If you think you’re not artistic, try this tutorial and be amazed at what you create! The free traceable template included in this post provides “training wheels” for the calligraphy or watercolor beginner. Even non-beginners will find it helpful, as it saves a lot of time. Get your watercolors ready: this is a fun one!
This birthday card tutorial may look intimidating from the get-go, especially if you’re new to watercolors. Before you discount this as a project you can’t do, let me assure you that you can! This design is 100% traceable, which makes it prefect for both watercolor and dip pen beginners. Here’s how to make it:
You can find the template for free by clicking here. Feel free to print it out on any paper that you have in your printer; no fancy paper necessary!
2. Prepare a 5″ x 7″ (127 mm x 178 mm) Watercolor Paper Card
You can buy these cards premade, or you can DIY them by folding a 10″ x 7″ piece of watercolor paper in half.
It’s important that you use watercolor paper for this project because it can stand up to all the painting that you’ll be doing on it! Other papers — like cardstock — probably won’t be able to handle all the moisture.
3. Place the Blank Card on the Template
Line up the front half of the card with the template. Put two small pieces of tape on the corners to secure the card’s position. If you have a light box, place the card and template on the light box and use a dip pen to trace over “HAPPY” (written in George Style lettering) and “birthday” (written in Kaitlin Style calligraphy).
If you don’t have a light box, simply hold the card and template up to a bright window, and use a pencil to lightly trace over everything on the template (including the floral design). Once you finish, use a dip pen to trace over the text and rectangle pencil lines.
4. Add Watercolor Paint
Take out a watercolor palette and moisten a shade of light green. Dip a small brush in the green paint, and use the paint to trace over all of the stems and solid leaves in the design.
Next, paint over two of the large flowers with red watercolor paint. Use yellow watercolor paint to fill in the other two large flowers. Finish up by painting the small watercolor flowers at the end of the evergreen branches yellow. Then, add red and yellow dots to spiky stems.
Now, use a pink tone (watered-down red will work) to fill in the small flowers in the design.
You can conclude the watercolor portion of this birthday card tutorial by tracing over the large leaves and the rose with gray watercolor paint.
5. Add Black Accents with a Pen
Use a black pen to fill in flower centers and trace over the remaining outlines in the design.
6. Punctuate the Design with Gold Dots
If you have gold watercolor or a gold pen, use it to add different sizes of dots in the spaces between the flowers. The dots will fill in the design and add an interactive element, as gold paint dances in the light. The template provides you with some dots to trace over, but you’re welcome to add additional dots as I did here!
If you don’t have gold watercolor or a gold pen, you can always choose a different color to add dotted accents. Orange or yellow would work well!
If you can find a red, yellow, or gray envelope, it will correspond perfectly with the birthday card’s color scheme! Otherwise, you could use a white envelope with red and yellow watercolor calligraphy.
Remember, you don’t have to own a light box to complete this tutorial. You can always use a bright window and a pencil to trace over the template! Alternatively, you can skip the template altogether and make your own version of the card.
I hope that you give this birthday card tutorial a try and that you enjoy making it! If you happen to make this card, I’d love to see the results on Instagram (tag @thepostmansknock or hashtag #thepostmansknock) or Facebook. It’s always fun for me to get to look at what you’re making and the variations you chose to add!
Have a wonderful weekend, and thanks so much for reading TPK!