Valentines Day is this Sunday, get out the paper and make some cards! Lots of cards that I see in stores are too mush, too crude (we all know “fart” rhymes with “heart” but that doesn’t mean it has to be on a Valentine’s card). I’ve always preferred hand-made cards to purchased ones, and I prefer cards that are a little different. Most of all, I like original art–pieces I think up and make myself. It’s a little harder than assembling cards, but it’s more satisfying as well.
Yesterday we did the Valentine Tree Card. today we’ll do the Mosaic Heart Card.
In this case, the cards are green, too. Not the color, but the pieces are cut from watercolors that didn’t work out. Watercolor paper is expensive and recycling it for cards is a good way to save paper and money.
Steps to make Mosaic Heart card:
1. Choose a good quality watercolor paper. Cheap paper will curl and fold, and won’t look like a card. I used 140-pound cold press Arches paper. I work small size pieces, so I purchased a 9 x 12 block, folded it once to 4.5″ x 12 inches and cut it in half so I had two cards 4.5″ x 6″. I trimmed a bit more off to make the top (where it came off the block) smooth.
2. Using a #6 watercolor brush, I applied a blue wash over the top two-thirds of the card. You want the wash to be uneven, it gives a more interesting background. You do not need to be a watercolor expert, or even talented, to get it right. Apply a blue-purple wash on the bottom third. You don’t need to be precise. An interesting background makes for a visually interesting card. Dry the piece of paper completely.
3. Paint another piece of paper with a red wash. You want to get different shades of red into the piece, so don’t be shy using and mixing color. Let it dry before cutting.
In my case, I took a disaster painting that had red in it and used it. Cut out strips and then cut the strips into smaller squares and rectangles. They should not be even. Put the pieces in a shallow dish to keep them together.
4. Fold a piece of lightweight paper (copier paper is fine) in half lengthwise. Trace have a heart on it, starting at the fold. Cut out the heart and unfold it. This is your heart stencil.
5. Using an HB pencil, and your heart stencil, lightly draw a heart shape starting about an inch from the top of the card, in the center of the card front. Tilt the heart slightly for a more interesting effect.
6. Pour glue onto a folded piece of paper, making a puddle about the size of a dime. Using a cheap watercolor brush, paint the glue on the edge of the heart drawing, no more than the size of a postage stamp.
7. Working quickly, touch the tip of the glue brush to a piece of red paper, and stick it onto the glue area. Start by working at the edge of the heart. Keep the pieces close to the edge without going over. If some of the pencil outline shows, it’s fine. Work close to the edge, keeping the pieces close to each other. Once the outline is done, you can work toward the middle. The pieces don’t need to touch. I had one piece that had a white stripe in it. I placed it so it formed the edge of the dip in the heart. This adds visual interest to the piece, but it is not necessary.
8. When the heart is all filled in, put a few pieces around the top and bottom to give the illusion that the piece is moving. Let dry completely.
9. When the glue is dry, put the card between two pieces of wax paper and press it between heavy books overnight. You can either make and envelope or simply buy one that is a bit larger than the card.
10. To make an envelope, trace around the card, leaving about 1/4 inch of space around it. Over the center of each side put a dot about three inches up. Draw a line from the dot to each corner of the outline. Before you cut, make sure the flaps will cover the card completely. Adjust as necessary.
You can also purchase mailers or save envelopes from cards sets that left you with a spare envelope.
Write a message inside that links the illustration with a loving thought.
You make my life come together with love
Your love fills my heart
My heart is filled with pieces of your love
–Quinn McDonald is a raw art journaler who like playing with paper of all kinds.
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