Creative Gifting: Making Watercolor Gift Tags | Annie Parsons | Skillshare

Playback Speed

  • 0.5x
  • 1x (Normal)
  • 1.25x
  • 1.5x
  • 2x

Creative Gifting: Making Watercolor Gift Tags

teacher avatar Annie Parsons, Art and Creativity

Watch this class and thousands more

Get unlimited access to every class
Taught by industry leaders & working professionals
Topics include illustration, design, photography, and more

Watch this class and thousands more

Get unlimited access to every class
Taught by industry leaders & working professionals
Topics include illustration, design, photography, and more

Lessons in This Class

7 Lessons (30m)
    • 1. Introduction

    • 2. Supplies and Tag Template

    • 3. Method 1: Basic Wash

    • 4. Method 2: Watercolor Circles

    • 5. Methods 3 and 4: Leaves and Lights

    • 6. Finishing Your Tags

    • 7. Final Thoughts

  • --
  • Beginner level
  • Intermediate level
  • Advanced level
  • All levels
  • Beg/Int level
  • Int/Adv level

Community Generated

The level is determined by a majority opinion of students who have reviewed this class. The teacher's recommendation is shown until at least 5 student responses are collected.





About This Class

Add a beautiful and unique touch to your gifts in under 30 minutes with hand-painted watercolor gift tags!

In this class, we will make gift tags together, and I'll show a few different watercolor methods you can use to decorate them. Making gift tags is a fun and simple start to creative gifting for all occasions.

This class is appropriate for all levels: if you have no previous art or watercolor experience, making gift tags is a great way to begin building skills. For seasoned artists, gift tags are a new and exciting way to use your watercolor skills.


Meet Your Teacher

Teacher Profile Image

Annie Parsons

Art and Creativity


 My name is Annie Parsons, and I'm a designer, illustrator, and teacher with a focus on creating bold and beautiful watercolor art for everyday use. I'm inspired by food, fashion history, children's literature, and my home in the Virginia mountains.

Through a lifetime of drawing and 6 years of educating professionally, I've found my love of breaking down concepts in a fun, collaborative way. My goal as a Skillshare teacher is to help you demystify art techniques, grow your love for making, and find creative processes that work for you!


When I'm not painting or teaching, I'm usually cooking, watching Korean TV, or playing Animal Crossing. I'm excited to learn and create together!

See full profile

Class Ratings

Expectations Met?
  • Exceeded!
  • Yes
  • Somewhat
  • Not really
Reviews Archive

In October 2018, we updated our review system to improve the way we collect feedback. Below are the reviews written before that update.

Why Join Skillshare?

Take award-winning Skillshare Original Classes

Each class has short lessons, hands-on projects

Your membership supports Skillshare teachers

Learn From Anywhere

Take classes on the go with the Skillshare app. Stream or download to watch on the plane, the subway, or wherever you learn best.


