Want to get creative for the holiday season? This easy DIY watercolor Christmas card is so simple, cute, and fun that I think you’ll want to make more than one!
It’s beginner-friendly, too, so if you want to try your hand at painting your own festive cards, this is the tutorial for you.
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I shared this wreath painting idea on Instagram last year and lots of people loved it, so I thought I’d do a full tutorial on my blog.
The supplies you’ll need
Here are the supplies you’ll need for this DIY wreath card:
- A small, round paintbrush (size 4 or 6)
- Watercolor paper, or a pre-made watercolor card
- Watercolor paints (brown, green, blue, & red)
- Metallic gold watercolor, or a gold pen
- A pencil
You can use pre-folded watercolor cards if you prefer, like these ones by Strathmore, but it’s also easy to cut and fold your own cards using a sheet of watercolor paper.
Below is a list of the exact supplies I used, but you can follow along with whatever you already have.
- Princeton Heritage round size 4 brush
- Strathmore watercolor paper
- Master’s Touch watercolor tube paints (from Hobby Lobby)
- “Gatsby Gold” handmade metallic watercolor paint
The gold paint is optional, but it’s what makes the card look extra special! A gold paint pen or gel pen would work just as well.
For the other colors, you’ll need a brown branch color, sap green leaf color, a light blue-gray color (diluted with water), and bright berry red.
Once you’ve gathered your supplies, watch the video tutorial below to paint your own holiday wreath card! (It’s a little fast-paced, so pause or repeat whenever you need to.)
If you prefer to read, just keep scrolling.
Making a card with watercolor paper
First, choose the card size you want to make. I made 5×5″ and 4×4″ cards, since the round wreath looks best on a square card.
You can easily cut your own cards from a larger sheet of watercolor paper. I cut mine from an 11″ x 15″ sheet out of a watercolor paper pad.
The paper I used is 130lb Strathmore watercolor paper, but I’ve also made them using 140lb Canson paper. I wouldn’t make cards out of anything thicker than that.
With a ruler and paper cutter, cut your desired card size and fold it in half. Make sure the right side of the watercolor paper will be on the outside of the card – it just looks better!
A bone folder is very handy for creasing the thick fold.
How to paint a watercolor Christmas wreath
I have so much fun painting these because they’re so simple! All you need to do is paint lines, circles, and basic leaf shapes.
The wreath can be as minimal or as full as you’d like. If you’re new to painting leaves, just outline a leaf shape with the tip of your brush and fill it in.
Here are the steps to painting this cute little holiday wreath:
- Use a pencil and any round object to lightly trace a circle onto the front of the card.
- With a brown color and small paintbrush, go over the penciled circle with thin lines, adding small branches coming out from both sides all around.
- Using green, paint small leaves onto each little branch around the wreath. Try to make the leaves look more natural by painting them in slightly different directions.
- Mix a blue-green color and lighten it with water. Use it to add circle shapes in varying sizes to fill gaps between the leaves.
- With red, paint little dots for berries, sprinkling them evenly throughout the wreath.
- With metallic gold paint, add gold dots around the wreath wherever you’d like.
If there are any visible pencil lines left over, let your painting dry completely before erasing them.
The gold is the finishing touch to add some shine to the wreath! You can use paint and a small brush or a gold pen to sprinkle the dots throughout the wreath.
You could also use it to add an initial to the center, like I did with this card below.
To enhance the watercolor look, try varying the concentration of the colors you use to get lighter and darker hues throughout.
You can easily lighten watercolors by adding water or letting the color run out on your brush as you paint.
And there’s your cute and simple watercolor Christmas card! You can put a greeting inside the wreath or leave it as is.
If you try this, I’d love to see what you create! You’re welcome to send me a picture or tag me on Instagram @byheidigrace.