• Fiddle Leaf Fig Illustration Mail Art Tutorial

    This tutorial will walk you through how to make a fiddle leaf fig illustration that transforms a plain envelope into fabulous mail art. To get started, you’ll need watercolors, white ink, and a nice podcast or playlist to help you relax and enjoy the creation process!

    Fiddle Leaf Fig Envelope Art Tutorial

    I love the clean and modern look of a fiddle leaf fig, so I decided to make mail art centered around this delightful plant. It’s vibrant, creative, and eye-catching … the perfect little gift for a friend to find in his or her mailbox! I’ve outlined the creation steps below so you can make one, too. (If you love the look of this mail art but you don’t have the time to attempt making it, you can find this envelope in the TPK Tutorial Printable Mail Art Set.)

    Printable Mail Art Made From TPK Tutorials (Includes a Freebie!)
    Today’s gorgeous fiddle leaf fig is one of the designs featured in the TPK Tutorial Printable Mail Art Set.

    1. Gather Your Supplies

    You’ll need to gather a few key supplies to create this mail art, including:

    2. Draw a Fiddle Leaf Fig Illustration Pencil Draft

    For a foolproof illustration, I recommend starting with a pencil draft. Use your pencil to draw a cylinder in the middle of your envelope. The cylinder should be about 2″ (~5 cm) tall and 2.5″ (~6.4 cm) wide.

    Making a Fiddle Leaf Fig Illustration Draft
    If you can, make your draft on a hardy envelope that handles watercolor well (such as Indian Cotton Paper Co., which is what I’m using here).

    Next, draw four wavy stems coming out of the top of the cylinder.

    Making a Fiddle Leaf Fig Illustration Draft

    Once you’ve drawn the stems, begin drawing leaves. Fiddle leaf fig leaves are shaped a bit like, well, fiddles! Some have a slight indentation at the end that sort of looks like a heart. Each leaf has interesting Y-shaped veins, which you should go ahead and draw in as well.

    Making a Fiddle Leaf Fig Illustration Draft
    If you’d like a reference to look at as you draw, run a Google search for “fiddle leaf fig plant”. That will give you plenty of photos of trees and leaves.

    Continue to draw leaves until the plant is nice and full. Try to give your leaves different shapes and sizes to make the tree look more realistic.

    Making a Fiddle Leaf Fig Illustration Draft

    Finish up by drawing the floor pattern of your choice; I used a Moroccan concrete tile-inspired motif.

    Making a Fiddle Leaf Fig Illustration Draft
    Draw the floor of your choice. Wood planks would be pretty here, as would plain tile.

    3. Paint the Leaves

    Now, moisten at least two different shades of green watercolor: a dark green and a light green. (If you happen to have a medium green tone as well, moisten it, too.) Use those green watercolors to fill in your leaves. Most leaves should feature a mix of the 2-3 green tones. You can paint in a couple of leaves with only one green tone for contrast.

    Adding Watercolor
    If you’re new to watercolors, read through the Painting with Watercolors for Beginners article. I promise that you can paint this particular mail art project after just a smidge of watercolor practice.

    Continue to use your green watercolors to fill in the rest of the leaves. Once you’re finished, the leaves should look something like this:

    Adding Watercolor

    4. Paint the Pot and the Floor

    Now, moisten a dark gray or black tone of watercolor, and use that to paint a sliver of soil at the base of your fig.

    Painting the Fiddle Leaf Fig Illustration Pot

    Use the same black tone and a tiny brush to outline the pot. Then, use a brush that you’ve moistened with clear water to tease that black tone out into the pot a bit more. This will give the pot some contour while maintaining its clean look. Once you’re finished with the pot, paint the floor. I chose to use my gray tone to fill in my tiles, but you should do whatever makes sense for your floor.

    Painting the Fiddle Leaf Fig Illustration Pot
    I used the watercolor calligraphy technique — loading watercolor onto a dip pen — to make the thin grout lines between my tiles.

    5. Trace Over the Leaf Veins

    To finish up your fiddle leaf fig illustration, double check to make sure that your leaves are dry. (To do that, lightly touch a few of the leaves. If the surface of the paper doesn’t feel damp, you can move on to this step.) Then, get out a bottle of white ink and a straight pen with a Nikko G nib. Use that supply trio to trace over the veins in your leaves.

    Adding Bleed Proof White Ink to the Leaves
    You should be able to see most of your leaf vein draft through the green paint. If you can’t, that’s okay; feel free to guess where they are supposed to be.

    Continue to trace over the veins until all or most of the leaves feature white lines.

    Fiddle Leaf Fig Envelope Art Tutorial

    6. Write an Address

    Now, use the space in your pot to write an address. While I’m normally a fan of show-stopping calligraphy, in this case, the focus is the lovely fiddle leaf fig illustration. With that in mind, I used my straight pen, Nikko G nib, black watercolor, and embellished cursive to write the address.

    Fiddle Leaf Fig Envelope Art Tutorial
    Again, I used the watercolor calligraphy technique to load watercolor onto my Nikko G nib in order to write the recipient’s address.

    To finish up, affix a single postage stamp — preferably one that features green tones — in the upper right corner.

    7. Slip Something Inside and Send!

    I normally just talk about the process of making the mail art itself in my mail art tutorials. Today, though, I’d like to show you what I put inside! The mail art contains a letter helping me to reconnect with an old friend who my communication tapered off with after my kids were born. After going a couple of years without having the chance to speak, it felt a little intimidating to send an update and ask questions. There was just so much to say! With that in mind, I printed out the Letter Layout Planner from The Letter Writer’s Complete Resource.

    The Letter Writer's Complete Resource
    You can find this planner on page 5 of The Letter Writer’s Complete Resource. Please excuse the wrinkled appearance of this page: I write letters curled up on the couch while my kiddos gleefully jumps from cushion to cushion. My planner got trampled as a result!

    I didn’t end up getting to cover everything that I had planned in my letter. However, having the planner as a guide really helped me to craft friendship-rekindling correspondence. And, bonus — now I have a record of the topics that my letter covered, which is something I always have trouble remembering later!

    Is This Envelope Art Deliverable?

    Fiddle Leaf Fig Envelope Art Tutorial

    Before I end this tutorial, I want to touch on one question that I receive after every envelope art tutorial, which is “Will the post office really send this?” While you should always be prepared for the chance that your envelope will be one of the 6% that gets lost every year, it’s quite likely that this envelope will reach its destination. Just be sure to write the address legibly, paying special attention to the zip code, and you should be okay! (For more tips for making lovely mail that arrives at its destination, see this article.)

    I know that TPK mail art tutorials can be a bit time-consuming, so these templates offer an efficient way to enjoy mail art without a big time investment!

    If you want to dip your toes into sending mail art with a minimal time investment, remember that this design is part of the TPK Tutorial Printable Mail Art Set. The set features seven other unique designs, too.

    I hope that you enjoyed reading about this project … and that you’re inspired give it a try! Feel free to follow the tutorial exactly or just riff on it to make a card or a sketchbook page. Thanks so much for reading, and have a wonderful weekend!