We’ve still got a few weeks until Thanksgiving, so I’m taking my time enjoying the preparation! Fruit-themed place cards will be part of our tablescape this year, along with decorated autumn leaves. Today, I’ll show you how to make these fruity watercolor place cards with the help of a free printable! Set aside a leisurely November afternoon to enjoy creating these for everyone on your guest list.
1. Print + Trace the Fruit Art Template
First, print out the free fruit art template, which you can find by clicking here. You can print the template on any paper that you have in your printer; you’ll just be using the fruits for tracing.
Next, you have two options. You can either cut out all of the fruits and trace around them on 140# watercolor paper …
… Or you can place 140# watercolor paper on top of the (uncut) template, then put both papers on a light box or against a bright window. Use a pencil to trace the fruits, which you should be able to see through both papers, onto the watercolor paper.
Whichever technique you choose, the result should be a piece of watercolor paper with pencil outlines of the four fruits on the template.
2. Cut Out the Fruits
Once you have created outlines of all the fruits on the watercolor paper, cut the outlines out. That should leave you with four pieces of watercolor paper fruit. (If you’re making these for a gathering, make sure you have one piece of fruit for each person! That may mean that you need to trace around several more pieces of fruit.)
3. Add Watercolor
Now, use brown watercolor paint to add color to the fruits that have stems.
Then, while you wait for the paint on the stems to dry, you can start painting the lemon. First, use a large brush to moisten the entire fruit with plain water.
While the water is still fresh on the fruit, add yellow watercolor to it. The fact that the fruit is already wet means the watercolor will spread out evenly. You’re not going for realistic shading here; all you want is a nice, flat yellow.
Continue to paint around the lemon. Focus on concentrating the pigment around the edge of the fruit, and leave the inside nice and light.
Use a similar technique to paint every fruit in its respective color (red for the apple, purple for the fig, green for the pear). As you finish each fruit, set it aside to dry.
4. Add Calligraphy to the Fruity Watercolor Place Cards
5. Make Paper Stands
The last step of this tutorial is to make sure your fruits can stand up on their own. To do that, cut 140# watercolor paper into 1.25″ x 4″ (3.2 cm x 10 cm) strips. You should have as many strips as you have pieces of fruit.
Then, fold all of the strips in half.
Next, tape or glue one side of each strip on the back of each of your fruits. Make sure that the fold of the strip is in line with the bottom of the fruit.
Once you finish making the stands, the fruits will stand up on their own, ready to enhance your holiday table!
I love this project because it’s a great example of how you can use simple art and calligraphy to elevate an experience. Everyone loves seeing their name written in calligraphy, and these fruity watercolor place cards bring a sense of elegant playfulness to any tablescape. I hope that you enjoy making them as much as I did!