From the Studio: DIY Watercolor Valentine's

Every year I make my own Valentine's. Something about the glue and the glitter and the paint transports me back to the days of elementary school where every one makes a "Valentine Box" and gives EVERY single person in their class a card. (I know some people may think that it's annoying to have to give everyone a card, but I remember seeing how happy and surprised some kids were to get cards and it always made me smile.) And to be honest, unlike a lot of people, I love Valentine's Day. Not the whole "I have to buy you chocolates and a cheap card or else I don't love you" mentality sometimes adopted, but the idea that for one whole day you get to go overboard in showing how much you care about someone. Or someone's. My family is really big on Valentine's Day. Like wake up to a Valentine's Day celebration complete with presents before school kind of big. What can I say, we're saps when it comes to love. Anyhow, back to the point. Given that I make Valentine's every year, I thought I would show you all a creative (and really simple) way to make some for yourself. (I taught this trick to my Alt classes as a test run and it went really well so hopefully it does for you too!)

Step One: Get all of your stuff together. You'll need paper (I wanted an A2 sized card so my paper is 8.5"x5.5" but you can use whatever size you have) a watercolor brush, watercolor paint, a bone folder (or credit card. No reason to buy something you don't absolutely need) masking fluid and an old small paintbrush that you don't care if it gets ruined because it will. If you'd like to feel fancy, feel free to place some glittery hearts around- you know, for the mood.

Step Two: Using your bone folder, fold your paper in half and crease the edges. I did a vertical fold, but horizontal would work well too.

Step Three: Using the brush you're going to ruin, paint a design on your paper using masking fluid. It doesn't need to be super thick, but you'll want to make sure the fluid makes a complete solid layer wherever you place it. I did X's and O's because my parents used to play tic tac toe over the phone when they were dating long distance and I always associate that with love and therefore Valentine's Day.

Step Four: After it has FULLY dried-test with the back of your hand never the front because it will leave oil behind and water and oil don't mix- combine a dime sized amount of watercolor paint with clean water and use that to paint over the entire design.

Step Five: Once the paint is completely dry, take a regular white eraser (or any eraser, I just like that you don't have to worry about color transferring with a white one) gently erase away the masking fluid. It should start acting a lot like rubber cement does when you rub that away. After the entire card is erased clean of masking fluid, dust off any left over residue.

Step Six: Step back and take a moment to admire your handiwork.

See? Super easy. And if you'd like, add some glitter, write a message inside and mail it off to a deserving loved one. I'd suggest in a pretty red or pink envelope because that makes it even more awesome to receive.

All photos copyright of courtney khail stationery and design. Feel free to re-post, but please give credit and be sure to link back to this post.