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  • Writer's pictureRick Adkins

DIY Watercolor Graduation Cards: Quick & Easy Tutorial!

Updated: Apr 14

Hey there, fellow crafters! With graduation season just around the corner, it's time to roll up our sleeves and get creative. Today, I'm thrilled to share with you a fun and easy tutorial for DIY watercolor graduation cards that are sure to make a splash. So grab your favorite mug of coffee (or tea, if that's more your style), and let's dive in!

DIY Watercolor Graduation Cards Blog Banner

Ah, graduation season—the time when we celebrate the achievements of our loved ones and send them off into the world with a little extra love and encouragement. And what better way to do that than with a handmade card? There's something truly special about receiving a card that's been crafted with care, don't you think?

Well, today, I've got a treat for you. We're going to explore the wonderful world of watercolor painting and heat embossing, two techniques that come together to create stunning handmade cards that are as unique as the graduates themselves. And the best part? It's quick, it's easy, and it's oh-so-satisfying. So let's roll up our sleeves and get started!

Congrats Grad Watercolor Card 1 by Rick Adkins

Heat Embossing with the Hats Off Stamp Set:

First up, let's talk heat embossing. If you've never tried it before, prepare to be amazed. It's like magic, I tell you! And the Hats Off Stamp Set (from Pajama Crafter Stamps) is the perfect companion for this technique. With the Hats Off Stamp Sets adorable graduation-themed images, you'll have everything you need to create cards that are as cute as they are heartfelt.

Congrats Grad Watercolor Card 2 by Rick Adkins

So here's how it works: grab your favorite stamp from the Hats Off Stamp Set, ink it up with some WOW Clear Ultra Slow Dry Embossing Ink and stamp it onto your Canson XL Watercolor Paper. Then, sprinkle on some WOW Polished Gold Embossing Powder (I recommend using a metallic color for that extra pop) and shake off the excess. Now, here comes the fun part—heat it up with a heat gun and watch as the powder magically transforms into a glossy, raised image. It's like watching a plain old cardstock come to life before your very eyes!

And the best part? You can get your hands on the Hats Off Stamp Set right now and start creating your own adorable graduation cards. Just click here to add it to your crafting stash and get ready to unleash your creativity like never before!

Congrats Grad Watercolor Cards by Rick Adkins Close Up

Watercolor Underpainting with Distress Inks:

Now that we've got our stamped images all embossed and shiny, it's time to add some color. And what better way to do that than with watercolors? But not just any watercolors—we're talking about Distress Inks. These little gems are like the Swiss Army knives of the crafting world—they can do it all!

Grab your favorite colors (I'm partial to Candied Apple, Mustard Seed, and Prize Ribbon for this project), and let's get painting. Start by applying a wash of plain water over your watercolor cardstock, then drop-in watered-down distress inks in the chosen colors.  This will help in creating a subtle background for your stamped images. Dry the underpainting until completely dry.  Then, layer on more color, blending and mixing until you achieve the perfect shade.

And here's a little tip: don't be afraid to get creative! Experiment with different techniques—splattering, masking, you name it—and see what happens. After all, the beauty of handmade cards lies in their uniqueness, so let your imagination run wild!

Congrats Grad Watercolor Card 1 by Rick Adkins Side View

Personalization and Finishing Touches:

Last but not least, let's add some finishing touches to our cards. This is where you can really let your creativity shine! You can add a handwritten sentiments, a sprinkle of sequins, maybe even a little bit of glitter (because let's be real, who doesn't love a little sparkle?).  But I am going to add a heat embossed sentiment in the same Polished Gold Embossing Powder that I used for the heat embossed on a piece of Pitch Black Cardstock. 

Congrats Grad Watercolor Card 2 by Rick Adkins Front View

And don't forget to personalize your cards for the recipient. Whether it's a heartfelt congratulations or a funny inside joke, a personalized message can really take your card to the next level. So take a moment to think about the graduate and what they mean to you and let that guide your creative process.

Congrats Grad Watercolor Cards by Rick Adkins Over Head View

DIY Watercolor Graduation Cards Video Tutorial:

If you have problems watching the video here on my blog you can always watch it on my YouTube Channel by Clicking here!

(Wondering what I used in this video/project? Everything is linked to multiple sources in the thumbnails at the end of this post, or in the text below. Compensated affiliate links used when possible).

And there you have it, folks—a quick and easy tutorial for DIY watercolor graduation cards that are sure to impress. Whether you're a seasoned crafter or just starting out, I hope you've found some inspiration here today. So go ahead, grab your supplies, and get crafting! And don't forget to share your creations with us on social media—we'd love to see what you come up with.


Happy crafting!

Pin Me:

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DIY Watercolor Graduation Cards Pin

Materials Used:

Here you will find the list of supplies that I used to create today's card. All supplies are linked to supply sources below. Compensated affiliate links may be used at no cost to you.

Happy Stampin'

Rick Adkins

Rick Adkins


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