Monday, November 30, 2015

DIY Christmas gifts: dip-dye, marbled paper, and stenciled stationery

Now that Thanksgiving has ended...let the Christmas festivities begin! Christmas is my favorite holiday and I am grateful that we have the freedom to openly celebrate Christ's birth.

A few weekends ago my friend Liz and I made stationery as Christmas gifts. We tried out 3 methods: paper marbling, dip-dye, and watercolored stenciled hearts.

Read on for the how-to's!


Materials needed:
  • shaving cream
  • blank notecards
  • large basin/aluminum tray
  • flat spatula
  • food coloring (liquid or gel)
1. Spray lots of shaving cream into basin
2. Squirt a few drops of food coloring (I used blue) into shaving cream
3. Gently fold the food coloring into the shaving cream, but do not over-fold or the swirls will get diluted into the cream
4. Place notecard onto shaving cream, press down gently so that every part of the paper touches the cream, then lift the card off and use spatula to scrape away all the shaving cream. Pat dry with paper towel and let dry. 

It was SO neat to see how the shaving cream leaves permanent beautiful effortless blue swirls behind on the paper.

You can add multiple colors; I experimented with a small drop of yellow in the baby greeting card at the top of this photo. Stamp the cards with various greetings, or leave blank.

I also dipped the triangle part of the envelopes onto the shaving cream to match the greeting cards. 

The cards only smell like the shaving cream if you hold the card directly under your nose. I definitely avoided the kitchen for the rest of the day because I do not like the smell of Irish Springs shaving cream!

DIP DYE (I followed this tutorial)

  • bowl or basin
  • water
  • acrylic paint 
  • brush to mix the paint into the water
  • calligraphy pen/brushpen/marker/stamp
1. Fill bowl with water
2. Squeeze a few drops of paint in color of choice (I chose red) into water and swirl to mix it around. I ended up adding more paint into the water because the color turned out too light
3. Fold the notecard in half and dip vertically into the bowl of colored water
4. Dab the notecard dry with a clean paper towel, then air-dry
5. After about 30 minutes, place the notecards in the pages of a heavy book to flatten out the card.
6. (optional) I handwrote greetings and a verse from Isaiah 40 using a brush marker.

WATERCOLOR STENCILS (inspired by this tutorial)
  • cardstock or thicker paper to cut out the stencil
  • scissors or Exacto knife
  • watercolor paint and paintbrush
  • calligraphy pen/brushpen/marker/stamp

1. Cut heart shape out of thicker cardstock. I taped the edges with painter's tape so that the watercolor wouldn't bleed out of the heart (Leona Lewis?).
2. Place this "stencil" over blank notecard, and watercolor inside the stencil. I used a gradient or purple into pink.
3. Let dry, then stamp or write greeting of choice.

Here are all of my purply pink watercolor and dip dye greeting cards basking in the sun. 

I like this watercolor ornament that Liz painted! I wrote Merry Christmas across the front of it with a brush pen. 

About 30-40 cards later, Liz tired of all the above methods, so I got to practice my calligraphy on lots of Kraft greeting cards.

It was definitely a very productive Saturday making lots of stationery!