Nothing says “autumn” like pumpkins, warm-colored leaves, and curly vines! In this tutorial, you’ll learn how to create autumn-inspired envelope art that incorporates all of those things. Nervous that your artistic skills aren’t up to the task? If so, there’s a free printable that will prove to be very helpful!
This autumn envelope art provides the perfect way to send your greetings in seasonal style! It features two vivid pumpkins, a twisted vine, and abundant sprigs of wheat. If you feel intimidated by the design, don’t worry! I’ve got a printable template that will help you to overcome any artistic fears that you may have about this project. Here’s how to get started:
1. Draw an Outline
Use a pencil to draw an outline that looks like the one below on a light-colored envelope. You can freehand draw your outline based on the photo below, or you can print out the Traceable Autumn Envelope Art Template.
If you choose to use the template, cut it out along the solid rectangle outline. Then, slip the cut template into an A7 (5″ x 7″; 127 mm x 179 mm) white envelope. You can then hold the envelope up to a bright window and use a pencil to trace over the template (which you should be able to see through the envelope).
2. Draw Over the Design with a Dip Pen and Ink
Load black ink onto your favorite calligraphy nib. Starting at the base of the smaller pumpkin’s stem, draw crescents. Try to apply pressure to the nib halfway through the downstroke in order to achieve a bit of stroke variation!
Repeat the crescent-drawing process for the second pumpkin, then fill in both stems with a curlicue.
Next, trace over the vines and curlicues. You may want to rotate the envelope in various directions to make drawing the strokes easier!
Now, trace over the rest of the design.
3. Write the Recipient’s Address
Now, find a nice, warm color of ink to write your recipient’s address. You can write the address in the calligraphy or lettering style of your choice!
As a side note, this autumn envelope art is destined for a More Love Letters recipient. If you think you don’t have anyone to send mail art to, check out the letter requests! Letters are always appreciated, and I like to believe that mail art brings a smile to the recipient’s face.
4. Add Color to the Design
Your flourishes will “pop” when you give them some color! Begin by filling in the leaves. You can use any art tools that you are comfortable with, including watercolors, colored pencil, crayons, or markers. The important thing is to use rich autumn colors!
Now, start filling in the pumpkins. I find that colored pencils are easiest to use for this type of task because they have sharp tips and blend beautifully! Treat each crescent in the pumpkin as a separate entity. Start by using a burgundy colored pencil to lightly outline the inside of the crescent.
Next, use an orange colored pencil to draw a light outline inside of the burgundy outline.
Finish up by using a golden or dark yellow colored pencil and firm pressure to color over the entire crescent. The firm pressure and light color of this last colored pencil will cause the two darker colors to blend together beautifully!
Repeat this step with every crescent until you have filled both of the pumpkins in.
5. Finish Up with a Bit of Watercolor
A smattering of watercolor serves as the finishing touch for this autumn envelope art! To achieve this casual, artistic effect, start by adding about a few droplets of water to a brown tone of watercolor paint and an orange tone of watercolor paint. Wait for the water to moisten the paint a bit, then dip an old toothbrush in the pan of brown paint. Hover the toothbrush over the envelope, and use your thumb to stroke the bristles such that the paint sprays onto the envelope. Repeat this process for the orange tone of paint.
This autumn envelope art looks best when sent using a postage stamp that corresponds with the warm color scheme. If you have a stamp like that, great! If not, don’t worry about it; regardless of which stamp you use, the recipient’s eyes will go to the pumpkins first.
Please note that you are welcome to modify this concept to fit your personal style! Different colors and motif tweaks would be fun to experiment with. 🙂 As I mentioned earlier in the post, this envelope was created for a More Love Letters recipient. More Love Letters is definitely worth looking into if you have an interest in mail art! It’s a win-win: you can simultaneously exercise your creativity while helping to make someone’s day (or week … or, hopefully, life) better. If you prefer to remain anonymous, you don’t have to provide a return address!
Thanks very much for reading TPK, and have a wonderful autumn weekend!