My Material Life

Simple Techniques for Custom Christmas Cards

This is a gallery of favorite cards I’ve made over the years.  Once I started making my own it seemed like something I should keep doing, so for better or for worse I’m still at it.  The photo collage below is the first photo card I’ve made.  I typically prefer a card with some Christmas magic – the kind that is usually provided by a judicious use of glitter.  But 2011 was a festive year, so I thought the images (particularly of Mary and Bert) provided the right feel.  I made that card on my home printer using the software that came with my printer, HP Photo Creations.

Most of my cards involve a trip to the copy shop.  One favorite technique is to copy images from favorite old Christmas books* onto cardstock.  Then I cut, fold (a bone folder is a must for neat folds and you needn’t worry, they’re not made out of bone any more), and add glue and glitter.  I love the fine glitters that you can find in so many colors these days.  The dapper man in the suit and hat in the snow on the following card came from a library book on the history of the sewing machine.  You never know where inspiration will strike.  I used white glitter on some of the bits of snow surrounding him.  There was no caption or information for this photo in the book; I just really liked it.

Scanned Image

Rubber stamps are another favorite tool.  Prints from simple line illustration stamps can be filled in with watercolor, marking pen, etc.  The ornament and the city with Christmas tree were both made with rubber stamps.  Stencils are another easy way to hand print your cards.  I made the poinsettia with a stencil that I cut from a sheet of acetate.  You can find acetate at art supply stores.  The angel card was the easiest to produce (you can see another one here).  I bought beautiful paper angels from Italy at my local Catholic book store.  Then I used a craft knife to cut slits in shell pink cards that I found on sale at Paper Source.  Paper Source is a wonderful resource for cards and envelopes in all shapes, colors and sizes.  But keep your eyes open.  I see that even Target has card making supplies these days (in the same section where you’ll find scrapbook materials).

IMG_5276a1

* The illustrations above come from the following books:

A Christmas Carol by Charles Dickens with illustrations by John Leech
How The Grinch Stole Christmas by Dr. Seuss with illustrations by Dr. Seuss
The Night Before Christmas by Clement C. Moore with illustrations by Arthur Rackham

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