Have you ever unexpectedly tapped into something that you didn’t know you liked? Like you went for Korean food with friends thinking it would suck and ended up living for Kimchi? I had a similar experience with card making once. On an episode of Craft Lab we started the show by making little greeting cards out of paper and fabric and to my surprise I never wanted to get on with the episode because I wanted to sit there and make cards all day. For some reason I enjoyed the whole thing a lot more than I thought I would. It was one of those “who knew I liked paper crafts” types of moments. I might not make cards often, but when I do it is one of my favorite craft projects. This would be one of the reasons I was so dang happy when a copy of Handmade Hellos: Fresh Greeting Card Projects from First-Rate Crafters made its way into my world.
Handmade Hellos is written by Sarah and Eunice Moyle founders of Hello! Lucky. Not only do these card making mavens contribute adorable projects to the book, but so do several of their talented friends like Binth, Egg Press, The Small Object and more. There are over 25 projects total for making the perfect handmade card, which is darn handy to have right here at the holidays when card sending is a must. The spiral bound craft book is chocked full of colorful inspirational pictures that made me want to rush out and buy some fresh card making supplies. Which I did as you will see in a moment with my very own handmade Christmas hello. Techniques like origami, screen printing, embossing, collage and more are incorporated into these clever cards. Not just any card either we are talking cards that pop up, have secret pockets, horoscope windows and do more than you ever really thought a card could do. All holidays and events are covered as well from thank you cards to baby announcements.
Flipping through the pages of the book I kept getting more and more excited about what cards I was going to make. The nice thing about the book is that so many techniques and styles are covered you can easily take something from several examples and come up with you own design, which is exactly what I did. Several of the cards like the Anne Taintor inspired Cocktail Hour Photo Card and the Photo Ornament Card got me to thinking about all the pictures I took at my parent’s house last Christmas. They are some of the most viewed pictures in my entire Flickr account so seems like they would make amazing Christmas cards. The Wish You were Here Postcard set reminded me of the suitcase full of postcards I had from my grandmother and the Valentines I made with them last year. With all these creative juices flowing I cleared the kitchen table and embarked on a Christmas card making journey. Consider this your handmade project of the week on the blog, since these are so super easy to make!
Handmade Christmas Hellos
Ready made cards
Photos that you have taken
Aleene’s Tacky Glue
Aleene’s Instant Decoupage Medium
Triple Thick Top Coat
Choose your backdrops. I started by selecting several vintage postcards from my stash that had lots of negative space. Next I dipped into my supply of vintage Christmas cards. I had picked these up at a flea market in Massachusetts years ago for a buck. All of them are signed, but I wanted them for the graphics so it didn’t matter to me. I scoured the cards for the perfect holiday picture.
Eyeballing it I matched up my postcards and greeting cards based on size and colors. When I made a life choice I cut the graphics out from my Christmas cards and placed the images where I wanted them on the postcards.
Next using a sponge brush I applied a thick layer of my decoupage onto the postcard then applied my Christmas graphics and put another layer of decoupage on top. I allowed this to dry completely and then applied a layer of Triple Thick Top Coat just in case in transit the card got hit with rain, sleet or snow.
From here these cards can be mailed just like a postcard or you can take the extra step of applying the postcard to a ready made card backing and sending it an envelope.
Christmas Photo Cards
Sure you could make your card from scratch Handmade Hellos has all kinds of ways to help you with that, but I am the type of crafter that likes to cut a few corners. The craft store is loaded with blank ready made cards complete with envelopes, they even have some that are glittered coated! You need a good selection so I went with a box of solid colors, box of patterned and several packages of the glitter covered!
Next I chose what pictures I wanted to use and cropped them to the correct size on my computer since they were digital photos. I then printed them out of shiny photo paper.
What glue you use to make your photo cards is a matter of preference. I started with a glue stick and quickly decided I liked the glue dots much better. I also used small black photo corners to give some of my cards a different feel.
Center your image on your card and make a life choice about placement. Once you are happy the glue dots are easily burnished onto the backs of your photos using your fingernail. If I was also using photo corners I only used 4 glue dots in the centers of all 4 sides. If the card was going to be without photo corners I used 8 glue dots applying them to the centers and corners of all 4 sides.
Once this is done all that is left to do is put pen to paper and wish your great Aunt Tokey a very merry Christmas and pop this baby in the mail. I warn you…card making can be addictive and super easy so you might find yourself sending cards to people you have not spoken to in years.
If you want to take your cards a step further with extra embellishment, feel free. In Handmade Hellos there are projects like The Blue Ribbon Congratulations Card that has a fun cloth rosette embellishment and the Fuzzy Octopus Valentine with button eyes. I decided to dip into my array of vintage rick rack and bias tape for inspiration.
I used the same steps as above to make my photo cards, but then using craft glue I added some extra bling around the edges. A light coat of glue with hold your trim in place. Measure out your 4 strips of trim and cut to size and then glue into place. Allow this card to dry completely before placing in an envelope and handing it off to your mail man.
Between this how-to and Handmade Hellos you have no excuse for not sending out Christmas cards this year! Who are some of your favorite card makers? Card making books? Card making supplies? I’m always looking for more inspiration in the realm of card making. After all I have custom baby announcements to make right around the corner so I need to plan ahead.