Skip to content


This post is part of our #stayconnected series. Rediscover the joy of sending a handmade card in the mail with tutorials inspired by the Cultural Centre’s collections

Tutorial by Shannon Quigley,
Curatorial Programming Assistant

Inspired by the collection

This charming new year’s card by André Lapine, a celebrated Canadian landscape painter, is the inspiration for this week’s tutorial. The card reads:

Dear Miss Brunelle de Beaufort
Accept my sincere wishes for the New Year 1940
that is may be a year bright with happiness

André Lapine

Make your own watercolour notecard


  • A blank card or recycled cardstock
  • Watercolour paper
  • Watercolour paints and brushes
  • Pencil
  • Ruler
  • x-acto blade (optional) to cut paper, or scissors
  • A viewfinder
  • Container of water

Step 1:

  • Go outside and find a view you’d like to paint
  • Set up your paints, paper and a container of water
  • I’m lucky to be staying at a cottage, so I set up on the deck one evening. You can also paint the view from your window or work from a photograph

Step 2:

  • Use a viewfinder to frame a small piece of the landscape
  • Make a viewfinder out of any kind of paper by cutting a rectangle, square or circle out of the middle

Step 3:

  • Draw the basic shapes you see and fill them in with blocks of colour
  • Pay attention to contrast – decide which areas will be light and which areas will be dark
  • For areas with just a little bit of colour, wet the paper first with a brush and then add a small amount of paint to create a light wash
  • Check out this post from for tips on how to create a nice composition

Step 4:

  • Wait for your painting to dry and then cut it out
  • You can leave a small white border around your painting if you’d like to create the effect of a frame
  • Glue or tape your painting to a blank card of a contrasting colour
  • For instructions on how to make a card out of scrap or recycled paper, see Step 1 in the first week’s tutorial

More card designs you can try

make a card out of colourful scraps 🎨🖌️ 

  • Make a card out of scraps of paper you used to mix and test colours
  • Cut your scrap paper, already painted, to the desired shape and fold in half
  • Use a marker to write a message on the front
  • Voila! A scrap of paper has been beautifully repurposed!
  • You could also paint abstract colours onto plain paper. Great for kids learning how to mix colours!

Share a picture of your handmade card!

We’d love to see what you make! Email a picture to Shannon at, tag us on facebook or use the submission form on the #stayconnected page.

All handmade cards welcome!