How to Create a Vacation Souvenir with Watercolor Postcards

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How to Capture Your Vacation

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Sometimes it’s hard to capture a travel experience or a moment. We have all been somewhere and wished we could bottle the experience, the good times, and send it home to our friends or at least, keep the feeling a little while longer.

Maybe the way to capture the feeling is to do a doodle, nothing real or specific. Maybe the best thing to do is to make something fun that captures your feelings. Instead of buying another scarf or trinket, why not make a watercolor postcard that captures your vacation. If you send it home while you are on vacation, your friends and family will feel included on your adventure and receive a unique gift and a stamp from the country. Who gets mail that we want any more? And you will get a stamp from somewhere new and unique!

Make a Souvenir that Captures the Vacation

My idea started one day when I had some sketch paper and I was doodling. I went out and bought postcard watercolor paper at an art store in Istanbul, Turkey. Going to an art store in another country is really fun to do. I have gone to see how they look when I was in France and Italy because I like them so much.

After I bought the watercolor postcards, I bought a cheap tray of watercolors. Then I sat on a roof top and painted what I saw. The watercolor sketches are quickly done, not realistic and just capture the moment and experience.

Step 1

Make a quick watercolor sketch, make it simple – childlike and don’t try to make them perfect, the point is to do it quickly. Make several of different things you are seeing if you are feeling inspired!

Step 2

Let them dry and go and do something else.


Step 3

Write something about where you are, who you are with, and what you are doing. Your friends will love it.


Sample Watercolor Postcards

Here are some of my sketches I did one afternoon when it was too hot to do much of anything while I was in Istanbul.




make-souvenir-capture-vacation make-souvenir-capture-vacation make-souvenir-capture-vacation

Watercolor postcard paper is available at art stores all over the USA or you can order some watercolor paper here. But, if you don’t have watercolor postcard paper, you can use colored pencils or a pen and paper. Sketch something, write a quick note, and send it to your friends or family at home. I bet they will like it better than another something that they hide away.

Travel tip: Put some of you into the souvenirs, it’s sure to be loved no matter how small. It’s meaningful because you were thinking of them when you made or collected it for them. Kids can make these too – and grandparents and friends will love to get them.

The best souvenirs are ones that mean something to you. I collect shells, rocks and weird things I find while traveling. My daughter brought back a bottle of Evian-filled with sand from the beach at Normandy. So far, that is my favorite souvenir.

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Kate started traveling for work. Now with grown children, who are travelers, she travels for pleasure looking for great travel experiences. Currently, her home is in Bellevue, WA, and lives with her cat Angelina Jolie. She has a Bachelor's of Fine Arts, Studio Arts and Art History from the University of Colorado, and from City University, Seattle, an MBA and Master of Arts, Management. Her favorite things are exploring cultures, traveling the world, creating a painting and sour foods.