How To: Ombré Watercolor Heart (and free printables!)

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I like to think that homemade Valentines never lose their charm. After all, mama loves it because you made it, right? And my husband is just as happy - if not happier - if I bake him cookies rather than buying a box of chocolates. So whether you're looking for a sweet-not-hokey card or a just little handmade touch, I've got a quick(ish) and easy tutorial for ya!

Supplies:

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Step 1

Lightly sketch your heart outline with your pencil. There's no shame in using a folded and cut-out heart to trace if you want! This is your art; if it's neat and even or jaunty and outside the lines, you do you!

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Step 2

Prep your watercolor. If you're starting fresh, squeeze a dollop into the well. Use your brush to add water until the well is about halfway full. Be sure to mix well and get all the clumps out! Clean your brush in the water cup.

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Step 3

Dipping your brush into the water, "paint" the water all throughout your heart shape. You may need to add more as the paper dries in the next steps.

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Step 4

Dip your brush a few times in your paint and put it to paper starting where you want the darkest point to be. The paint will flow throughout the water but spread that stuff around! As you drag the paint in the direction of your lightest point, the paint will thin and get lighter.

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Step 5

Keep layering water and paint until you have the look you want! You can run a slightly wet brush over areas that seem a little too starkly contrasted to blend the layers together. If your paper starts to buckle too much, let it dry out for a bit before layering more paint/water on it. It may take a few rounds but remember that imperfections are part of what make handmade items so precious.

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Step 6

Let dry! Once the paint is totally dry, you can run an eraser over the pencil lines. It may not pick it all up but that adds to the homemade charm.

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Optional

If you want, you can use an art or scrapbooking pen to add a sweet nothin' to your heart!

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Now you've got a sweet handmade painting to give to your honey (or your mama - you know she'd love it!).

But just in case you're in a crunch or want all the look of something homemade without getting messy, I've made this heart into printables, with or without text. Happy (almost) Valentine's Day, y'all!