Easy Handmade Watercolor Christmas Card Ideas

Are you looking for easy and inexpensive ways to make homemade holiday cards? Here are the best watercolor paint techniques that you can do with your family members! Save money and get creative this holiday season with these 9 simple watercolor Christmas cards.

5 different holiday cards done with watercolor paint.

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What age can make these homemade cards?

These fun and easy cards can be done by any age. The painter’s tape one is a great option for even the youngest artist. Have fun creating and exploring this awesome list of watercolor techniques with the whole family.

Watercolor Christmas tree cards are great because you are working with such a simple shape. However, any of these techniques can be used for all sorts of holidays and other art projects!

If you are into homemade holiday cards, then I am sure you also will want to check out these easy homemade Christmas wrapping paper ideas made from brown paper bags.

Recommended Supplies

Before You Begin

You can prep a lot of materials first by using a small rotary cutter or paper trimmer to make several blank and folded 4 x 6” cards before you begin. These watercolor Christmas tree cards go pretty quickly, so you may want to have several papers ready. 

Use Washable Markers As Watercolor Paint

If you are looking for a simple way to add a little painterly look to your homemade cards or projects, try to use washable markers first. Then use a small brush to add water to some areas to see what happens. 

two different views of Christmas tree card with washable markers.

Just note that this technique really only works well on watercolor paper. Sometimes it will work on heavy drawing paper.

homemade watercolor tree card.

Crayon Resist with Watercolor Paint

This is my all-time favorite watercolor technique to use with elementary-aged children, pre-school aged and younger children! I know that adults will LOVE this too. 

tree drawn in crayon on card on table with watercolor paints.

First, do a drawing using crayons using different shades of green. The harder the crayons are pressed on the more wax will be on the paper.

After the drawing, use watercolor paint and paint on top.

For best results, make sure that the watercolor paint has enough water in it for the technique to work. I tell little kids, if the paint is goopy, then they are not using the paint correctly.

yellow and green crayon drawn tree with watercolor on top.

This watercolor paint technique will also work with oil pastels. They are just a little messier. I highly recommend these oil pastels if you are looking for scholarly oil pastels that will last and have great color saturation.

After this card dries, you could use pen markers to add simple designs, Christmas gifts or decorations.

Repeated Word Design Card

This card was done on a shaving cream marbled background (see another example below). But instead of having a taped Christmas tree, a gold paint marker was used to repeat “Merry” on top. If you made these smaller they also would make simple watercolor gift tags.

No need to be perfect when writing. Have fun adding your personal touch with a special saying or just go with the classic Merry Christmas.

purple and blue background with gold lettering on card in envelope.

Add Salt to Watercolor Paint

This classic watercolor technique is a great technique for a handmade card because the salt gives it a wintery feel. Use bright green colors or different colors, just make sure you are choosing colors that mix well together. No one wants brown Evergreen trees.

Christmas tree card with salt in watercolor.

Wet the watercolor paper first using a brush.  Add the colors of your choice and well the paint is wet sprinkle regular salt onto the painting and see what happens! 

Marbleizing Paper With Shaving Cream and Liquid Watercolor

Everyone will love this process. It can get a little messy, so be aware. You can make really cool papers or tape out a shape first before printing with shaving cream.

Christmas tree card with blue and purple watercolor background.

If you love this look on paper, you will also love how to use spray paint to create a marble flower pot makeover. You truly won’t believe how this DIY project can out!

Use Painter’s Tape Before Watercolor Paint

Here you can find a much more detailed way to use painter’s or masking tape to tape out your design and then add watercolor paint on top.

example of paintings of trees with painter's tape on one side.

I have even done this watercolor painting with each of my children when they have been 1-year-old! I still have them hanging in my house!

Draw With Glue First

Draw a simple tree, Christmas gifts or holiday items with glue first. Let the glue dry then add watercolor paint on top. There is no need to be perfect with this textured painting idea.

Christmas tree card painted with watercolor paint.

Paint A Simple Word

We sure love the word merry. Keeping it all in lowercase and adding a period at the end of the simple design was perfect for this DIY Christmas card.

merry spelled on white card with part of envelope showing.

Zoomed In Watercolor Christmas Tree Card

You could make this a detailed evergreen tree or as simple as you want. That really is the beauty of watercolor paint. Add a few Christmas decorations in your favorite colors and enjoy your simple painting.

hand holding Christmas card with simple branch and ornaments on it.

Oil Pastel Resist Snowflake Card

Use a white crayon or oil pastel to draw snowflakes before painting purple and blue colors. You can add salt while the paint is wet as well. Kids will think there is magic behind these creative cards.

two snowflake cards with watercolor paint.

Other Techniques To Try

There are so many creative ideas you can try when making easy DIY Christmas cards. We like using basic tree shapes, but you can use any holiday subject matter you love.

  • Use clear plastic wrap to add texture to your paintings
  • Wet on Wet Technique: Put water down first and then add colors to let them blend together. Kids love seeing what happens!
  • Use colored sharpies for the main design and add watercolor paint to the background.
4 different watercolor Christmas tree cards.

Follow us on Pinterest, YouTube or Facebook for more DIY inspiration!

Related Holiday Posts

Homemade Christmas cards and gifts are the best! We love when you are able to use your creativity to share a personalized message with family and friends.

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  1. These are beautiful! Brings back memories of making cards with my grandmother.

    1. Thanks, Louise! The memories that are created when doing DIY or art projects is what it is all about.

  2. Jenn Summers says:

    I love these ideas and would never have thought of using shaving cream! These look amazing and that personal touch during the holidays is my absolute favourite!

    1. Thank Jenn! I need to add and update pictures or write a whole new post on using the shaving cream to create a marbled paper! Everyone loves it! I think you can even use it to marbelized Easter eggs!

  3. I love these ideas! A homemade card means so much more, and these won’t be too hard to do either!

    1. Hi Hannah. Thanks. I always love to have homemade cards! I hate spending the money on store-bought ones.

  4. Jasmine Dhillon says:

    Love all of these ideas Erin! They look like a fun time for the whole fam and all ages. Thanks so much for sharing 🙂


    1. Hi Jasmine. Thanks so much for your kind words. Yes, the whole family will love using watercolor paint to celebrate holiday cheer.