Valentine’s day is just around the corner (how is it February already?!) and I love a good reason to make something new and crafty. I have been looking for an excuse to try out making scratch-off paint ever since I read a tutorial on DIY scratch-off cards last year, and valentines seemed like a perfect match. Who doesn’t like a little surprise in their valentine??
Being on a bit of a drawing and hand-lettering kick I decided to draw something out rather than design on the computer. I always feel so much more free with a piece of paper and pen in front of me, don’t you? I had the idea for the sheep first but once I started I just couldn’t stop coming up with new phrase and animal combos. I’m a sucker for a good pun. Once I had all of my ideas sketched out, into the computer they went to get cleaned up and neatly arranged, all ready to be printed out on cardstock and turned into your super awesome valentines. If you love them and want to make a few (or a hundred) for yourself, just go download the PDF file, then follow along with this easy tutorial and you’ll be sending out scratchable love notes in no time!
First up – what you’ll need:
Once you’ve printed out the PDF onto a sheet of cardstock and assembled all of your supplies, start by cutting a small square of contact paper and tracing the hearts onto the contact paper. Make sure to trace onto the shiny surface on the front and NOT onto the paper on the back. The pen may bubble up a bit, but that’s ok, because you will want to cut to the inside of your line anyway. Since the hearts are all hand-drawn they aren’t entirely symmetrical and tracing on the paper side of the contact paper would produce a mirror image, which we don’t want. Once your hearts are traced and cut, peel off the paper backing and smooth them down onto the cards. I like to use the back of a pair of scissors to make sure that all the bumps and bubbles are out.
After all the hearts are prepared it’s time to mix the paint. This is not an exact science but you want to use about two parts paint to one part dish soap – I used one part red, one part white paint to make a bright pink. When applying the paint to the hearts I like to go a bit outside the contact paper and onto the cardstock. That way if your recipient gets carried away with the scratching you know there will still be an outline of the heart left around the edge that they won’t be able to take off. It’s best to apply the paint in thin, even layers. You’ll probably need a few coats (between three and four depending on what color you use), so make sure to let them dry thoroughly before moving on to the next
Once the first coat is on, go and grab a quick coffee and admire your work so far – looking good isn’t it? Make sure not to move on until the paint is fully dry to the touch or it will take longer for the next coats to dry as well.
Once you’ve finished all the coats of paint and everything is dried, it’s time to cut apart your cards. Scissors will work just fine but I prefer to use an exacto blade and straight edge for an extra clean look.