If you’re looking for a unique DIY holiday card project, consider this beauty. This holiday card tutorial will quickly become a favorite because of the delightful cutout! When your recipient receives the card, he or she can simply remove the ornament from the center and hang it on their tree.
Not only are you sending a holiday card, then, but you’re also sending a unique ornament! In this article, you’ll find detailed instructions and a video that will teach you exactly how to create this cool little project. Make yourself some hot cocoa, set aside 30-45 minutes to tune out the world, and you’re all set to go!
Cutout Ornament DIY Holiday Card Video Tutorial
In this video tutorial, I used a 5″ x 7″ watercolor card instead of the single sheet of watercolor paper that I used in the written tutorial. Feel free to create this concept on either a folded card or a single piece of paper!
Cutout Ornament DIY Holiday Card Written Tutorial
To create this project, you’ll need the following supplies:
- Simple ornament template, printed
- Watercolor paper (cut to 5″ x 7″) or 5″ x 7″ blank watercolor card
- X-Acto knife
- Pencil + eraser
- Watercolor palette with at least two shades of green
- Size 1 and size 3 paintbrushes
- Pointed pen + nib of your choice (I used a Brause EF66 nib + oblique pen)
- Jute twine
Once you’ve compiled your supplies, follow the steps below.
1. Draw the Ornament
To begin making this DIY holiday card, you’ll need to cut out a 5″ x 7″ piece of watercolor paper.
Next, print out this simple ornament template.
Line up the 5″x7″ piece of watercolor paper over the large rectangle surrounding the ornament in the template. Hold the template and the watercolor paper over a bright window or a light box. You should now be able to see the ornament through the watercolor paper. Then, use a pencil to trace over the ornament.
2. Cut Out the Ornament
Next, you’ll want to use an X-Acto knife to cut the ornament out along the pencil lines. If you don’t have an X-Acto knife, please treat yourself to one (and don’t forget to order blades, too … they get dull pretty quickly)!
Once you’ve cut out the ornament, erase the pencil guidelines.
Now, flip the card over. You should be able to see the ornament cut-out from this side as well! If you notice that the X-Acto knife didn’t cut through in some areas, you can gently go over them again from this side of the card. Your goal is to make sure the ornament will be easy for your recipient to remove.
3. Add a Greeting
For this step, you can customize and be as creative as you want to! The important thing is to make sure that your holiday message stays within the ornament. In the example below, I created diagonal Kaitlin Style calligraphy using the watercolor calligraphy technique. Feel free to use the calligraphy style and the message that most appeals to you!
4. Paint Pine Boughs
Even if you are new to watercolors, you can paint the super simple pine boughs on this DIY holiday card. I promise. First, you’ll start by picking out two shades of green to paint with: a light green color and a dark green color. Choose one of the two shades — it doesn’t matter which — to draw a slightly curved line that extends from inside the ornament to the outside of the card. You’ll want to use a fairly small paintbrush; I’m using a size 1 here.
Next, draw little lines coming off of that original line that you drew. The lines should start out small and get longer as you approach the edge of the paper. Try to alternate using the light green and dark green tones of watercolor in this step!
Finally, make small strokes coming off of every line you just painted. Again, alternate using your light and dark green paints here!
The end result will look something like this:
5. Add Golden Circles
Adding golden circles makes this DIY holiday card literally shine! I use Finetec Arabic gold for this step, but you can use whatever metallic pen/marker/paint that you have on hand. If, however, you are using Finetec gold like I am, you’ll want to begin by moistening it with a few drops of water. Shoot for 1/8 of a teaspoon or so!
Once the water has had a couple of minutes to soak into the paint, use the gold watercolor to paint a circle outline anywhere on the card.
Fill in the circle with more paint.
Continue to use the outline and fill technique to make circles of various sizes until you like the way your card looks. The various sizes of circles are key here because they give the illusion of twinkling lights!
6. Thread Twine Through the Ornament
At this point, your DIY holiday card is nearly finished! The only thing you need to do is punch a hole in the top of your ornament and thread twine through that hole. To make the hole, hold down the bottom of the ornament, gently lift out the top of the ornament, and use a hole punch in the center of the top. If your entire ornament comes out as you’re punching the hole, don’t worry about it … you should be able to press the ornament back in.
Next, thread a piece of twine or ribbon through the hole you just made. The piece of twine should be about 7″ long, and you can leave it untied, just like this:
To finish up, write a message on the back of your card. You might include instructions on how to remove the ornament: “Press gently along the edges of the ornament to remove it. It should come right out! Then, tie the twine and hang it on your tree.” Once you have written your greeting, you can put the card in an envelope and send it to your recipient.
When your recipient gets your card, he or she will be able to simply pop the ornament out!
It’s a creative and delightful addition to any tree!
Of course, if you want to, you can customize this DIY holiday card tutorial in any way that you see fit! Draw your own ornament shape, use a different design motif, or create a folded card versus a flat card. Don’t be afraid to get creative here … it’s always fun to put your own spin on an idea. As always, thanks very much for reading TPK, and enjoy the rest of your day!
This article was first posted in November of 2016. It has been updated to include an instructional video.