Tuesday, June 14, 2016

DIY: Watercolor Gift Tags

Watercolor tags and cards look so pretty! And they're super easy to make.

Instructions & Materials

Here's what you'll need to make your own pretty gift tags:

  • Watercolor paper. For these tags, I used the cheap paper that comes in pads for $5 or so. There's no need to use your expensive paper for the tags but the weight should be 140 lbs rather than the 90 lb version.
  • Watercolor paints, any brand is fine. 
  • White gel pen or white paint for lettering and designs. 
  • Stamps with white ink pad (optional).
  • Twine or pretty ribbons to tie your tags.

For creating the tags themselves, I simply used my paper slicer to crate the rectangle shapes. As you can see by my photo (at the top), I made my tags in different lengths and widths for a bit of variety. I used scissors to snip off the top corners though you'll need to be a bit careful here to ensure that you snip the same size of paper from each corner.

I wanted to make my tags full of bright shades of blues and reds. I started with the darker colors at the bottom and moved up with lighter shades of blue and red. You can basically do what you like here - be it a strip or a ball or even a single color covering the entire tag but you will want to try and get some color variation happening so you get the full watercolor effect on your tags.

The brand of watercolors I used here is Winsor & Newton's Professional Watercolors though you could use any really, even child's watercolor paint. But the colors won't be this bold and saturated with kid's paints.

Once your paint is dry, it's time to add a pretty design or a sentiment. You could paint the letters on if you have a steady hand a small paintbrush but I prefer to simply use a gel pen. I always use the Uniball Signo since it's my favorite white pen but others will work too. Another option is to use your stamps and white ink pad as I did below in the bottom photo. The stamps look fabulous too!

Another option is to paint a simple little flower or set of leaves on your tag as I've done in the bottom photo.

To create the holes, I used a hole puncher and then added my twine and ribbon. Voila! All done.

If you don't want to make your own or you don't have all of the materials, I have a print and cut freebie version that you can download. You can still make your own! Please check out the blog post and the downloadable file here.

Here's my blue set! Happy creating.

Tuesday, June 7, 2016

Freebie! Watercolor Gift Tags

I love cute little gift tags and I don't always want to make them from scratch. So I've made up a set of watercolor style gift tags for you to download and print from home!

All you'll need is some cardstock to print the file on as well as some pretty patterned paper (optional) to use as a backing and some twine or ribbon for the tags.

Download the PDF file here.

The "how to" is simple! Just print your PDF onto some stable paper. I chose 110 lb cardstock and it worked perfectly.

I glued some pretty patterned paper on the back of the printed tags (I used a glue stick for this). Once the papers are sealed together, cut out your tags. I used a slicer but scissors work well too.

To create the hole for the ribbon, I used a three hole punch though you can purchase single hole punches of course. It figures that I couldn't find mine when I needed it!

Add some twine or ribbon and voila! Pretty watercolor gift tags.

These watercolor shapes come from my Pink Watercolor Shapes Set. They're in PNG format and can be used to make your own tags, cards and products!

Happy creating!

Please don't distribute this file. I'd prefer it if you linked back to this blog if you want to share! Thanks :)

Thursday, June 2, 2016

Coloring Books & Christmas... in June. It happens.

I'm thrilled that this Adult Coloring Book is finally finished and available! A group of us from the trading website IllustratedATCs.com created this fun little coloring book to raise money for our website server costs. It's filled with 33 awesome pages of illustrations and designs in many themes from fantasy to flowers to zentangles, animals and more. There are 29 artists involved, including a few visitors to this blog. It's a downloadable and printable PDF, meaning that you will need to print it at home. You can find it in my store if you're interested and it will likely be for sale at some point on Wonderstrange too. Two of my coloring pages are in this one.

I know! I know! It's way too early for Christmas painting, right? I can't help myself. I'm excited already, lol. It's my favorite season of all. Well, maybe that's an exaggeration. I really like Halloween. So totally my second favorite season of all! It's crazy to start this early but since this is an illustration set, I have to get a move on and have it ready for all of the lovely designers out there. Hence, Christmas in June!

And finally, a Throwback Thursday, but not me. It's art from years ago! I bought this most amazing handmade watercolor book and I meant it to be my special mixed media art journal. And yeah, we all know how that goes. Many of you know how hard it is to fill an art book or a sketch book. It's like this impossible goal way out there, years in the future, "One day you will be able to fill an entire sketchbook! One day!" I'm still not there yet. Some of my sketchbooks have been around longer than my kids. So yes, this is a book I really need to finish. I started it 6 years ago. Maybe this is the year. SIGH. I don't even believe myself anymore.

Happy PPF and happy weekend!

Thursday, May 26, 2016

Juggling Tribbles

Star Trek has long been one of my favorite shows. I used to watch the original series as reruns when I was a kid though I'm old enough to have watched all of Star Trek TNG when it first came out on TV. I still binge watch it now and again, plus all of the other series too. And I'm ridiculously excited for the new version coming to TV in 2017. WOO! This set of Star Trek ATCs features the always fuzzy and cute little tribbles along with the original series cast. These were marker and ink. I would like a tribble, but only one... like that's possible, lol.

Here's a bright summery set of watercolor daisies, one of my fave flowers. I think I have just about every color in my garden. Ok, maybe that's a slight exaggeration, but there are a lot of them out there. This set is available in my store with pretty wreaths and other arrangements, and on Creative Market and Etsy too.

Happy long weekend! Happy PPF too :)

Thursday, May 19, 2016

Cats in sweaters, blue birds and rock icons.

Happy Friday! My favorite day of the week. This means the end of the work week and the beginning of weekend fun (unless housework is involved of course). On Fridays, it's either pub night where I get to drink a couple of cold beers with people I enjoy or it's all you can eat sushi at a local restaurant. Yum and yum. Either one makes me happy.

I made this set of rock icon ATCs for an art present exchange on one of the trading sites I belong to. I forgot to post them a while back so here they are - Hendrix, McCartney, Bob Dylan and Janis Joplin in watercolor and ink. Speaking of classic rock, I just finished watching that Tom Petty documentary on Netflix today. OMG... four hours! It was like a Ken Burns series in movie form. Two hours in and I looked down to see how much was left and it was only halfway through. LOL.

I wish I could put a cute little hand knitted winter sweater on my grumpy cat though I think she'd probably take out one of my eyes if I tried. But I can paint little sweaters on cats and that's the next best thing. I do love cats, even my grumpy little ball of dramatic fur. This set of watercolor illustrations is available in all of my stores.

I painted this set of whimsical folk birds last week and have sorted it into a set of PNGs for all of you lovely designers out there. This one was a lot of fun to make too. There's something about cute animals that makes me happy. You can't be sad when you're looking at a kitten or a puppy can you?