1. Introduction: Hi and thank you so much for joining me today. One of my favorite ways to use art skills is to make gifts unique and special with custom artwork. Today we're gonna be making gift tags, and I'll show you a few different ways that you could decorate them with water color. For your project, you can post a watercolor gift tag of your own to the Project Gallery. You can use one of the techniques that will be doing together today, or you can make up a design your own. Hopefully, this will be a fun and easy jumping off point for you as you begin toe. Add watercolor artwork gifts for any occasion. Let's go ahead and get our supplies together and we'll start painting. 2. Supplies and Tag Template: So before we get started, I want Teoh. Take a minute to talk through the supplies and the prep that you'll need to complete your class project. So since these air watercolor gift types, of course, we have different watercolor paints. We have water, watercolor brushes, a paper towels, a blotter brushes on. And I've also got watercolor paper here, and I'll talk about that in just a minute. You will need washi tape for some masking that we're going to do later on, and I also use it to hold down my paper so that it doesn't buckle for finishing touches. We've got a single hole punch to punch the hole in the top of your tag. Some scissors for cutting out your tags. I also have a paper cutter that I'll be using today to make sure I get some really clean and crisp lines. But that's totally optional. Scissors work fine as well. Different lengths of ribbon and twine for time tags to gift and some favorite pens for writing on your tags. Now what I've got here is a sheet from my nine by 12 cancer on watercolor paper pad. It's really easy to find, but You can also use any £140 watercolor paper that you happen to have. My favorite size for gift tags is about two inches wide by three inches tall, with the top corner snipped off. I'm going to be using a gift tag template that I created myself, and it's available in the files for this class for you to download and use to print my tag template on watercolor paper. I'll be turning my nine by 12 sheet of watercolor paper down to 8.5 by 11 which is the standard size that can go through your printer. So I'll take half an inch off the nine inch side and one inch off of the 12 inch side. Then all you have to do is load your 8.5 by 11 sheet of watercolor paper into your printer and head print on the adobe. Pdf document. Okay, once you've got your supplies together and you're a tag template either drawn out or printed out, it's time to start painting 3. Method 1: Basic Wash: So the first month and we're going to be using to decorate our watercolor gift tags is, ah, watercolor wash with Washington masking. So a watercolor wash is basically the traditional watercolor look of just letting the colors do their thing and bleed wherever they want to go. And then we're going to mask it with two strips of washing tape, one about third off the way down in another about 2/3 of the way down. And what I mean by masking what the's strips of tape we're gonna do. Is this gonna create negative space that are watercolor is not gonna get into. So when the paint dries and we peel up the tape, it should leave too. Nice strips of white for us. Teoh, right? Maybe some names and for the recipient off our gift. I'm just going Teoh how the tape down and make sure it's really good and sealed. And then we'll grab a big brush. Maybe let's start with some yellow well, just very lightly start painting some yellow in. I'm gonna use a lot of water because that's really when washes start doing their thing, you'll start doing random things, and you can pain over the lines because we'll cut all of this off later as much as I can. I'm trying to paint away from the tape is that we're not forcing tape up under. We're not forcing paint up under the tape. Make sure before you start painting that you leave at least an hour for the printer ink to dry before you start painting over it. Graham some green and just tap that lightly into the wet yellow. But that kind of blend itself out. Create some fun shapes. This is where watercolor is really fun because you can't really predict what it's gonna dio . Kind of creates a fun tied. I look okay. I think I'm done fiddling with that. I'm going to give that a minute to dry. It'll take a minute in real time, but we'll use the magic of editing to speed this up. Okay, this is dried quite a bit. It's still a little bit wet, but I think we're ready to start adding some finishing touches to this. Now you can peel at the tape and leave this wash just as it is, or as an option, you can add a little bit of splatter, and how I do that is I get my brush very, very wet, lots of water at a good amount of pigment to it and then did it back in the water and make sure it's really good. And what? And then I take my hand flat, like so face upwards, take my brush across and tap really forcefully to start splattering some paint over this wash, and it just adds a really good spray of texture. Sometimes I even go in and fake it a little bit. Paint in a few bigger drops where I want them to be, just to have that fun experience of slinging paint, a little bit of extra texture and depth to this abstract. All right, I think we're ready to peel up the tape. Look nice. So we have to nice, clean white strips here, too, right? Maybe to and from and the person's name. And here in a minute, we will cut this out and add a few finishing touches 4. Method 2: Watercolor Circles: the next month and we're going to use on our gift tags is watercolor circles, almost a watercolor spin on some polka dots. And again we'll use washi tape masking to give us some nice clean lines. So again I'm going to take a strip of washing tape across my tag. Try to keep in his level is possible. And let about the top section of that tag. Be above the Washington Post down really hard, another at the bottom. So this middle strip right here is where I'll put a name and then above and below will paint some wet on wet water color dots. So I've got a smaller brush this time some water, and I think I'm going to stick to my green and yellow from my green here and just start painting like a semicircle that's coming off of the tape, and then when we peel up the tape, it'll have a nice clean edge on it. I'm gonna paint another circle. It can go off the edge of the tack a little bit. That's okay right about there and then maybe another green one that overlaps with both of those. And then that's where the magic happens, we'll start seeing some circles overlap and blend into each other. But down here and it's find a let them touch or keep them apart. If you want less bleeding very up the sizes or keep them uniform, it's all up to you. - This is dried a little bit, so we make it more of an overlap than a bleed. That's fun, too. And again, don't worry about painting over the lines in the whole. When you trim it up, it'll look really need both need as a neat and tidy and neat, as in cool. This could also be kind of abstract balloons for a birthday. You could even add pen detail to it if you wanted. - Just remember, as you're doing this, that it's important to pick two colors that mix together well, like yellow and green, darker green to give some depth. - I think we're done. I like the way that looks. Let's see what it looks like, what we appeal of the tape. I love that nice clean edge and then a little bit we'll see how this looks when it's cut out 5. Methods 3 and 4: Leaves and Lights: The last method we're going to use today for our gift tags is kind of a two for one, because we can use similar techniques to create two very different designs so kind of working simultaneously. I'm going to be making one type. It's kind of more seasonal with some Christmas lights, and