There’s nothing quite like receiving a handmade birthday card. It’s a meaningful way to show someone how much they mean to you. This festive and playful abstract bubbles-themed DIY birthday card is the perfect card for any lucky recipient! Follow the steps below to learn how to make it.
Abstract Bubbles DIY Watercolor Birthday Card Video Tutorial
In this ~2 minute long video, I’ll walk you through how to make today’s abstract bubbles DIY watercolor birthday card. The video puts a special emphasis on the border, which requires the tiniest bit of a learning curve!
Abstract Bubbles DIY Watercolor Birthday Card Written Tutorial
Before you get started, you’ll need to gather a few supplies. They include:
- Blank A7 watercolor card – Feel free to DIY one by folding a 5″ x 7″ (12.7 cm x 17.78 cm) piece of watercolor paper in half.
- Large watercolor paintbrush – Size 5-ish is great
- Watercolor palette – Anything works; I used a cheapie Prang set.
- Gold watercolor (optional)
- Graphite pencil + good eraser
- Black gel pen – Pilot G2 or Sakura Gelly Roll both work well
- George Style Lettering Worksheet (optional)
1. Make a Watercolor Border
You’ll want to start with a blank card made out of watercolor paper. You can DIY one by folding a piece of watercolor paper in half, or you can use a blank watercolor card. It’s important to use watercolor paper for this project because you’ll be piling on a lot of moisture in this first step! Other papers may disintegrate or bubble up, but watercolor paper won’t.
Next, use a little bit of water to moisten the following colors in your watercolor palette: red, orange, blue, and purple. If you have a Finetec gold pan, moisten it, too! Otherwise, yellow makes a good substitute. There’s no need to pull out your artist-grade watercolors for this project: a simple watercolor set like the Prang palette pictured below is perfect for this project.
Next, alternate between adding plain water and dabs of pre-moistened watercolor around the edges of the card. You can learn exactly how to do that in my video tutorial. Wait for the watercolor to dry, then move on to the next step.
2. Draw the Bubbles
You can use any black gel pen to add the bubbles to this watercolor birthday card. I find that gel pens like Pilot G2s and Sakura Gelly Rolls work great for this step! Basically, you’re going to take your pen and draw clusters of circles of various sizes.
The clusters don’t have to have any rhyme or reason … feel free to draw them in wherever you want to. As long as they connect in clusters and follow a bit of a path, they’ll look good.
Once the border is to your linking, you’re finished!
Your results are going to vary from mine based on what you do in this step … and that’s a good thing. The only real “rule” I would follow is this: try to cover up about 15% of the border with the bubbles. Any more than that, and the card will look a little crowded — and it will take much longer to create!
3. Add a Birthday Message
Now, use George Style lettering to write “Happy Birthday” in the center of your birthday card. Be sure to leave the thick strokes on the letters empty.
Then, use a Nikko G nib, a straight pen, and Ziller Soot Black ink to trace over the lettering.
Finish up by using the different tones of watercolor found in the card’s border to fill in the letters.
The result is a colorful watercolor birthday card that is festive and display-worthy!
If you want to send your birthday card out in style, try choosing an envelope that corresponds with a color in the border. I chose “Purple” from Cards and Pockets (affiliate link), but pink, red, orange, or blue would work as well.
I hope that you enjoyed today’s watercolor birthday card tutorial! Feel free to experiment with the abstract watercolor bubbles technique for a variety of projects. I’ve used this technique for mail art, sketchbooking, and gift tags, all with cool results! It’s also fun to create with kids … my nieces love watching watercolor spread out across a wet page, and drawing over it afterwards.
Thanks very much, as always, for reading TPK. I am lucky to have you here!