How to Make DIY Festive Thank You Cards with a Fountain Pen and Inks

When possible, I love to add a personal touch for the holidays and the cards I send out are no different. This year, having gotten into watercoloring, I decided to do something a bit artistic with my cards and design my own. 

Given my penchant for handwritten notes, it would come as no surprise to anyone that I love sending out cards around the holidays and all the more so when I have been able to create a truly unique gift for each recipient.

The beauty of something like this is that you don’t have to be very good at drawing or painting or anything. In fact, there’s a bit of charm when it looks homemade. As with most gifts, it really is the thought that counts and the time you put into it is more valuable than how it looks. So, with that, I thought I would share with you how I went about designing my holiday cards this year!

Step One: Grab your supplies

For this project, you’ll need a few items to begin. Of course, use what’s in your own desk – this is an easily adaptable project to what you have at home!

For me, I went with folding cards from Avery. I was surprised how well they took ink and watercolor paint, so I did not have to use any specialty paper. 

I also included a pencil to trace the design. A fountain pen to outline the final product. And watercolors, but you could substitute ink (I didn’t have any vibrant enough!).

Step Two: Trace your design

Here’s where you can be creative, but I kept it super simple for this tutorial. Use your pencil very lightly and draw a pattern that isn’t too detailed (your ink or watercolor may blend if you get very intricate). I went with a tree for my friends celebrating Christmas and a snowman for those who do not.

Step Three: Paint and Outline

Lightly go over the outlined area with your watercolors or ink and add flourishes where you see fit (as you can see, I added the tree skirt which wasn’t in the original sketch). Allow this to dry completely. Then, use your fountain pen to outline and to add your message on the card.

Step Four: Repeat!

Repeat this process for all the recipients you have on your mailing list and perhaps go one step further and decorate the envelope with fun stickers, washi tape, or a few more holiday-themed doodles to surprise them at the mailbox!

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