A DIY Christmas: Homemade Greeting Cards – Part II

Card 4 (8)I have had nothing but Christmas on the brain for the past few weeks! Unfortunately this has done nothing to help me study for my upcoming exams, and has caused me to become extremely distracted at work.  I have been listening to Christmas music non-stop and since yesterday I have watched four Christmas movies.  Ken and I went out on Saturday and bought a whole whack load of new decorations for our apartment, put up our tree, and added a fresh set of LED tube lights to our windows.  It looks amazingly festive!  If I’m not baking, decorating or shopping, I am cruising Pinterest for the next brilliant decorating idea or fun new recipe.  I am obsessed! With only a month left I have so much more to do.  Today I’m sharing two more DIY card designs.  These ones are incredibly more complicating than the other two designs I made a while back, and took much more time.  In fact, I’m still not done, but plan to be by next week (I hope?!?!).  With one of my designs I actually managed to get a little help – thanks to one of my wonderful co-workers (the same one who taught me how to operate a sewing machine) lent me her Cricut.  For those of you who don’t know, a Cricut is a scarpbooking tool that assists in cutting various shapes and letters… to make things go a little quicker.  It worked wonders on my last design and saved me a bunch of time.

The first design is a Christmas tree in the center of the card cover made from scrapbook paper circles, buttons and gems.  For each card I cut out about 8 medium circles (maybe 1/2 inch diameter) and 6 very small circles (about the circumference of the end of an unsharpened pencil).  The paper I used was mostly green since I was making a tree.  I used about 12 buttons per card and filled in any blank spaces with gems.  I used cardboard for the tree trunk and yellow scrapbook paper for the star.  I laid a 1/2 inch strip of light blue scrapbook paper horizontally across the center of the card and wrote “Merry Christmas” in the middle.

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So, to summarize, for this card you will need: a glue gun and glue sticks, 8 medium circles, 6 small circles, 12 buttons, gems, cardboard, yellow paper for the star, an ultra fine tip Sharpie and an 8 1/2 by 1/2 inch strip of scrapbook paper to go across the page.

Start by writing you message on the inside of the card.
Wishing you sparkle,
Wishing you cheer,
For a bright Merry Christmas
And a Happy New Year!

Happy Holidays!

Do this first! I know when I am making these I will always mess up one or two.  If you mess up after you’ve decorated your card it will be much more devastating… trust me!  Next glue down your cardboard tree truck to the bottom middle of the card.  I like to place all my circles and buttons on the card before I glue them.  Start from the bottom and work your way up.

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I found the design worked best by placing 3 medium circles at the bottom and two on the second line.  I filled in the blank areas with buttons, gems and even drew in some stars on a few.  After line four you are going to want to use only circles and no buttons, leaving an at least 1/2 inch gap.  This is where your “Merry Christmas” strip is going to go… you don’t want there to be buttons under it, that makes for a really bumpy Merry Christmas.  Continue working your way up until your tree is done.  Add a small star to the top.

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Glue down your Merry Christmas strip across the area on your tree where there are no buttons.  Write your greeting and voila! Done!

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This card was incredibly time consuming, which is why I decided only to make 10 of these and 20 of the next design, since I had a Cricut to help me with it.  For each card I cut out two 1 1/2 inch squares, one 1 1/2 inch rectangle, and one 2 inch rectangle.  I used a small amount of red and white yarn on each card for the ribbons on the presents.  Lastly, I cut out “Happy Holidays” in green scrapbook paper.

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For this design, you will also need a glue gun and glue sticks, a white glue stick to glue on the letters, a Cricut (if you can get your hands on one… otherwise either print or trace out your letters using stencils), and an ultra fine tip Sharpie for your message on the inside of the card.  Start by adding yarn details to your squares and rectangles, and then glue them in place on the card.

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Cut out your letters and then glue them on the card.  Try to center them as much as possible.

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And that’s pretty much it for this one.  It still took quite a bit of time to make this card, but thankfully I saved loads of time by using the Cricut… I really need to buy one of these things. I truly don’t think I will every want to cut out a shape by hand again!
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I’m pretty happy with all four of my designs this year, especially since it’s the first year I have ever designed my own greeting cards, or even sent out greeting cards for that matter. I’m pretty excited and can’t wait to get them to the post office! Happy card making!

