Tuesday, December 15, 2020

Handmade Christmas Cards and My 2020 Christmas Cards

On Sunday I shared my home decorated for Christmas.  Be sure to check it out HERE if you missed it. In that post I discussed how I wrapped my presents all in white Kraft paper and used teal/minty bows to bring out the teal color in the tree.  I also mentioned that I made my own tags to match the tree and that I would back to give you more details on the tags.  Well here I am to explain how I made the tags and also to show my 2020 Christmas Cards.


To make my tags I used my Cricut Machine, glitter and plain white paper, and gel pens.  Now I realize not everyone has a Circuit Machine, but I feel you can still make snowflakes without one by either tracing a snowflake image off the internet onto glitter paper and hand cutting it out, or by using the old Kindergarten method of folding a piece of paper and hand-cutting multiple times (see this great tutorial HERE).


I luckily had a three varieties of blue and green glitter paper already in my stash, so I didn't have to buy anything for this project.  I cut two layers of snowflakes, one in white and one in glitter paper.  I did this so I could write the name of the recipient on the white center part of the tag.  The cartridge I used for this project had the option of having the center of the snowflake left in place or not;  so I removed the center of the glitter snowflakes but left it in place for the white snowflake.  When the two snowflakes were put together, I had a nice open white space to write a name using a gel pen.


I purchased three different varieties of blue and teal ribbon from Hobby Lobby.  I was shocked that they didn't have hardly any ribbon left in this color.  I was hoping to get more to add to my tree, but no such luck.  Only one of the three ribbons matches the mint in my tree, but that's ok, because the three together provide a nice blend.


All the bows were made using wired ribbon and my Bowdabra,



And here is my tree with all the pretty presents underneath waiting to be opened by little munchkins.

Next, I'd like to show you my Christmas Cards that I sent out this year.  I actually stopped making handmade Christmas Cards years ago.  I found them too time consuming and the cost of postage too high, so I switched to just sending out a photo card with a year-in-review message printed on back.  This year, I decided not to do that.  I just didn't think I could bring myself to write a review of the year because, well you all know, we've all had a difficult year.  I didn't want my annual Christmas Card to be all about Covid, because then Satan gets the glory instead of Jesus.  So I decided not to send out Christmas photo cards at all.  But then the Lord reminded me of several friends and family that had a tough year.  We've lost so many loved ones this year;  none of the losses were due to Covid but to other diseases like cancer, heart disease, and dementia.  I thought those people really needed to be reminded how much we are thinking of them and how much God loves them.  I also had a few friends that I haven't been able to spend time with (once again Covid is to blame) so I wanted to send them a Christmas Card too,  so I ended up making ten cards. I usually send out forty cards, but this year I narrowed it down to ten.

When designing my cards, I wanted to keep them as mail-friendly as possible so no extra postage was required.  I also wanted to keep them as simple as possible since I was mass producing them (I failed on that one).  But most of all, I wanted the cards to remind everyone about the real meaning of Christmas.  This is what I came up with:  each card is slightly different, so I will walk you through the differences of each set. 

Because I wanted to keep the cards mail-friendly I aimed for a one layer card.  That idea failed quickly because the stamp/coloring bleeds onto the back of the card stock.  So then I decided to use glitter paper for my background, and attach that to the white card base.  Then I stamped my ornaments onto a metallic card stock and gold heat embossed the sentiments.  All the nativity images were hand colored in using Copic Markers.  I used the thinnest, flattest metallic ribbon I had to "hang the ornaments" and topped each with a small bow.  Not very mail-friendly I know.  I still only put a regular postage stamp on the envelope, so we will see if the cards make it to their destination.


In the picture below, the card on the right was the first card I made and the most mail-friendly.  The ornaments are stamped directly on the card stock, and colored in.  Then I hand drew a line.  This was all done on a separate piece of card stock to prevent bleed through.  I then adhered this main panel to a card base so it is technically a two layer card.  To give it some sparkle, I hand stamped a snowflake background and sprinkled it with glitter.

