If you’re looking for a unique DIY holiday card project, the search is over. This holiday card tutorial will quickly become a favorite because of the delightful cut-out! 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 blog post, you’ll find detailed instructions 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!
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 your 5″x7″ piece of watercolor paper over the large rectangle surrounding the ornament in the template. If your watercolor paper has a smooth side, the smooth side should be on top (not facing 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. Use a pencil to trace over the ornament.
2. Cut the Ornament Out
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)! I know that the X-Acto knife is not a common household item, but I promise this won’t be the last time that you use it. It’s awesome for precision cutting like this, and I sometimes use it to sharpen pencils and improve frayed brush pens!
Once you’ve cut out the ornament, erase what you can of the pencil lines. You probably won’t be able to get all of them because of the cut, and that’s fine. Just do what you can!
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. Create Calligraphy or Hand-Lettering
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 ombré watercolor calligraphy technique. However, I encourage you to use the calligraphy or hand-lettering style and message that 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!
Confused? Don’t worry — I made a video detailing the process as well!:
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 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 Finetec to paint a circle outline anywhere on the card.
Fill in the circle with more Finetec.
Continue to use the outline and fill technique to make circles of various sizes until you like the way your card looks. The varied sizes of circles are key here because they give the illusion of some lights twinkling closer to us, and some lights twinkling farther away!
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 will 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 should 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 off!
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 maybe 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!
I hope that you enjoyed today’s fun little tutorial, and that your Thanksgiving weekend isn’t too hectic! If you have any questions — or idea suggestions — about how to create this card, please contribute in the comments. It’s always a pleasure to hear from you, even if I can’t respond right away! As always, thanks very much for reading TPK, and enjoy the rest of your day!