A DIY Christmas: Homemade Greeting Cards – Part I

card 1 (7)I love everything homemade. If it’s from scratch, I’m in love.  When my boyfriend and I decided to send out Christmas cards this year, I had the brilliant idea of making all homemade cards.  I chose four designs, two of which I’m discussing today.  I wanted a design that was relatively simple and, well, positively adorable.  I wanted these cards to scream Kelsey. And they do.  The reason for the simplicity is also because of the fact that I’m sending out 60 Christmas cards this year (15 of each design) and I really didn’t want to spend weeks making these cards.  Pinterest is amazing!  It is where I found all the fabulous designs for my Christmas cards.

So, what will you need? For the first design, the Christmas Button Ball Card (came up with that one by myself, can you tell?), you will need: a ruler, ultra fine point black sharpie, 8 1/2 x 11 card stock pages (make sure you have enough sheets for all of your cards), a glue gun and glue sticks, and buttons (9 to 10 buttons per card).  For the buttons, try to use seasonal colours; I focused on red, yellow, green, orange and pink.  You will also need small gems with peel-able backs to you can stick them to the card stock easily (I bought mine at Walmart in the crafts section).

The first step in making the Button Ball card, is to fold your cardstock in half.  I made 15 cards with this design, so I folder 15 pieces of car stock paper in half.  Next, write your greeting on the inside.  I found doing this step second was helpful, because when I write fast I tend to have spelling mistakes, meaning I have to start over.  This would be really annoying if I have already done the design on the card cover.

Wishing you sparkle,
Wishing you cheer,
For a bright Merry Christmas
And a Happy New Year! 

Happy Holidays!

I simply wrote the greeting on the inside of the card with my sharpie.  If you don’t trust your writing, you can always use a printed greeting and glue it into the center of the inside of the card.

Next, using a rule make 9 to 10 straight vertical lines across the folded card stock.  Try your best to evenly distribute the lines across the page.  Make the lines of various lengths.  Each line does not necessarily have to tough the top of the card – be random! At the end of each line, draw a tiny bow and the “tops” of your Christmas button balls.

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Choose your buttons for the card, and then using a glue gun, attached them to the bottoms of the vertical lines, just covering the button ball “tops”.

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Feel free to stack buttons on top of each other!  It adds some fun detail to this simple card, and can hide glue if the button is clear or if the glue comes through the button holes.

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Add 9 to 10 gems to the bottom left of the card in a straight line.  This was the most time consuming portion of this card design, as I had to peel the backs off each card in order to fasten the gems to the cover.  You may also glue the gems to the card, but I found this made a glue-ey mess and I opted for the more time consuming, but cleaner option.

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I wrote “deck the halls” with my fine tip Sharpie just above the line of gems, but write anything you want! These are your cards!

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Pretty simple right?  I’d say it took me about 2 1/2 hours total to make all 15 of these cards from start to finish.  Trust me when I say it was well worth it – I absolutely LOVE these cards! They are, if I do say so myself, positively adorable, and super clever.  Now, onto card design number two.  Let’s call this one the Paper Tree Christmas Card (apparently I’m not that creative when it comes to names).

What you’ll need:  a glue gun, button (3 to 5 per card) coloured card stock or scrap book paper (try to go greens, since we are making a tree), cardboard and a black ultra fine tip Sharpie.

The first step in making these cards is to cut out all the shapes you’re going to need.  Cut out 15 triangles (tree shapes) from various patterns of the card stock or scrapbook paper.  Make them all relatively the same size.  Next, cut each triangle horizontally into 4 or 5 pieces. Since each triangle is the same size, when you put any 4 pieces together in the right order, they should match up and make your tree.

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I used the “middle section” from a small sheet of cardboard to make the trunk, and then cut out 15 stars of cardboard as a topper for my 15 trees.  Next, simply glue it all together.  Start at the trunk and work your way up.

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It doesn’t have to be perfect.  The tree is meant to look a little choppy.  Once the tree is glued together, top the tree with a cardboard star, and add a few button Christmas balls.  I wanted to add Merry Christmas somewhere on the card, so in the upper left corner I went to work on my Calligraphy skills.  Considering I did it with a Sharpie I have to say I’m pretty impressed, especially since I haven’t practiced this style since I was a kid (Once I saw Harry Potter I tried to write with a quill and ink for months… I also bought a wand… and a cloak…).

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And there you have it! I wrote my greeting on the inside, signed it, and presto! Another 15 Christmas cards patiently waiting to be mailed.
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I  still have not picked out any envelopes for my cards, but i am on the hunt for some.  Ken and I think we are going to send a “late fall early winter” picture to accompany our cards this year as well.  I started working on my third card design and I really think I should have invested in a puncher instead of cutting out all the card stock shapes manually (apparently this is an actual scrapbooking tool that really exists… I learnt about it just today).  These cards are taking FOREVER to make, but they are my best yet and I can’t wait to share! Happy card making!