Holiday Envelope Address Art Series: Technique #2

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Happy Monday!  Technique #2 is here to help you kick off the new week.

Today's envelope was inspired by memories of when I was younger and my family went to the Christmas Tree Farm to cut down our tree.  The drive up the hill to the parking lot and once you were there, being greeted with trees strung with bright lights, setting the mood to find your perfect tree!

Here's the envelope I'll be sharing today:

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This envelope's main technique is watercolor; therefore, I would recommend using a watercolor cardstock for your envelope base.  If you are able to locate already-made watercolor envelopes, you're good to go!  If not, please refer to the steps I showed in the Technique #1 Video on how to use an Envelope Punch Board to create an envelope out of your desired material: Click HERE to view these steps!

If you just want to watch the video tutorial, scroll all the way to the bottom now!

WHAT YOU'LL NEED

Plus,

  • Paper Towel
  • Pencil
  • Eraser
  • Assorted Brushes (I used a variety of brands that were Round No. 1's) to pick up the different colors for the trees || OR..use a water cup and clean off in between each color with just one brush :)

Step By Step Instructions for this Envelope (VIDEO below!)

*If you're looking for the video tutorial only...keep scrolling to the bottom!*

1.  Create watercolor cardstock envelope with Envelope Punch Board or grab an already made watercolor envelope to use! [Refer to the first blog post/technique for step by step instructions and video on how to use this Envelope Punch Board!] 

2.  Using a pencil, lightly sketch the location of your trees.  These only need to be a basic triangular shape so don't be nervous to just let that inner artist out!  Be sure to plan ahead with the names and address you'll be writing in between the trees later so that you have spaced your trees apart enough.

3.  Watercolor time! Prep the watercolors that you'll be using so they're ready to go - that may mean adding water to the pan it's in or doing what I did and taking Distress Inks and applying them to my craft mat to pick up with the brush.  "Smoosh" each Distress Ink cube onto the mat and then apply a small spritz of water from your Distress Sprayer or similar.  I decided to use a different brush for each color but if you have a clean and dirty cup nearby, you could just use one brush and make sure you're cleaning inbetween each color.  Finally, create a small area on your mat of clean, clear water.

4.  First, you'll pick clean, clear water and fill in the triangular trees that you've sketched one at a time.  The overall look of this piece is to have all of the colors blend together into a tie-dye look of sorts. Because of that, it doesn't really matter if you wait for each tree to dry completely before adding color to any of the trees that touch it.  In no particular order, drop in the different green colors all throughout your trees and be patient! They may look weird and not attractive right away but there's something about dried watercolor that makes things come together and I think you'll love it in the end!

5.  Set the trees aside to dry on their own at least for some time before introducing a heat gun. The pressure of the air coming from the heat gun right away would move the colors all around and make them mix a little too much right off the bat.  Next, we're going to add some color to a scrap piece of watercolor cardstock that will become the main focal point of the envelope - a banner for the recipient's name to be hung across the trees.  My piece of watercolor measured 1"x3" but you can make yours work to span whatever the distance is between your trees you've drawn.  I used a red Distress Ink (named Barn Door) to sponge on some color from the edges in so that the darkest color was at the edge and it left a bit of a highlight in the center of the banner.

6.  Take a permanent black marker - I used a Faber Castell Pitt Artist Pen "1,5" to write out the name of the family receiving this envelope.  You could pick any style here but I went with a simple Serif and added bit of interest by combining some lowercase letters with some uppercase.

7.  Now that the trees are fully dried, we're going to outline them in black and add the tree trunks!  I used the same Faber Castell black marker to outline all of the triangular trees and then I used a darker brown Tombow Dual Brush Pen for the trunks and a lighter brown Tombow Dual Brush Pen to ground the trees with some light feathered strokes at the base of the trunks.  This way, the trees won't look like they're floating!  I also followed up with a water brush to soften the look of the light brown 'ground' underneath the trees and then hit the envelope with the heat gun to make sure all the moisture was gone.

8.  Next, it's time to adhere the banner we've made and then sketch/pen in the address for this envelope!  I adhered the banner with Tombow Mono Permanent Tape Runner between two of the trees in the back.  Then I took a pencil to sketch out the address and how it would fit between the trees in the foreground.  I went with a more stacked look to this address so that it would fit and I coupled both San Serif styles with monoline Script.  I knew that I wouldn't be able to fit the entire word "Connecticut" in the space I had so I opted to abbreviate and then box the abbreviation.

9. Now for embellishments!  First I took a pencil to sketch out where I wanted my string of gold lights to be placed.  The look I was trying to achieve was one where all of the trees were connected and also had some string of lights winding around them as well.  After finishing the pencil sketch, I took a finer tip permanent black pen (the Pilot Envelope pen) and traced my penciled in strings.  I also then added small rectangular shapes along the string, on each side, to act as the base of the 'lightbulb.'  The lightbulbs then were drawn on with a Deco Color Liquid Gold Paint Pen (Extra Fine point).  Finally, I added a gold highlight to the Harris Name banner by putting a line down the center of the thicker downstroke.

10.  After assembling the envelope by folding in the flaps and applying some Tombow Mono Permanent Tape Runner to the side flaps, the final step is to seal this puppy up so it will be waterproof through the post!  I used a product called Distress Glaze by Ranger and all you need is a small amount on your fingertip to be spread over the areas of the envelope where ink or watercolor was used.  

Thanks so much for following along and I'll be back on Wednesday with Technique #3 and #4!  

Have a great Tuesday, friends!

Molly

 

Technique #2: THE VIDEO