then we'll use very similar techniques to make a more occasion neutral, uh, vine of leaves for maybe mothers A or a wedding or birthday. Um, and as I go all kind of hot back and forth so that we can see how we can create two very different tags with some very similar techniques. So I'll start over here on the left by painting some Christmas lights. I've got my green red and in this box set yellow just getting my brush wet. I'm realizing that I got some splatter on these two tags, but that's OK, so I'm just gonna take my red first and grab a good bit of it on my brush. I really like for these Christmas lights tohave a lot of pigment on my brush to let them be really bright. And I'm just going to paint a short football shape made up of two curved lines that meet. I'm gonna fill in a little bit, but leave a little negative space like there's a little bit of light shining on the bowl. Do the same thing. Still with my red, maybe one facing this way and maybe just 1/3 1 like that just appointed oval shape. I didn't It's nice. I'll do the same thing in green, just kind of alternating colors and let them space out. But little more pigment there, one like this and I'm kind of just going loosely done the right hand side of the tag cause I'm gonna leave the left hand side blank so that we come right on it. What got my yellow and fill in two more. I think that should do it. Maybe some that are going off the edge of the top like that. It's a little more pigment, I think one right here. There's really no rhyme or reason as to how in placing these. I'll connect them later and you'll see how maybe one more right there to finish it off. All right, I know what those Dr. I'll come over to my other tag and do almost exactly the same thing. The only difference is I'm going to make my oval shapes my football shapes just a little bit longer. And I'm going to do them all in green so that they look like leaves just along, getting that shape ever so slightly. We can still leave negative space. It looks pretty like that around that up a little bit. I'll let some go off the edge, maybe text tap a little pigment into the lighter ones to let it bleed. We could vary up the size for some interest again. I'm leaving the left side and particularly the upper left blanks. It was room to write. I think one more like that should do it with these leaves. We can go ahead and start connecting the right away while our Christmas lights are drying. I'm taking a smaller brush. I've got my one and, uh, take the same green. And what I'm gonna do is starting off the top edge of the tag. I'm just gonna bring a very light stroke like a vine and start connecting it. It's the bottom of these leaves, just drawing kind of a wavy line through the tip of thumb and I'll come back and connect some later. I don't have to hit every single one, perhaps more paint. Maybe make some branches that connect smaller leaves. Maybe I'll add a few. So what's just for some variety? And if you like, you can add just a little more depth with a little more pigment to the bottom of those leaves where they connect to the line. There we go. I think that looks really pretty. Okay, so hopping back over to our more festive tag. Now we will connect our Christmas lights and for that I've got a black pen. And first before we connect these what I want to dio is just a little pen detail at the bottom of each bulb, almost like a square that opens up onto the bottom of each bulbs. I'm not closing off the square, although I guess you could, but I like leaving an open toe look like these are part of the same shape. So this is just the base of the ball. Maybe that one will go like that. And again, you don't have to worry just yet about how you're gonna connect this. Just give it some variety and make sure that your bulbs air facing a few different directions so that it looks really organic and fun. Okay, so now that I've got all my bulb bases on, I'm gonna do almost exactly the same thing that I did with my vine taking a line down through and connecting these. Except this time, I could be a little less organic than this for this. I tried to keep a really nice flow because this is a natural element. And these things were growing in a particular way for these non organ and Christmas lights . They could be tangled up any which way. So I'm gonna take some loops. I'm gonna take some zigzags, do whatever I need to do to connect these bulbs together, so we'll start here, maybe go down like this. Loop around, Sig zag down here, you can go outside. You can imagine that the wire is going around behind the bulbs and off the edge. So there we go. A cute little tangle of Christmas lights with the space to right on the left. All right. So those are two very similar ideas to create two very different tags. And in the next lesson, We will cut out all of our tags, put some holes in them and finish them office and ribbon. 6. Finishing Your Tags: Okay, We've got all our painting done on R four watercolor gift, Tex. So now it's just time to cut the mount and get them ready to put on some gifts. So, as you can see, I have my paper cutter out for this step, but that is completely optional. Scissors work just fine through this as well. I'm gonna peel the washing tape off of my paper, and I'll save this blank side to make some more later. Trainees on the lines. Okay, now that I've got the rectangles cut out all snip off the corners and punch out the hole in the top center again, just following the lines here. I love how nice and clean these look when you cut off the excess paint on the edges. It's a really simple way to get a polished look. I've got my single hole punch. I'll just line that up with the whole on the tag template. All right, I've got some ribbon and twine here that we can add to these. So I've got some yellow ribbon, some white and some bakers twine, which I love to use around Christmas because its red and white and very festive So let's go ahead and step off a link of that for our Christmas like tag, and you can make this a so long as you need it to be for the present. Sometimes I just like Teoh. Go ahead and put some string on it so that it's ready to tie to a bow. Or you could tape it to the package. Tired around the handles of the gift bag. You take the two ends off your ribbon or twine together and put them through the hole and then bring the loop. Bring your ends through the loop. I'm not fastens on just like that, and that looks so cute and Christmassy that has me excited for Christmas. We'll do the same thing. I think I'll do the white with the leaves because that would look really elegant for a wedding. Nice and secure, and I'll use the yellow for these other two guys. Put the ends together, bring it through the hole and then bring the ends through the loop. Same thing here ends together through the hole, through the loop and on wider ribbons like this, I sometimes either cut it as a diagonal, so it looks a little more finished. Or you can fold the ribbon in the middle and cut a diagonal from the center up to the edges . And it makes a nice little pointed end like that. I'm so of how these look. All that's left to do is to take a minute to write on them. So I'm going to take a pen, right? All right. And there we go. Those air ready to go on some gifts? I'm really pleased with how all of these turned out on. And I hope you enjoyed making them as well. Join me in the next lesson for a few final thoughts on your class project. 7. Final Thoughts: Those are just a few ideas to get you started. Once you start making watercolor gift tags, the possibilities are really endless. I'm excited to see what you main so please do post a picture of your watercolor gift tags to the Project Gallery and share your ideas with us. Thanks again for joining me today. I'm excited to do some more creative gift with you soon.