Christmas cards 2017 – Cactiiiiiiiii

Every year I design a different cards for friends and family for christmas. I think it’s now the fourth year in the row, and I’m pretty proud of myself.

So this is a play on the words with the christmas cactus. It’s a bit of a bad pun, but still I like the way of it.

So how did I start?

I knew that is was a cactus from the beginning, so I tried to doodle around a bit until I finally settled on a shape.


You see how I marked the catcus I wanted, the pot shape and the lights. I than put shape and pot together and choose the combination that looked the best. I scaned it in, printed it and experimented with the light around.

Cactus and lights

After some consideration I choose the right one. And also this was scanned in, and I did some finishing touches with GIMP. I needed to erase the lines in the bulbs and rework some of the structure, as the lines had a lof of white space after scanning. I composed a picture of the catus without the light and the now christmas catus. Also I added the words under them in the same fashion.

Now came the hard part printing it out and adding colour. First I thought about doing some kind of screen printing, but my SO pointed out that aquarell would be looking nice, so I started to look into it.

I got a nice set and a few brushes and set to work. There I found the next problem, the paper! Naturally, normal printer paper is not really suited for the amount of water an aquarell can have. So I got different paper. I tried to print first 300g/m2, which prove a bit to difficult for my poor printer. It nearly killed him. So I tried 160g/m2. That worked, but the aquarell paper structure did not really allow for the laser printer to work the charme. The black lines would nealry come of. So back to the drawing board.

And back to the printer paper it was, but this time the thicker one. I purchased 160g/m2 an 200g/m2 ones. I printed a sample on both, as expected the lines were holding this time. So time for the paint tests. I found the 160g/m2 paper worked best for my needs. And of I went.

Cards in Progress

The paper will be cut and glued to normal A5 cards, with an additional text. On the inside I will add some white and parchment paper for a more festive look with christmas wishes.


Happy diy’ing!

Note to myself: Make better photos.

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