A “just because” card is the perfect way to say hello. It’s a thing of pleasure: a little surprise that says “I’m thinking of you” without demanding a response like a text or an email does. In today’s tutorial, I’ll show you how to make a fun and simple “You’re a Gem” card. Try it yourself; you’ll be pleased at the result!
1. Gather Your Supplies
To create this “just because” card, you’ll need a few key supplies that you — hopefully — already have at home. (The white pens might be a stretch, but once you get them, you’ll use them often. Promise.)
- Colored pencils (In this tutorial, I am using pencils from my childhood — I’m not sure what brand they are, sorry!)
- Black cardstock (Cut your cardstock to 8″ x 6″ [20.3 x 15.25 cm], then fold it in half to make a 4″ x 6″ [10.15 x 15.25 cm] blank card.)
- White mechanical pencil
- Black eraser
- Sakura Gelly Roll white gel pen
- Optional but helpful: Premium Hand Lettering Worksheet Set
- Optional but helpful: Ruler
2. Make a Pencil Draft
Now, use your white mechanical pencil to draw a diamond shape like the one shown below. The top of the diamond should start about 0.75″ (2 cm) below the top edge of the card.
Next, draw a horizontal line to connect the far edges of the diamond. Then, draw a vertical line down the center of the diamond. Once you’ve got those foundational guidelines, use your white pencil to draw additional kite-shaped guidelines, as shown below. After that, draw four horizontal guidelines at the bottom of the card, and use Roman Style lettering to write “YOU’RE” between the top two guidelines and “A GEM” between the bottom two guidelines.
3. Add Color
Now, grab a colored pencil in the color of your choice, and use it to fill in the diamond shape. Try to avoid coloring over the guidelines.
Continue to color until the gem looks like this:
4. Add White Ink
Once you’ve filled in the jewel with color, use your white gel pen to trace over the pencil lines on the jewel.
Continue to trace until you’ve covered every guideline on the jewel.
Then, move on to filling in the “YOU’RE A GEM” lettering. Finish up by adding a couple of starburst shapes to the jewel. I made a large starburst shape on the left and a smaller one on the right, which helps suggest that the jewel is glimmering. Once the ink is completely dry, use a black eraser to get rid of any pencil guidelines, and you’re finished!
I do want to insert a warning about white gel pens here: they feel dry to the touch before they’re actually dry. For best results, let the card sit out a long time — overnight, if not longer — before you erase pencil guidelines. Otherwise, the white ink might smear. (If that happens, see this article.)
Inspiration and Resources
Once you finish creating this “just because” card, it will fit beautifully into any of TPK’s printable mail art envelope templates. Or, if you want to continue the colored pencil + black paper theme, you can create laurel branch mail art.
If you’re feeling adventurous after creating this “just because” card, try your hand at other cards that use this technique! There are so many lovely card concepts that you can make using black cardstock, colored pencils, and a white gel pen:
I hope that you enjoyed today’s tutorial, and that it inspires you to make some magic on black cardstock this weekend. Thanks so much for reading!