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Paint :: Scissors :: Poems–Making Haiku Cards

Last Fall I made a collection of Haiku Cards–tiny cards with watercolors on one side and a line from Basho on the other.  I shuffle the cards and create random operation poems.  The source material is rich, so the simple three line poems end up quirky and nearly always inspiring.  Here’s how I made them!

:: Paint ::

I used 9×12 mixed media paper.  It’s heavier than copy paper, more absorbent than cardstock, smoother than watercolor paper.  Use what you have!  Index cards cut in half would be perfect.  I painted saturated fields of color in 1 or 2 colors.

:: Scissors ::

I cut my big sheets of paper into 2½ x 3″ pieces after the paint had dried overnight.  Then I used a punch to round the corners.  This makes the cards look and feel more finished.

:: Poems ::

I used Basho because he’s my favorite.  I found this collection online and copied about 30 into my journal.  Then I made the final selection and wrote 1 line from a poem on each card.  Now a 3 card pull creates a completely new poem.

Over the Moon Oracle

If you are interested in Haiku Cards, but don’t want to make them yourself, Kristen has a wonderful deck available.  She is also teaching a free class on using the cards.  During Poetry Month, Kristen is also hosting the #HaikuOracleChallenge–so be sure to follow that hashtag on Instagram!


  1. Kortney, I love your idea … another wonderful project to add to my list. Thank you for sharing your process.

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