The somethings pretty have arrived!
Exhibit a. The friendship bracelet. If you went to camp when you were young, or were in girl scouts, you likely spent a summer or two knotting up endless yards of embroidery floss into friendship bracelets. If you were like me, you never went to camp, and spent about six months as a girl scout, so you never properly learned how to make the bracelets. Mine always curled in on themselves and were unsuitable to distribute to my friends. I’ll spare you the pictures.
But thanks to the internet, and learning that double-knotting prevents curling, I have been able to fulfill my eleven-year-old self’s dream. A proper friendship bracelet to give to a proper friend.
No longer camp crafts of yore, friendship bracelets are back in a big way.
(I secretly enjoy the braided tails more than the bracelet itself!)
Exhibit b. A handmade card (in which to send the friendship bracelet to my friend).
(This is actually the envelope.)
Looks familiar, right? You might’ve noticed the “hello friends” sign a few posts down. Using Inkscape I had applied a watercolor filter over a colorful image and clipped out the lettering. I liked the result so much I also wanted to use the same image for my card. But cutting out a color print-out just didn’t seem right for a handmade card with a handmade gift.
So I did things the semi-digital way.
First things first. I have no idea what to call this project; Watercolor lettering transfer? Tie-dye lettering? Let me know if you have some good ideas.
Things you’ll need:
- access to printer (or fine hand lettering skills)
- blank watercolor cards (or watercolor paper cut to size)
- watercolor pencils
- fine-tip watercolor brush
- soft drawing pencil
- removable tape
In the word processing software of your choice, write out the message or letters you want to transfer in a large, bold font. The font I used for my project (and you’ll notice it used around the site as well) is Lobster by Pablo Impallari. I’m a little in love with it at the moment and am fully convinced that most things look better in Lobster. Lobster lobster lobster lobster. Maybe it’s the cancer in me? Who knows.
Back to the tutorial!
Print out your text. Learn from my mistake and make sure you used the handy ruler guide in your word processing software to check the size before you print. We don’t want to waste paper. Ahem.
(This one was too big...)
Pull out your water color pencils. I have cheapies I bought from an office supply store. You might want to do a test transfer first to make sure the ones you have will work. Scribble blocks of colors on the reverse side of your print out. Pick a color scheme or don’t. Go crazy. Just make sure you’re pressing the pencil down hard. You want lots of color.
A work of art by itself, no?
Position your script (with the colored scribbles on the back) onto the paper you’re transferring to and tape it down securely. You really don’t want it to move around. Once it’s in place, carefully outline the letters and fill them in with a soft drawing pencil. Press down hard with your pencil to make sure the color on the reverse transfers to your watercolor paper. When you’re done peek under the paper to make sure everything looks good. If things are to your liking, remove the tape and piece of paper.
Now read closely, this step is important. Check the outside of your palm and make sure you’re not harboring any graphite smudges. Believe me, you’ll cry if you mess up your just-about-to-be-watered image with big black smears from your palm.
Did you wash your hands? Good. Now with a wet watercolor brush carefully go over the colored portions to lightly blend the colors together. You can stay in the “lines” for a crisp look, or brush out and let the water bleed for a more casual look.
A little water goes a long way.
I did the back of the envelope, too.
Once it’s dry you’re done! Slap a stamp on it and send it off to a friend!