Creating a Happy, Colorful, Handmade Home & life on the shores of lake superior

November 13, 2012

How to Make Rothko-Inspired Hand Painted Note Cards

It turns out that, when given the time, I am the worst postcard procrastinator!  It takes me a week (or month) to buy a postcard, three weeks to write it, another week to find the address of the recipient and now there's a countdown for how many days a postcard will ride around in my purse until I buy stamps.

Ever find there are some tasks you just put off forever?  I am weirdly on top of unpleasant tasks like toilet cleaning and sweater hand-washing (so tedious), but postcard writing?  Lots of dragging of feet on that one.  I don't understand me, because card sending I like!  I have a cupboard full of pretty note cards and they are often actually sent to an unsuspecting loved one (who doesn't love mail that isn't a bill, right?). 

I even made some cards, when I painted my Rothko-inspired paintings.

How to Make Rothko-Inspired Hand Painted Note Cards

After I was done the paintings, I wanted to experiment with some colour combinations because I'm always limiting myself to what will "go" in the townhouse when it comes to my DIY art.  I had bought a pack of completely blank notecards seven years ago and decided it was high time to do something with them.

You could use a heavier paper to make your own cards (here's a neat tutorial for envelopes), or check out a local craft or art supply store for blank ones (they usually come with their own envelopes already made).  I used acrylic paint and made sure not to water it down at all  because I was worried really watery paint might warp the cards.  I just brushed on a few irregular rectangles and, ta da, personalized note cards.  I let them dry for a few days before adding them to my note card stockpile, just to be sure they wouldn't stick to the inside of the envelope or each other.   

How to Make Rothko-Inspired Hand Painted Note Cards
How to Make Rothko-Inspired Hand Painted Note Cards

I love the idea of personalized, hand painted note cards.  You could paint and give a set of these as a gift, or attach one to a present (with maybe a dash of matching paint on the envelope too?).  Picking colours that complement the wrapping paper or gift bag would look so chic, and so thoughtful.  I also think painting cards in berry hues and crisp greens would be a fun, fresh take on holiday cards.  Or forget the presents and holidays, and just send one to someone who needs a little pick me up.  Think a little about the colour palette, though.  Baby poo brown might not be the heartfelt "thinking of you," message I was hoping to send.

How to Make Rothko-Inspired Hand Painted Note Cards

Just don't wait for one of these hand painted cards from me because I might be weeks away from finding a post office . . .


  1. Love this idea for gifts. I have a whole rubbermaid tote just filled with paint and this is the perfect craft for them! Also, Michaels often has great sales on heavy cards/envelopes that I think would work well for this DIY. I posted a photo and link back to your blog on my Tumblr Holiday Crafts Blog.

    1. Awww, thanks for the link love! Good to know Michael's has these kinds of blank cards. I figured any craft store worth their salt should.

  2. Great minds think alike! I'm in the middle of a hand made note card project myself!


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