Inspired by a Dainty Squid post I decided to make Matt and I's Christmas card this year. The image is a painting he did of us about a month ago. LOVE IT! I just scanned it on to the computer and made a matching text side. Over all the process was pretty easy and I will be using it again and again I am sure for all manner of things.
Though I think in the future I will probably leave more time to send the printing out to get it professionally done on a thicker stock paper. I printed on standard card stock at UPS, who are always awesome but do have more limited paper selection. Another good reason to outsource the printing besides more paper options include a higher quality print and they can do a lot of the pre-shaping (cutting/folding) of your card for you :) Always a bonus! There are many options out there from Flyer Club to Vista Print and many many more.
To make your own scratch off cards you'll need:
*Your Printed Design
I would recommend getting your design printed on a card stock weight paper.
You could do the scratch card on a standard computer paper in a pinch but it really doesn't hold up as well and visually the weight of the paper looks off in relation to the scratch off paint. I promise you'll be happiest using a good sturdy card stock paper.
Any liquid soap will do. I used Palmolive
Any brand and color will work. I used a metallic silver
*A paint brush or sponge brush
They both do the same job one just leaves less visible streaks.
*Packing Tape or Contact Paper
I used packing tape. It is cheaper and my design meant I was just working with straight lines.
If you are doing a shaped area for your scratch out I would recommend going with the contact paper so you can trace and cut out your designs with out the head ache of having no backing.
This will help stream line the whole painting process if you're working with straight edges.
You just want to be careful that you press it down well so no paint leaks under it and that you are careful pulling it up depending on the quality of the paper/ stock you're using it can want to tear at the paper a little.
*Something to Work On
(i.e. scrap paper, cardboard, plastic table cloth)
This is to protect your home and often times your work.
A sturdy large piece of cardboard from an old box side worked great for me. I could tape down and work on a large quantity of the cards but if I got interrupted it was simple enough to put away and pull out again later. Plus I could work on it while sitting on the couch watching movies rather than being forced to the kitchen table. ;)
If there is anything life has proven to me it is that the easy or simple things are easy to get frustrated by because they can be simple to mess up. Thats why I recommend doing a test run or two on your cards to get familiar with the process and work out any kinks you might encounter along the way. Be patient and your reward will be the most awesome cards your customers, friends and family have ever seen. You will become legend because YOU did it yourself. Which means thats right you're awesome! Now lets get to work. :)
Here We Go! A Step by Step:
1* Make the Paint
Mix two parts paint to every one part of dish soap. Be gentle but thorough in mixing. You want it try and keep bubbles down to a minimum.
2* Tape the Area You Want to Paint
With the contact paper or Packing tape cover the area you want the scratch off to be. Make sure that the whole area is covered.
3* Tape down and Mask Area w/ Painters Tape
Using your painters tape mask off what you don't want painted over to get nice crispy edges. I like to gently rub the tape down to guarantee that its really secure and won't leech paint underneath of its edges. You can mask your cards down to your scrap surface as well if you're trying to keep the project as mobile/mess free as possible.
4* Painting Time
With either your paintbrush or sponge brush apply THIN, EVEN layers. Don't worry if you can still see the design through the first coat. The paint dries quickly. It usually takes about 2 or 3 layers.
5* Let it Dry
This is in my opinion the most crucial step. I always want to rush drying things. Laundry, paintings, etc... It never turns out well. I either end up wearing damp jeans all day or ruin the project I was working on. So take my advice and let it dry. This paint doesn't take long to dry completely so let it be. ...Or use a hair dryer.... I mean I'm just saying. Time is precious.
6* Remove the Bindings
Once your cards are completely dry you can remove the painters tape. Be very gentle with it. Peel slowly and kind of at a diagonal and you should notice a minimum of effort. If it starts to pull at the paper of the card or the paint STOP IMMEDIATELY and start a counter attack from the opposite side. This works most of the time. Once all your masking tape is removed your cards are ready to go.
7* Victory Dance
Now do a little dance and enjoy your amazing scratch off cards.