It is hard to believe we are already in to the month of December! Yet here we are, and for many of us, we have lots of gift wrapping and Christmas parties to attend throughout the next few weeks. Each year I like to take a little extra time wrapping a few gifts to make them look special. Of course, I don’t do this for any of my kids since they open their gifts in 2 seconds. One way I like to make a gift look pretty and extra special is to have a handmade looking gift tag on top. So today I am going to show you how to create a few different DIY watercolor gift tags. Here are the materials you will need.
- Watercolor Paints: I use Daniel Smith watercolor paint tubes, but any kind you have will work fine.
- Watercolor brushes: For this project I used a variety of brushes depending of the style of gift tag. I used a 0 and #1 round as well as a #6 round.
- Palette to mix paint
- Bowl or cup of warm water
- Molotow Art Masking Liquid Pump Marker 2.0 mm : I purchased mine at Hobby Lobby using their 40% off coupon.
- White blank gift tags
- Twine or ribbon
Steps to making your own gift tags: Using Masking Liquid
- Take your white blank gift tag and use the Molotow marker to write out the word or words that you would like to be white. The Molotow marker is similar to a paint marker in the sense that you have to pump it first to allow the liquid to move down to the tip of the marker. What comes out is blue masking fluid that acts as a shield on your paper and preserves the white area underneath.
I love writing in cursive, so I just free handed the word “peace”. You could also write out your word/s in pencil first and then use the Molotow to trace over your pencil lines.2. Once the masking fluid is dry, you can add a graded watercolor wash on the tag overtop of the masking fluid. A graded watercolor wash is a watercolor technique where the color goes from dark to light. You can achieve this look by adding water to the paint mixture as you progress the wash down the paper. It will look like the color is gradually getting lighter. You will often see this technique used when one is painting a sky using watercolor. If you aren’t familiar with this technique, I would recommend that you practice on a piece of scrap paper before painting your tag.
- To create a graded wash you will fill your brush with a good amount of paint and water.
- Paint each line in the same direction (from left to right, for example), and be sure your lines are close enough together to touch. This will ensure that each individual brushstroke will flow into the next, creating that seamless, graded appearance.
- Each brush stroke should have less pigment/color than the one before. To do this, you will dip your brush into a clean bowl of water after each brushstroke. This will allow the color in your brush to become less and less saturated.
Here is an example of a graded wash I have done on a scrap piece of watercolor paper.Having practiced the technique, you are now ready to add the wash to your gift tag.
3. Once the paint is dry, gently rub off all of the masking fluid with your finger.
4. After you have removed all of the masking fluid you are ready to attach your tag to your gift.Another way you can create your gift tag is to do some hand-lettering using a small round brush. Here I am using a 0 and #1 round. I started off by penciling in the words and then went over the pencil with the watercolor. After the paint has dried you can erase any pencil marks you see.