But because I wasn't happy with the original card design, I "added more".  The card on the left is how most of the cards ended up.  I used small dimensionals to "Pop" the ornaments up a bit from the glitter paper.


In the card on the left (close up underneath this picture), I was still exploring how to make my cards "special" while still being mail-friendly.  So here I tried stamping on colored card stock, then just gluing the ornament to the glitter panel.  

I put yellow glitter glue on the center of each star.



I used all different kinds of glitter paper backgrounds.  I never could decide which glitter paper I liked the most.  Which one is your favorite?



I know the dimensionals did not make the cards mail-friendly, but I really preferred the cards made with them and I'm keeping my fingers crossed that make it ok to their destination.


With the exception of the first card, all the ornaments were hand cut.  It was the hand cutting plus the coloring of the nativity scene that was the most time consuming.


If you're wondering about the stamp set, it's an old set from a company that is no longer in business called "Crafty Secrets".  You can still find some of their sets for sale on Etsy, Ebay or Amazon.


Have A Great Day!  Amy

Linking Up with these Fabulous Blogs HERE!
 

22 comments:

  1. I love the white paper with the mint bows, it's a striking combination! I am not good at wrapping so I have quite a few boxes under the tree this year that I've just wrapped a ribbon around, haha! Anything to avoid the struggle with wrapping paper ;)

    The cards are lovely too it's nice you could send some out. We did our usual family photo one although you can't sit next to Santa this year, you have to distance, which is different!

    Hope that you are having a great week! It's a wet and stormy one here, summer rains have arrived!

    Away From The Blue | Handbag Gift Guide

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks Mica! Your way of wrapping sounds good to me!

      Delete
  2. What a great design! Love the ribbons you added. Hard to choose a favorite but think it might be the green background.
    Sending Christmas cards really does get expensive so I try to keep mine flat as well. It's not easy though. I purchased a book of "additional ounce" stamps and add one of those if I feel it's not flat enough.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks Ellie. I probably should have added extra postage to my cards. Hopefully they will get to their recipients.

      Delete
  3. Beautiful cards and I love your wrapping and gift tags!

    ReplyDelete
  4. Nice job on the cards! Your tree and the gifts look really nice, too! Thanks so much for linking up with me at #AThemedLinkup 36 for Christmas Crafts and D├ęcor, open until December 17 at 12:05 am. Shared on social media.

    ReplyDelete
  5. Visiting again to say thanks so much for linking up with me at the #UnlimitedMonthlyLinkParty 19, open until December 26 at 12:05 am. Shared again on social media.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks Dee! You don't have to come back more than once. I know it's time consuming. But I appreciate it.

      Delete
    2. Oh but Amy, I do have to come back again. You took the time to visit my party so I surely must come back again and share your post again ♥

      Delete
  6. Amy, everything is just beautiful and your handmade cards are so special. I know that the folks who receive them will just love them! Thanks for sharing your creativity and artistry with us!

    ReplyDelete
  7. I love how your tags turned out! I need to try that! Your wrapping is beautiful! And I love your handmade cards!

    ReplyDelete
  8. You have such a talent with this Amy. I used to make cards but I ended up giving all of my supplies away when we moved.
    XOOX
    Jodie
    www.jtouchofstyle.com

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks Jodie. I have so much paper crafting stuff I'd have to give it all away too if I moved. It fills an entire room.

      Delete
  9. Your Christmas tree is just gorgeous! I love all of the gift tags!!

    ReplyDelete
  10. You are so creative! These gift tags are so great! I have always admired people who can hand make all of the Christmas things! It is so much more special that way. Thanks for linking with me, my friend! Merry Christmas!

    Shelbee
    www.shelbeeontheedge.com

    ReplyDelete

Thank you for leaving a comment. I love feedback from my readers. If you have a blog, I always return the love by visiting within a week whoever leaves a comment.