Put Guests in Their Places with Watercolor Name Cards

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Embellish standard paper name cards with watercolor paints

As a DIYer, one of my favorite things to do is experiment with crafting supplies. Although every now and then one of my harebrained ideas ends up on the crash-and-burn end of the spectrum, there are others that work like a charm, leaving no one more than me as surprised as can be! This project happens to be one such experiment that, lucky for my dinner party guests, worked like a charm.

Print your names onto paper made specifically for watercolor paints

The idea was to create a set of simple tabletop name cards that I could embellish with a bit of watercolor paints. First, though, I needed the right paper. So I picked up a sketch book made specifically for watercolors and ripped a single sheet out. Then, I pulled a sheet of standard-size copy paper from my printer’s tray, traced it onto my watercolor paper and cut it to size. Then I slipped the special paint paper into the printer tray.

Print the names of your guests on paper made specifically for watercolor paints

With my paper prepared and ready to go, I created a template in Word for the name cards. If you want to make your own, download the Austie Bost Rest of Our Lives font by clicking the link and, back in Word, format your document with normal margins and two columns. Type your names in using size 26 font with six returns between the names. Then print the document out on the watercolor paper.

Use a straightedge to create perfect lines to cut out your name cards

After giving the ink about five minutes to dry, I grabbed a straightedge and traced light pencil lines down the middle and between all of the names, allowing for about an inch of blank space above each name. The extra space will then be folded over to create the back of your name cards.

Folded name cards

An inexpensive craft store watercolor set will do the trick just fine

Now for the final step! This is where you can be entirely creative. Dip a small, detail paint brush into a cup of water and then into an inexpensive craft store watercolor set. With a light hand, paint right onto your paper name cards. An important note — don’t paint over the printed names directly. This will make the printer ink run, and your names will no longer be legible.

Paint the edges of the name cards with watercolor paint

More water and less paint will result in lighter pigmentation on the paper, whereas less water and more paint will give you a much darker color. Although each of my name cards turned out differently in terms of color and pattern, I tended to start light and then went back in with darker color around the edges for a layered, dimensional effect.

Layer watercolor paint to achieve a gradient effect

Don’t have time to make up your own template in Word? Email me at dreamgreendiy@gmail.com — I’m more than happy to pass along the file that I created. If you need that font as well, you can download it right here. Cheers!

More water and less paint will result in lighter pigmentation on the paper

Less water and more paint will give you a much darker color

Carrie Waller is the writer, designer and stylist behind the blog Dream Green DIY. Photos courtesy of Carrie Waller.

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