This card was inspired by "duck" tape (you can see a piece of the tape at the top of my craft mat). It had such cute and simple elephant designs, I decided to use that as a model to carve my own stamp. Because the stamp is a solid image, it works really well with the stain-to-stamp method of creating a watercolor look. ANY solid image stamp will work well for this technique.
First, I liberally applied Ranger's Distress Stain to my stamp. The colors I used were Spiced Marmalade, Peeled Paint, and Broken China. It's best if the colors overlap a little.
Then I spritzed it with water and stamped it on Stampin' Up's Natural White Card stock. Choose an absorbent surface texture, you definitely want to use a watercolor paper or a card stock that will wick up the moisture.
Since I'm kind of limited on my palette of stain colors, my balloon stamp I inked all over with Picked Raspberry Distress Ink, and tapped a little Aged Mahogany stain on one side. Then I spritzed the inked stamp with water, and stamped it on my card stock. The balloon stamp is from Stampin' Up's Big Bold Birthday set (retired).
Any part of the image that does not stamp just right can be smoothed out with a water brush. Using a heat tool to dry the image, you can blow the colors around to give it a mottled effect.
For the string, I used a Copic Multiliner 0.3 felt tip pen and free-handed a little line between the balloon and the elephant's trunk.
An easy border idea is to draw a border 1/8 of an inch in using a graph ruler.
This was super easy to do, very quick, and lots of fun.