This article was originally published for  The Purple Fig a Canadian Blogazine which contributes to both The Huffington Post and Parent Dish.  


It was also featured on The Crafty Crow- one of our favourite sites for kids, parents/caregivers and educators!  Check them out:



Our children LOVE getting things in the mail.  Who doesn’t?  Why not send dad some love in the mail!  Our son was learning about beginning colour theory in school so this was the perfect activity for teaching his sister about how to get secondary colours from the three primary colours we chose.


Watercolour Postcards: Supplies

  • Watercolour paper postcard set or print our template on a sturdier paper such as cardstock postcard
  • Watercolour paints (we used diluted liquid watercolours)
  • Wax crayons or pastels
  • Salt
  • Straw
  • Rubber cement (to be used by an adult)
  • A variety of paintbrushes (we recommend one for each colour and used a variety of thicknesses)
  • Craft tray
  • Smock
  • Scissors


  • Print and cut out the postcard templates on a paper such as cardstock.  Flip them over and place them on your craft tray with the side without the print up.
  • Please note:  We showed some of the techniques suggested on larger pieces of paper so they could more clearly be seen in the photographs, but you could also do this too, cutting out the postcards after.
  • Draw designs on your card (our daughter decided to do circles) using wax crayons or pastels.  Paint over them with the diluted watercolours.

Watercolour Postcards:Drawing

Watercolour Postcards: Paint Wash

Method #1

Watercolour Postcards: Salt

  • Add salt to your design while wet or damp (you can experiment with when to add it and see if there is a difference in effect).  Let it dry overnight and then gently brush off the salt.

Watercolour Postcards: Rubbing Off Salt

Method #2

  • Blow your paint around on your card using a straw.  This is particularly fun when you use the 3 primary colours as you get to see colour mixing in action.  Let dry overnight.

Watercolour Postcards: Blowing Paint with a Straw

Method #3

  • In a well ventilated area (we did it outside), have an adult drizzle rubber cement on your postcards.  Let dry.  Paint over with watercolours.  Let it dry and then gently rub off the cement, revealing the paper underneath.

Watercolour Postcards: Apply Rubber Cement

Watercolour Postcards: Painting Over Rubber Cement

Watercolour Postcards: Peeling off Rubber Cement

Watercolour Postcards: Finished Rubber Cement Effect

Watercolour Postcards: Final Products


  • Experimenting with painting materials and techniques.  Creating opportunities for writing.

Safety Notes

  • Be sure to follow the directions on the rubber cement as this is a flammable substance.  We recommend that is be used by an adult.
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