or rotary cutting device and cutting mat or paper cutting device
  • pencil for marking
  • scissors
  • ruler, quilting rulers are great
  • baby wipes 
  • Workable Fixative Spray
  • Bone Folder to score nice sharp folds on cards (or back of the handle on a pair of scissors can work)
Stage 1: The first step in this project is to create the beautiful, gorgeous looking backgrounds. You can do two or three different colour schemes at a time and have enough background to make a whole stack of cards.

Take your YUPO paper and wet it with your spray bottle. Add a few drops of ink in two or three colours. Spray with more water and let the colours run together. Use your hairdryer to spread the colours without having to add more water. Here are some backgrounds I have created in this way.
Start with drops of ink on wet paper
Spray more water, move your page to mix the inks, blast with a hair dyer to move the liquid around. Add more water and ink if required.
Using White and Neutral Grey Inks

Look at the beautiful details in these close-ups....

Here I did two at time. The top one is Magenta and Cyan  inks, the bottom  Brown Brazil and Cyan.
Below is a before and after picture showing what happens when you add a spray of Diggers Isopropyl Alcohol to your wet inks. This is one of my favourite processes.

Inks and water spread on YUPO paper
Add a spray of Isopropyl Alcohol

Once you are satisfied with your designs you will need to let them dry for about 24 hours. Don't leave them on top of paper or anything they will stick to as they dry. A craft mat or similar surface is best.

You are then ready to move onto stage two. Firstly spray each of your finished and dry designs with A workable fixative spray and allow to dry. Then divide into six sections. 

In order to get nice straight lines use a craft knife against a ruler or a rotary cutting device rather than scissors. Now you can embellish each piece using your Mexpy Markers, Paint pens and Gel Pens. Of course the backgrounds are beautiful enough to use on their own if you prefer.

My embellished designs.
You will find that you will get lots of weird and wonderful effects with the Mexpy Markers on top of the surface so play with it and enjoy the process. If you do something you don't like you can rub it out with a baby wipe if you do it quick before it dries.

Stage 3: Make your cards.
The fish were drawn free-hand with paint pen then coloured in with Mexpy  Markers.  Then details added with with paint pens and gel pens. I've used a glue tape runner to adhere the design to the folded card leaving a border.
Fairy and Butterflies drawn free-hand. Mount the design on a piece of card trimmed just larger than the design itself. Adhere this to a folded card slightly larger again for this border effect.

Free hand drawing with paint pen coloured in with Mexpy Markers. The card has been trimmed to the exact size so it doesn't have a border.

You don't have to draw free-hand if you are not confident. This design was created with a stencil.  Again Mexpy Markers Gel and Paint Pens are used.

Trim your picture to the shape you want using scissors, then adhere to your card. Fold the card on the straight edge then cut the excess card away with scissors.

Freehand doodles and squiggles with Mexpy markers, Paint pens and Gel pens. Adhered to card and trimmed to the exact size. Unfolded, like a postcard.  
Simple text done with white and black Posca pen. Blue shadow effect with  Mexpy Marker.  Cut design into a fun shape with scissors then angered to a folded card which is also cut into a free-form shape.

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