Making Baby Shower Invitations Pt. 1 + Book Review

Remember when Justin and I spent 3 hours in Sam Flax (an art store) working out the intricacies of what was to be baby shower invitations? What about how we had to consume frozen pizza just to get everything done in one night? (Enter the giveaway! Hint! Hint!) Well… that was just the beginning of what was to become a month-long ordeal.

I was in charge of font and finding images that would work on the baby invitation. I also came up with a concept to work the idea around. After doing just the tiniest amount of research, I knew the colors had to be mint green and grey and that there would be elephants involved. From that point forward, I decided on using a watercolor backdrop due to the "shower" theme. (Get it? Water? Shower? heh.)

This was the point when Justin and I wandered down to Atlanta to Sam Flax to begin our shopping. I went in thinking about watercolor paint and paper, and Justin went in thinking about something entirely different, which we'll talk about in another post. ;)

As he was searching for products to help me with that second aspect of invitation making, I stumbled upon William F. Powell's Color Mixing Recipes for Watercolor. Having never taken a watercolor painting class before, I was intrigued. The idea of having a precise recipe for the exact color I was going for rather than trying a bunch of things and none of it working had me ordering the book on Amazon Prime with 2 days shipping that very next Monday. This project was not something I was going to stress over. As it turns out, those were "famous last words" (only not so famous and clearly not actually spoken).

Getting the color mixing just right!

We bought the watercolor paint that closest matched what we considered to be mint green in the recipe book and took our watercolor paper to Kinkos to get it cut. Having learned from making wedding invitations in the past, I knew that getting it pre-cut would be the easiest stress-free way to do it. Then, to prepare myself for the actual watercolor painting experience, I studied a few youtube videos learning the intricacies of wet on dry, wet on wet, dry on dry, and dry on wet methods. There are a lot of different ways to paint with watercolor! Through watching, I was able to learn how to best control my paint and get the look I wanted to achieve for these invitations.

On the day of, Justin started off working with the recipe card that came with the book to achieve the right color. Following the book's instructions of 5% yellow to 95% blue, he put a thin amount of paint on the sheet and began mixing it when he thought he had the correct color. As it turns out, no matter how many times we tried using that recipe sheet, we never got the same color as the book! In our case, the paint was often simply too blue for our needs! This is when I began taking matters into my own hands (with Justin following suit shortly after). I don't remember exactly why or how, but Justin got distracted by something (the dog, perhaps?) and I just shoved a bunch of yellow paint into the mixture while he was looking away. All of a sudden, the paint color went from too blue to the almost green color we were looking for! Success! :)


Of course, we ran out of paint midway through painting … So Justin tried mixing according to the recipe again … but this time, he realized on his own (without my doing it behind his back) that more yellow was needed. So into the bowl went more yellow.

We really had a lot of fun with this, our first watercolor painting experience ever. Obviously I had learned a bit from watching Youtube, but I also learned some from watching Justin work with the paint. Quickly we went from using straight paintbrushes and paper towels to using our hands as well. With yellow and blue paint from our elbows to our toes (not really) we successfully finished adding color to the invitations within 2 hours.

Was the book worth it? I'd say yes. I tend to sell off books that I think aren't useful, but I plan on keeping this one. Even though the recipe card wasn't very helpful, the book did make it easy to discern what specific colors we needed (beyond the generic blue and yellow) to receive the results we were after. I should note, however, that if you know nothing about watercolor, take advantage of the Youtube videos online and don't be afraid to experiment! Honestly, using watercolor on these invitations ended up being one of the most fun and easiest things we could have done! I look forward to using this method on cards and invitations in the future!

The background for what is to come. – They are all different!

Have you ever done watercolor painting? If so, do you have any tips for me? If not, would you consider doing it in the future? … Especially if you have a useful recipe book like the one by William Powell? Let me know in the comments!

* Sidenote: William Powell also makes recipe books for other paint types including acrylic and oil-based paints!


  1. I have never done watercolor painting, other than making a mess as a kid. I have a friend who is a tattoo artist and he told me that the hottest thing right now are watercolor tattoos. They are tattoos meant to look like they are done with watercolors.

    1. That sounds really awesome! I'm going to have to google and see what that looks like!

  2. Those look really great! I haven't really done any watercolor painting either, but I always admire others' creativity and artwork.


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