Handmade Christmas Card: Santa Believe Design

Here is a handmade Christmas card idea that is cute and fun to do. There are 2 drawing designs and complete detailed instructions in the tutorial download linked in the steps below. 

Each design fits on a 5x7 watercolor card in portrait format. I've painted 3 different designs and shown them above to inspire your own ideas.  This Santa-Believe idea is one of my favorite Christmas thoughts, as it reminds me of how I felt on Christmas eve when I was little.

The handmade Christmas card can be done in watercolor paint or with watercolor pencils. (You can also use markers or colored pencils, but since this is a watercolor site, I tend to focus on watercolor tools, hehe.)  

Supplies Needed to Complete This Card:

For your convenience, there are links to some of these supplies in the Resources section below.

  • Strathmore watercolor card, 5x7 size
  • Sheet of watercolor paper (optional)
  • Painter's or masking tape
  • Pencil and kneaded eraser
  • Graphite paper or a light table
  • Watercolor paint and/or watercolor pencils in these colors:  Light pink, dark pink, pine or sap green, a cool red, a warm scarlet red, flesh pink, light gray, dark gray, black, Dr. Ph Martin’s bleed proof white, or white gouache, or thinned white acrylic paint.
  • Watercolor brushes (any medium sized round with a point that you like will work)
  • Clean jar of water
  • Permanent Sakura Micron or other similar brand of markers to draw and darken lettering.
  • Larger permanent black or navy blue marker for design with dark background. I used an Arteza Everblend marker, but any kind would work.

How to Paint This Handmade Christmas card 

Below are the general steps to complete this handmade Christmas card. Download the complete kit for detailed instructions and traceable drawings.

  1. Choose the design you like from the download file. Print out that page on your printer, making sure to set the page size to actual size.  
  2. Using either graphite paper or a light trace device, trace the image onto the front of a 5”x7” watercolor card. 
  3. Once the image is on the card, tape the card down to a sturdy surface to minimize buckling when you paint. 
  4. Using the kneaded eraser, lighten your pencil drawing so it won't show through the transparent watercolor paint.
  5. Paint or color the image in the stages discussed below. Make sure to allow for the drying time in between stages. 
  6. To start, paint or color in a light shade of red over Santa’s cap, making sure to leave the “furry” markings of the white trim and puff ball visible.
  7. Next, paint or color Santa’s face with a very light wash of pink or flesh pink. Allow the card to dry. 
  8. Then using light gray, color in the beard markings to give an illusion of shading in the beard. Use light gray to edge around the white trim and puff ball on the hat, making sure to leave the ‘furriness” apparent.
  9. Allow the card to dry completely.  Paint in Santa’s eyes and glasses. Use light gray to give his eyes a little shadowing at the top of the eyeball.
  10. Now paint in the holly leaves, using a darker green for one side of each leaf. Allow the card to dry.
  11. Paint in the holly berries with scarlet red, leaving a lighter center circle to denote a highlight. Allow the card to dry.
  12. Once the card is dry, use the Micron markers and follow the pencil marks to draw in and darken the lettering.  
  13. Allow the ink to dry completely, then use the kneaded eraser to remove any pencil marks left.  
  14. Include any finishing touches you desire.

Once you are done, remove the tape around the card.  Voilà, you have a finished Christmas card, ready to send!

And If you like the card you create, you can have copies made at Vistaprint! Click the logo below to check out this great company.  I buy my business cards and postcards from Vistaprint and the service is great.


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