Transforming Our World Through The Arts

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Once upon a time in a place much like this one, people wrote messages on pieces of paper and sent them to each other in something called THE MAIL. It brought sheer joy to people when they went to their MAIL BOXES and received one of these messages from a loved one. During special occasions, like Christmas and Birthdays, they would get LOTS of these special messages, and it filled their hearts with Peace and Love. No, the messages didn’t come with moving pictures, animation or even music! But they came from the heart, and that’s what made them so special. (Sigh).

Years ago, before I had children (and just until they became toddlers) I used to make hand made cards for Christmas. It brought me TONS of joy, drinking tea or candy cane hot chocolate, listening to Christmas music and creating under the lights of the Christmas tree.

And then the kids became toddlers, and well that song and dance ended for a while! But alas, they have grown even more, and I find myself longing to INFUSE magic back into the holidays by bringing myself (and my loved ones) joy!

So for any of you who are looking to CREATE some MEANING this season, here is a simple tutorial on how you can use a stamping technique to make beautiful cards for your loved ones this season.

P.S. This is one simple technique, but I’ve done things in the past such as cut simple pictures out of magazines or old Christmas cards, added a simple text and SHAZAM! Clean and simple. I have also done mixed media like using watercolour and decorative paper when I had more time-whatever toots your horn!

For now, a simple print making technique. Enjoy!

You Will Need:

  1. Cardstock or Heavy Paper (I forgot my Image!) Keep it flat and simple for printmaking.
  2. Acrylic Paint in your favourite holiday colours. You don’t have to get fancy; these are from the dollar store.

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3. Evergreen Leaves/Needles. I used Cedar. It works well because of the contrast of positive/negative space. You could try pine if you’re brave, or any other leaf that suits the holiday. (Note cardstock I found at Staples)

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4. Several pieces of wax paper cut into sizes to fit your leaves/needles. (If you find a  more environmentally friendly way to do this let me know, but the wax paper helps it to keep from smudging). Re-use as much as possible.

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5. A palette of some sort (plastic, tile, paper, anything flat to put your paint). I have old floor tiles I use.

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6. A roller or paintbrush to roll out your paint, and embellishments (glitter, markers, stickers, stamps etc.) BUT REMEMBER, LESS IS MORE! (See image above)

To Create:

Step 1. Squirt small amount of paint on your palette

(About the size of a quarter). **NOTE: Do NOT put them close together like I did…the other colours get on the wax paper when you are trying to press your leaf into just one colour. I did the learning for you. You’re welcome.20151123_135005

Step 2. Roll your paint out to the size of your leaf or use a paint brush to spread it.

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Step 3. Set your leaf onto your paint.

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Step 4. Cover your leaf with a piece of wax paper and press gently or roll with roller.

Make sure you get the corners and edges. The wax paper will pick up the excess paint, this reducing risk of smudging.

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Step 5. Gently pull off paper and set your leaf onto your cardstock where you want your print to go.

(Find a small piece sticking up to grab and YES-you will get paint on your fingers!)

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Step 6. Cover your leaf with a clean piece of wax paper and gently press down, again remembering the corners and edges.

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Step 7. Pull off the wax paper and leaf, and Voila! There’s your print.

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Now, repeat the process, playing with colours and overlapping, but remember just to put a few on your card-you don’t want it to look cluttered. It loses its magic then!

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BELOW: CLUTTERED

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Also note: Here is where you add your Wording and Embellishments. I would use red glitter to add a few berries to the first image (Not the cluttered one), but my glitter is still in my classroom at school. 

For lettering, I tried stamp plus paint. I will NOT be using that technique unless I find a better way to do it (it showed up too uneven- blobby in some places, barely visible in others.) In the past I just used fancy gold pens or markers and handwriting. They might not have been perfect, but everyone loved them (Oh yeah, I forgot to mention how EVERYONE complained when I stopped sending these babies).

So there you have it. Have some fun making your own cards this year. And I expect to see some in the mail 😉

Love and Light,

Monarch Mariposa

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