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DIY: All about YOU Valentine’s Day Cards

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I’m admittedly not the biggest fan of Valentine’s Day, however, I do love an occasion to tell those that you love how much they mean to you.  Really, every day should be reason enough to spread the love around, but in this case, on this day, it’s built in.

I like Valentine’s Day more if I focus on those in my life who I love and who have made my life that much better.  Basically, I love the part about Valentine’s Day which focuses on others, not me.  

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This DIY is really just a fun, homemade take on Valentine’s Day cards.  A little watercolor paint and some good watercolor paper are really all you need.  I kept mine pretty big so they can double as a card and a piece of art if they so choose.  If you keep them big, send them in large envelopes so they don’t bend.  Even if you “can’t paint,” I bet you can move some color around with water.  If you mess up, just let it dry and then add more paint.  Watercolor is pretty forgiving and loose.

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What I really liked about these cards, though, is that they focus on the recipient, and in a way that goes beyond “love ya,” or “you’re cute.”  Think of things that you really admire.  Compliment that thing.  Your Valentine will feel not only showered with love on this day, but hopefully they’ll end up thinking, I am really smart!

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And if you think a Valentine is only good for the romantic love in your life, think again.  Remember elementary school?  Everyone got Valentines!

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Here’s what you’ll need:

  • Watercolor paper
  • Scissors (if the paper is bigger than you’d like)
  • Watercolor paint (I used watercolor in a tube, but to be completely honest, I love Crayola watercolor paint just as much as “professional grade” paint)
  • Paint brushes
  • Water
  • Paper towels
  • Fine black felt-tip pen

A few tips:

  1. I won’t tell you what to write, because if that were the case you should just go to Hallmark and buy a card!  They’re better at greetings than I am.  I would encourage you to focus on the recipient; what do you really like about that person?  How have they helped you?  What are you thankful for?
  2. Don’t be intimidated by watercolor!  It’s supposed to look loose and free.  A few different techniques:
    1. To get the effect I got in the “You Are My Favorite” card, use a wet-on-wet technique: lay down some water and then touch color into the wet spots.  The paint will go where the water is and make some pretty neat swaths of color.  Keep in mind, similar colors work best here.  If you use complimentary colors like blue and orange, you’ll get brown.
    2. Use the white of the paper for highlights or black space.  Don’t feel like you need to color every little bit with paint.
    3. Paper towels are handy to have around to sop up any extra water or to add interesting texture.
    4. The less water you use, the more concentrated your color will be.  However you can also layer and intensify color by laying a thin layer down, letting it dry, and then layering more and more color on top.  Just be sure it’s completely dry before you add more color, or you’ll get a wet-on-wet effect.
    5. Experiment with different types of brushes/different sizes of brushes.
    6. You can draw or write with a felt-tip pen and then lay color over the pen, or you can add color and then add definition/words with a felt tip pen after it’s dry.  This gives it sort of an “illustration” look.
  3. Homemade is special, no matter what.  Remember the thought–it’s what counts–and don’t let perfection get in the way of a good deed!  Have fun with it!

Happy Valentine’s Day friends!  Share the love!

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