Art Blog

Simple Watercolor Holiday Cards You Can Make in a Weekend

Handmade cards are always appreciated, especially around the holidays. They’re even more special when they give you a way to spend time with friends and loved ones, creating something beautiful together.

The finished card with pencil marks removed.

These watercolor snowflake cards are easy, festive and fun to make.

This project can even be made with younger children. Colorful snowflakes are a festive motif and perfect for anyone who has a set of watercolor paints, a brush and some watercolor paper.  So grab your supplies and a few friends and let’s get started!

A simple set of craft store watercolors

For this project, you’ll need:

  • Set of craft store watercolors, with a range of blues, greens, purples and pinks
  • No. 8 pointed round watercolor brush
  • Watercolor notecards, or watercolor paper torn or cut into notecard-sized sheets.
  • No. 2 pencil
  • Kneaded eraser
  • Printed snowflake templates (you can find dozens for free online)
  • A jar of clean water
  • Paper towels to dry and clean your brush
  • Optional: Watercolor pencils

Step 1: Preparing your drawings

Once you have your templates printed out, place them under your notecard and hold them up to a sunny window so you can trace them onto your paper. You can also draw them freestyle if you are game, or cut out the templates and trace around them.

Simpler snowflake shapes will be easiest for younger hands, but more experienced painted can try some really intricate designs.

I placed them randomly on the page. My finished drawings looked like this:

My tracings, randomly placed and all ready to paint.
Next, use a kneaded eraser to lighten up your pencil tracings. This keeps the lines from showing up too darkly once you begin painting. Now it’s time to paint!

Step 2: Painting the first snowflake

Using the very tip of your pointed round watercolor brush, use clean water to paint on a water glaze on one section of a snowflake at a time.

I worked systematically — starting at the top and moving clockwise around — so that my water glaze wouldn’t dry too much before I dropped my paint in.

My first snowflake, in shades of blue and violet.

Once you’ve painted the water glaze carefully onto a section, pick up a small amount of paint from your paint set and drop it into the water glaze, again using the tip of your brush. Be as careful as possible around places that should be left white — but as you will see, it doesn’t have to be perfect to be very pretty!

Continue dropping paint in shades of blue, green, violet and pink, stopping short of where my water glaze ended.

Once you’re satisfied with the paint, put your brush down and pick up the card to gently tilt it in every direction, letting the different colors of paint mix and mingle for a soft and colorful effect. Continue this process until you make it all the way around the snowflake, cleaning up any edges as you go along, if necessary.

Step 3: Painting the remaining snowflakes

Use this same technique for all the snowflakes on your card.

The finished card with pencil marks removed.

I found that working one section at a time made things easier, and made sure I picked up the card to tilt it in different directions before I went on to the next section.

Step 4: Clean up the pencil marks

When all the snowflakes on your card are totally dry, use your eraser to gently remove any remaining pencil marks.

Another fun variation for your watercolor snowflake cards

For another card, I tried a tie-dye effect.

Trace the snowflake design with watercolor pencils.

Using watercolor pencils, I traced the snowflake template onto  my paper. The watercolor pencils are great because they add to the colorful effect when brushed with water and regular watercolor paint.

A rainbow snowflake!

Next, I followed the same exact steps as before, using a rainbow of paint colors. Don’t forget to tilt the paper to let your colors mix and mingle.

These cards are so easy and fun to make, you could create one for everyone on your list!

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