Easy DIY Watercolor Christmas Cards to Make

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Make these easy DIY watercolor Christmas cards to give to your loved ones. These simple designs are perfect for beginner painters, but still beautiful enough to share with others.

Get a printable template at the bottom of the post.

You might also like this post on affordable watercolor gifts for artists.

pin image - collage of Christmas paintings with watercolor

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Looking for more Christmas cards ideas? I just wrote a post with 5 more fun ideas!

DIY Watercolor Christmas Cards

Supplies Needed:


If you’ve never painted with watercolor paint, the most important thing to know is to let each layer dry before the next layer.

The other important thing to know is that watercolor paper is necessary to get the best color pigmentation and to prevent the paper from warping.

Hand-Lettered “Merry”

Hand-lettering sounds much harder than it is. But it’s pretty easy.

If you still feel uncomfortable hand-lettering it, you can print the word and trace it with carbon paper. Look for a font that is thick for best results.

  1. Use a ruler to draw light guidelines. using ruler to draw guidelines for hand lettering
  2. Find the center of the page.
  3. Find the center of your word. In “Merry,” it is the 1st R.
  4. Write the word lightly using the guidelines. Start with the center letter to make sure that all of the letters fit properly. paper with "merry" penciled on it
  5. Draw each letter. I find it easier to hand-letter if I break each letter into rectangles. Make sure that each rectangle is about the same thickness.drawing block lettering that says "merry"
  6. Erase as much of the drawing as possible, so that you can still see it. Remove any stray lines. using kneaded eraser to remove pencil drawing
  7. Start filling in each letter. I start by outlining a portion and use the brush to pull the color into other areas. Line as you go. using watercolor paint to fill in hand lettering
  8. I used 3 colors, alternating on the letters. watercolor card with "merry" hand-lettered on it
  9. Optional: Add a fun look with paint spatter. Water down the paint and load it onto the brush. Tap it against your hand. Repeat as needed. paint spatter on hand lettered card that says "merry"

Christmas Wreath

This wreath is easier painted with a small paintbrush. I used a #2 and #0 Round.

  1. Lightly draw a circle. (I always find a glass or a roll of tape to trace.)lightly drawn circle on paper
  2. Lightly erase the circle.
  3. Draw in 5 circles for ornaments that are equally spaced around the circle.5 small circles drawn on bigger circle
  4. Paint the ornaments, alternating colors. painted ornaments on circle
  5. Use brown paint to start adding in the stems for the pine needles. They’re just curved lines, equally spaced around the wreath. (The full tutorial for painting leaves and pine needles can be found here.)painted circles and stems on wreath base
  6. Use a light green to add lines for the pine needles. adding pine needles to stems of painted wreath
  7. Add a 2nd layer of darker green to add depth. adding darker green pine leaves to painted wreath
  8. If there are any bare areas, add more pine needles.

Christmas Lights

  1. Sketch out your lights and cords. The lights are ovals with a fatter base. The caps are just rectangles. The cord is a curvy, looped line that connects each light. sketch of christmas lights
  2. Erase as much pencil as possible.
  3. Paint the lights, leaving small white triangles of white paper to show the reflection.
  4. Paint the cord green. (I mixed phthalo green and yellow to get this green.) It’s easier to pull the paintbrush towards you than push it away from you. Turn the paper if you need to. painted light bulbs and cord of christmas lights
  5. Once the lights are dry, paint in the caps with the same green paint. watercolor painting of christmas bulbs
  6. Let everything dry and add a layer to each lightbulb to add a shadow. watercolor christmas lights with shadows on bulbs

Christmas Tree

If you don’t want to “decorate” the tree, you can leave smaller gaps between the rows of branches on the tree.

  1. Use the tip of the brush to make lines forming a small triangle. painting top of christmas tree
  2. Use this same method for the next 2 rows of branches, leaving white space between them. painting christmas tree layers
  3. Use the same method to paint a brown tree trunk.
  4. Use yellow paint to paint a circle around the top of the tree.painting light at top of christmas tree
  5. Dilute the paint and add rounded lines around the circle to create the illusion that the tree is lit. adding lines around circle at top of tree to make tree look lit up
  6. Add colorful circles in the white spaces to represent ornaments. watercolor painted christmas tree with colorful ornaments
  7. Optional: Add another layer of branches to the tree in a darker paint color.

Fun Designs for Edges

Optional idea: Add frames to the edges of the card. These ideas are pretty self-explanatory.

watercolor designs to frame card designs

Christmas Card Template

These downloads are for personal use only. Please do not redistribute or sell.

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Christmas Card Template

line drawings for Christmas cards

Get Even More Christmas Card Ideas!

Get more Christmas card ideas in this new post!

I also have a post on painting ornaments with watercolors.

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pin image - watercolor Christmas cards on table

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