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Handmade Holiday Cards
A handmade card is pretty much expected when someone receives a birthday, thank-you, or holiday card from me. With as much scrapbooking and card-making that I do, I feel like I’m cheating if I purchase a store-bought card (and the recipient knows I’m cheating too). So, this year, I’m ambitiously embarking on a holiday-card marathon, with a goal of creating about 130 handmade cards.
To make the process more interesting, each card I create is different from the next, so I’m always looking for new products to help make great-looking, easy holiday cards. I’m also always trying to make the process easier! As I’ve worked on this project, I’ve gathered a few tips to pass along to others with such ambitions.
Equip Yourself with the Right Tools
- Buy envelopes in bulk. I bought a box of invitation envelopes that fit cards made from a sheet of 8 1/2” x 11” cardstock that has been quartered (cut in half and then folded to create a card that takes up the space of ¼” of the full page).
- Purchase a large package of white cardstock. A package of 8 ½” x 11” white cardstock is a perfect start to a large order of handmade cards. From each sheet you can create two cards, which fit the envelopes you bought in bulk.
- Gather any themed paper and matching cardstock that you plan to use. Whether they are items you already have, or whether you’ve purchased them with this project in mind, keep them all together so you can access them easily when you decide to start making your cards.
- Look for themed cut-outs and stickers. Stickers and die cuts (especially those with a 3-dimensional look) allow you to have a multi-dimensional design on your card, without the bulk of many layers. For a card that has to go through the postal service, that’s important!
- Invest in a stamp set. A “Happy Holidays” or “Merry Christmas” stamp is a fantastic time-saver and can be reused time and time again. You can also use computer fonts to print a sheet of sentiments that can be cut and added to your cards.
- Splurge on ribbon and fiber. Decorative ribbon and fiber can be used on cards to add a little bit of pattern, color and texture. Ribbon and fiber are easy embellishments that can be bought in bulk, and bring a handmade look to each card that makes the recipient take notice.
Begin Creating Cards
- Start early. Start about a month or two before you are planning to send your cards. It lets you work at a slower pace, work a little bit at a time, and really be proud of each of your creations.
- Work in shifts. If you’re creating a massive amount of cards, you’ll probably get bored after creating about 15--I do. So, I work in shifts. Each day that work on cards, I pre-cut about 20 cards and then set a goal to finish decorating that many in a sitting.
- Create four at once. A 12” x 12” sheet of paper can be cut to create backgrounds for up to four different cards. I like to decorate each card using different embellishments to keep them from being exactly alike.
- Keep it simple. A card-making marathon probably isn’t the time or place to learn new techniques and create elaborate embellishments. Keep your designs simple. Remember, just because it didn’t take you long to create it, doesn’t mean that it’s not a heartfelt, handmade card for the recipient.
While I’m not yet finished with my own card-making marathon, I’ve made a big dent in my final number using some of these tips. Whether you’re making 20 or 200, if creating handmade cards is important to you this holiday season, these tips will help keep you from being completely overwhelmed with such a daunting task and your card recipients will be awfully impressed!
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