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DIY Watercolor Postcards

You have an old friend. Or an older relative.

You used to exchange letters. Now you don’t.

Email made everything easier. Too easy. Nobody writes letters anymore.

Well, I got a solution for you. You know how to do watercolors, right? Otherwise, you’re in the process of learning watercolors. That’s why you’re here. I have a watercolor blog and I write everything from how I do skin tones in watercolor to painting watercolor on wood.

Or this could be your first time here. In that case, hi, my name’s Roman and I do fantasy pinup art using a combination of watercolors and gouache.

But let’s get to something really fun. Let’s give that old friend or old relative something to remember. Something to treasure. Something that nobody else knows how to do.

Let’s make DIY watercolor postcards

Easiest thing in the world. You’ll only need your watercolor supplies you already have. You could use pretty much any sized watercolor paper. 140 lb is a perfect thickness for postcards.

This is where it gets super duper simple. I love using 7″x10″ paper:

  1. Whip out your ruler
  2. Measure to get to the middle
  3. Draw a line in the middle with your pencil
  4. You now have two watercolor postcards!

Yes. It’s that simple.

Paint on one side. On the other side, measure once more half and draw a line with pencil. So, on the right side, you’ll stamp and address it. On the left side, you’ll write what you need to write.

Please see IMPORTANT note below if you're using postcard stamps

And of course, sign it “With love, (your name).”

Oh. Don’t forget to stamp it or else the post office won’t deliver it. They’ll be pleasantly surprised to see something done by hand explicitly for them. That’s above and beyond what anyone else does.

You’re now their favorite!

Ideas

Play to your strengths. Except, I’m not exactly going to send a nude pinup postcard through the mail. So, here’s a quick bird I did for Grandma. She loves birds.

DIY watercolor postcards bird
140 lb watercolor paper is perfect for DIY watercolor postcards

Oh, did I mention, Grandma is turning 102 next year? How cool is that?

You can do birds, flowers, dragons, whales, fish, people you know, places, dogs, cats, horses, unicorns, fairies, a vase with several flowers, a country house, a castle, or even a musical instrument. The possibilities are endless.

Since these are small works though, keep it simple. I’d keep it to one item and a lazy background or none at all.

DIY watercolor postcards back
The US Postal Service has some good looking stamps. Your words go on the left, address and stamps go on the right

IMPORTANT!

There actually is an official size for postcards. I like using 7″x10″ blocks because they’re easy to work with. But, when you split two postcards out of a single watercolor paper, you’ll have to use the standard (full postage) stamps. You can’t use postcard stamps.

These are the rules straight from the USPS site:

  • Rectangular
  • At least 3-1/2 inches high x 5 inches long x 0.007 inch thick
  • No more than 4-1/4 inches high x 6 inches long x 0.016 inches thick

The thing is, I don’t care. We buy standard stamps by the boatload and have zero postcard stamps.

If all you have are postcard stamps, you’re simply going to have to follow their rules and measure accordingly.

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