Beautiful Cards For Any Occasion

Debbie Olson | June 27, 2017

Surprise your friends and family with a one-of-a-kind handmade card! Debbie Olson will walk us through creating beautiful DIY cards for any occasion.

Debbie Olson Have A Beautiful Day Card


Create Focal Image

I keep a ready supply of reference snapshots on my iPad so that I can always sketch when I have time. I chose a small hydrangea blossom for today’s card and sketched it first in pencil.

Hydrangea Sketch

Copic Multiliner Hydrangea Sketch

Ink Your Sketch

When I was pleased with my pencil sketch, I used a light table to transfer the lines that I wanted to keep, making a couple of revisions along the way. (If I don’t have a light table handy, I simply ink over my pencil lines and then erase the pencil lines.) Normally I keep my line work minimal and depend upon my Copic markers to create light and shadow. Today I chose to let my Black Multiliner A Fine set do the “heavy lifting,” so I’ve added more shading than I usually do. I used the Copic 0.03 Black Multiliner for the blossoms since I wanted to keep them soft and delicate.

Copic Multiliner Hydrangea Sketch

I used the Copic 0.05 Black Multiliner for the outer edges of the leaves, thinking that the line could be heavier on the more substantial leaf edges than on the blossoms. My reference photo had one large, broken leaf on the left; I chose to replace it with two smaller leaves for better balance. Here is my finished ink drawing, ready for color. At this point, I often stop to scan my original artwork so that I can color it again if I chose to. 

Copic Multiliner Hydrangea Sketch

Get Ready to Color

Copic Marker Hydrangea Sketch

I reduced slightly and printed my scanned image with a Copic-compatible printer and started coloring using all of the Copic Sketch markers shown above. All laser printers are Copic compatible, and some ink jets are as well. If you are using an ink jet, be sure to test the ink for compatibility. To test an unknown printer ink or drawing ink, apply a light value Copic ink next to the line in question until the ink feathers across the line. If the printed or drawn line stays crisp and clean, that ink should be Copic compatible. If the line expands and creeps, the ink in question is not Copic compatible.

Next, I colored the blossoms. I added more shadows and darkened up some values later on.

Copic Marker Hydrangea Sketch

Put Together the Card

You may not have patterned papers and dies to die-cut shapes. That’s fine, use what you do have! I die-cut and airbrushed (Copic B02 and B63) a plain circle background that was slightly smaller than my marker-rendered  image so that my image would break the edges of the circle. I also cut a plain white scalloped circle frame and applied trimmed-to-size X-Press It foam mounting squares to the back of my frame. Dies and patterned paper were from MFT Stamps.

Copic Marker Hydrangea Sketch

Use X-Press It Foam Mounting Squares

I attached the white frame to the airbrushed circle and added a banner shape for my stamped sentiment. I also applied foam tape to the back of my trimmed image.

Debbie Olson Have A Beautiful Day Card

Final Touch

Finally, I attached the hydrangea image to its background and mounted the card front to a cover-weight base (4-¼” x 11”, scored and folded at 5-½”).

Debbie Olson Have a Beautiful Day Card

Now for the fun part, surprise your loved one with this special handmade card. It's sure the make thier day! 

Explore more papercrafting and craft ideas in the Inspire Section!


Topics: Papercrafting, Illustration, Copic, Aristo

Debbie Olson
Debbie Olson on June 27, 2017

Meet Debbie Olson. She's a professional papercrafting designer and member of our instruction team at Imagination International Inc. teaching a variety of Copic techniques.