Today I’m welcoming Erika Gibson to the blog with a beautiful DIY project!
In this age of immediate gratification and digital everything, getting (personal) mail makes me want to sing.
A gorgeous geometric postcard is just the thing to brighten up a friend’s day. Use the Lettermate to line up your address, or freehand it — we’re not going for perfection here! Embrace the originality of imperfection and watercolors will be your new best friend.
Click through to download Erika’s wallpapers and to see the how-to for these watercolor postcards!
- Watercolor block or watercolor paper
- Watercolor brush
- Disposable brush or Catalyst blade
- Eraser or rubber cement pick-up
- Scissors or paper trimmer
Don’t let the supplies intimidate you — this is a simple craft. The supplies aren’t all mandatory, either — the most important part is the frisket. Other than that, you just need paper, watercolor, a paintbrush, an eraser and scissors. If your budget can swing it, though, the upgrades are helpful.
A watercolor block is a definite step up from loose paper. If you wet watercolor paper too much (which I have a tendency to do), it will buckle and curl. A block is gummed on two to four sides to keep the paper pulled taught. You can definitely work with watercolor paper, don’t get me wrong — just be sure to be light-handed with your water.
Frisket is a type of masking fluid. Masking fluids are used in many different types of art to keep the medium from absorbing into the paper. Once the frisket dries, it is easy to pull up and leave clean white lines. An eraser will work great to peel up the frisket, but I prefer rubber cement pick-up. It pulls the frisket away from the paper, and doesn’t leave little eraser boogies behind. Frisket generally ruins the brush it is applied with, so I switched to using the Catalyst blade. Once the frisket is dried, it peels right off the blade as well.
Using the frisket, paint your design on the paper. Where the frisket is will not absorb any color. I did a simple repeating triangle pattern.
Most masking fluids have a colorant to let you know when they are dry. Make sure the frisket has dried completely. The one I used turns darker orange when dry.
Add your first color. I decided to use a few blues. First was QoR cobalt teal. For the first layer, I would recommend diluting the color.
After the cobalt teal was almost dry, I added ultramarine blue and a touch of cerulean blue chromium. Try different techniques: one of my favorites is to have a puddle of one color, and drop a bit of another color in the middle. They swirl together ever so nicely.
Keep in mind, this project will work with any watercolors — they don’t have to be artist grade. You can use the kid’s stuff, too!
After your paint is completely dry — and I do mean completely, or you’ll smear it everywhere — use your eraser or pick-up to peel away the frisket, revealing your pretty white paper underneath!
Using a paper trimmer, scissors or an x-acto knife, trim your edges down. In the states, a standard postcard is between 3.5×5” and 4.25×6”.
Flip that sucker over. Time to use your favorite pen and address it to someone who’s day you want to brighten a bit.
Tah-dah! A simple, handmade postcard. If you make one, post it on Instagram and tag me! (@erikadesigns)
Not feeling like painting today? That’s okay! Here’s a downloadable background for your computer, iPad or phone.
Note: This post includes affiliate links. By purchasing through those links, you are supporting Erika Gibson and her mission to bridge the gap between modern crafting and the fine arts. You don’t pay more, Erika just makes a percentage of the sales. All items listed are ones that Erika has used and recommends
Erika Gibson //
Erika is an artist + maker from eastern North Carolina. She writes for crafty and creative makers who want to bring original beauty to their home.