Most of the stamps and dies that we use for holiday cards can also be used to make quick and easy gifts. Today I want to share a holiday card and a holiday gift created using the same Penny Black stamp and die sets.
The stamp set that I used is Happy Holly, and both the “merry” and “joy” sentiment dies are a part of the set called Love and Joy. For both of these projects I used a very simple water coloring technique to create the holly. I love how they both turned out!
I used the same process to create both sets of holly. I began by stamping the design in black VersaFine ink on watercolor paper. There are many different types of watercolor paper — some is heavy-weight, some is very textured, etc. The watercolor paper that I like to use is inexpensive and light-weight, only about 90 lbs. It also has a smooth surface that is easy to stamp on. In this really icky-sticky weather, I’ve been allowing a little extra time for my VersaFine inks to dry to avoid smudging, etc.
Once the ink is dry, I simply used a water-based marker to color in the holly and the berries. For the card version, I used Tim Holtz Distress markers. I colored the berries with Fired Brick and the leaves with Peeled Paint. I added a little Forest Moss down the center of each leaf (following the line already in place from stamping) so that when I add water I can blend the colors a little more. For the gift version, I used Zig Clean Color II Pens, Carmine Red (22) for the berries and Olive Green (43) for the leaves. Color each leaf and each berry before moving on. Don’t worry so much about your coloring being perfect — it will all blend in the next step.
Once the holly and berries are colored, use a brush and plain water or a water brush (I used the Tim Holtz detail brush) to add water to the holly and berries. This will re-activate the marker and will blend it. In some cases the water will push the color through the watercolor paper, and create some lighter spots. The water may also cause the color to spread a little outside the line — don’t worry about this. That look is normal for a watercolored item. Take your time with this process and do each leaf and each berry individually.
Once your watercolors have dried, you can do the last step which is adding the gold droplets. To do this I mixed Peerless watercolor paint, Transparent metallic Gold, with some water to create a mixture. You can simply fling the mixture onto the watercolored images using a paint brush, or you can place the mixture in a spray bottle. I chose the spray bottle technique for my projects. Note that you don’t want the neat, controlled Ranger spray bottles (Mister and Mini Mister) because they are too fine of a spray. The big blogs of color mixed with smaller drips is what I wanted. Be sure to let these gold accents dry fully too before moving to the assembly phase. Here are close-up photos of each of the finished holly panels —
The card is a 5×7 card, so the card base is 7″ x 10″. I cut the green base layer 5″x7″, and then a red layer 4.75″x6.75″. The gold layer was cut 4.5″ x 6.5″. I assembled the layers using Angel Craft 1/4″ adhesive. I fussy cut the holly, and then attached it to the card layers using the Angel Craft Adhesive. I added the “Joy” sentiment to the top (cut from the same red paper as in the layer using the Penny Black Love and Joy die set). My last step was to attach the ribbon and bow — all very easy.
For the gift item, I began with a 8″x8″ artist canvas. It happened to be gold, so there was no need to paint it (although I could have painted it with no problem). My watercolor panel was already on 6″ x 6″ paper, so I decided to leave that as it was. I cut the gold layer behind it 6.5″ x 6.5″, and the red layer behind that 7″ x 7″. I attached the layers together using Angel Craft Adhesives I used my Copic marker to custom color a white ribbon to match the red in the berries. I attached the bow with Angel Craft Adhesive. My last step was to cut the sentiment, “Merry” from the red metallic paper using the Penny Black Love and Joy die set.
Please be sure to watch my short video to get additional information about the projects, and to obtain further information on how to do this very simple watercolor technique.
I hope that you’ll try this very easy technique. It is a simple way to change-up the look of your stamped designs.
Supplies from Cut@Home:
Tim Holtz Distress Markers Fired Brick, Forest Moss, Peeled Paint — these should all be in the 49-package of markers (SKU TDMK39082)
Angel Craft 1/4″ Adhesive (SKU ACT1414)
Supplies from my stash: gold canvas 8″x8″; metallic layering paper; assorted cardstock; Zig Clean Color II markers; Peerless Watercolor transparent metallic gold; Scotch Quick-Dry Adhesive.
Thanks and Happy Scrappin’!