Thursday, 31 January 2019

How to paint your own Folk Art Valentine's card

White card painted with a traditional folk art design in red created by Carol Sykes from you Can Folk It.

So you've got our kits but Valentine's Day is coming up (or some other special occasion) and you just don't want to paint any of the usual designs, you want to create something different, you want to try something new. Well, we may just have the thing for you. 

The great thing about Folk Art painting is that the same basic brushstrokes can be used in so many different ways, once you've learnt these brushstrokes, you can create something entirely new without learning any new techniques. Here, we have used elements from our painting kits to design something a little more traditional, we hope you enjoy the tutorial. 

You will need:

A card and envelope (or gift bag!)
A round brush  
A flat brush 
DecoArt Americana Acrylic in the colour of your choice 
(we used Lamp Black, Warm White, Country Red, Hauser Light Green and Baby blue*)
Transfer paper* 
Dotting Tool*

*available in our Round Brush Starter kit 

I began by creating a basic template for you to trace onto your card that you can find here. This is larger than the mountboard as I use a wooden heart as my template. 

Begin by transferring your design on to your card. We tried this design in a variety of colour ways - white on black, black on white, red on white and colour on white.  The choice is yours, play with colour and see which you are drawn to the most. 

Speaking from experience, begin in the centre of the design and work outwards to prevent smudges! 

Black paper with a traced design and painted heart next to a folk art pattern on tracing paper

Using your round brush, fill the centre heart in the colour of your choice. When it is dry, add three comma strokes down the right hand side of the heart using the liner brush. 

Black paper with three brushstrokes showing you how to paint a folk art tulip

Paint your tulip using the round brush.  Begin painting the centre comma stroke. For the side petals, flick the tip in the opposite direction.  Optional: if you feel confident, side load your brush with a contrasting colour when painting your side petals. 

Red heart and folk art tulip being painted on to a white greetings card

If you wish, add comma stroke leaves using your liner brush to complete the tulip. We did this for some versions we painted and not for others - play with your design and see what you prefer.  

White traditional folk art design by Carol Sykes being painted on to a black beckground

Using your Flat Brush and the s stroke we teach in our Rosebuds kit, add leaves around the heart. Using the liner brush, add branches through the centre of the leaves.  Using a contrasting colour, connect each leaf with smaller branches (see below).  If you don't feel confident using your liner brush, draw the line using a Uni Posca Paint pen in a matching colour.   
Add two leaves at the bottom of the pattern.

Black card painted with a traditional folk art design created by Carol Sykes from You Can Folk It next to some white roses

Using your Round brush, add bluebirds under the heart.  

A black greetings card painted decorated with a white traditional folk art design against a brick wall.

Optional: tip the brush with your contrasting colour when painting the birds (something we teach in our Bluebirds kit).  

Handpainted white card being decorated using dots of paint

Using the small end of your dotting tool and your chosen colour, edge the larger heart with dots of paint. To do this, paint triangles of dots with the points facing outwards not inwards. 

Three cards all painted using the same folk art design inspired by Valentines day in different colours.  Black on white card, white of a black card and colour on a white card.

Play with colour.  We painted the design using white/black on black, black/white on white and also a colour version using the colours from our Round Brush Starter kit

Black card hand painted with a Valentines inspired folk art design using a monochromatic palette.  Pictured against a brick wall with a porcelain bird

As you can see, in some versions of the card, we have added dot daisies and details, in others, we have painted the main design only.  The choice is yours, play with it and have fun! 

We hope you enjoy our take on a more traditional Folk Art design - perfect for Valentines Day.  

Happy Folking xx 



  1. Love this and want to give it a go but can't see the link to download the template.

    1. It has been fixed on the blog but you can also find it here

      Happy Folking x


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