It’s always a pleasure to receive a homemade card and it’s something great to do as a family. Get the kids to help you think of the designs. If you’re all a fan of snowmen, all you need is some cotton wool and a bit of felt to add on facial features, and maybe a piece of string to craft a scarf.
Father Christmas is always a popular choice for making your own Christmas cards. The cotton wool will come in handy for his beard and tissue paper is a great material to work with. Create a fairy princess with a tissue-paper dress and add some sparkle with some glitter for her magic wand.
If you are a sewing bee and have some fabric off-cuts, why not use them for Christmas cards. Make cardboard templates of your chosen motifs, such as a gingerbread shape or snowman. Use the templates to cut out your favourite fabric into festive designs.
Stamp a message
Spell out a seasonal greeting with an alphabet stamping kit. You can use different-coloured paints and change your message from card to card, but do practise on a piece of paper first so you know how much ink to use and pressure to apply.
Place a doily on your card and apply several light coats of a spray paint suitable for cardboard. Work in ventilated conditions, wear a respirator mask and mask off the surrounding area when using the spray. Peel the doily back carefully so you dont smudge the paint, to leave a pretty design. Leave to dry for at least one hour.
Paint your shapes first and leave to dry. Stick a wooden shape directly onto a plain card, or add a loop of string and stick the string to the card so the shape is hanging free. Alternatively, cover your card first with paper, then stick the wooden shape on top.
Buttons make great card decorations you can use all shapes and sizes to create seasonal designs and even use up odd ones.
To make a Christmas wreath: arrange your buttons either all one size or different sizes in a circle on your card to get the design right, then glue in place. Finish off by tying a ribbon bow and sticking onto the button at the very top.
Cut strips of ricrac ribbon increasing in length to create a Christmas tree design, then cut out a pot and star from coloured paper. If you are going to use triangular card, you wont need a pot shape. Arrange the pieces on your card and glue in place.
Fabric remnants can be used to make lovely cards and they dont have to be Christmas patterns or colours to look good. Make cardboard templates of your motifs, then draw around them on the wrong side of your fabric. Cut out the motifs with sharp fabric scissors and glue onto your cards dont use too much or it will seep through the fabric. Stick on buttons, sequins and ribbons as a finishing touch, or simply leave the card as it is. Allow the glue to dry completely before sending.
Pipe cleaners are easy to work with and can be bent into all sorts of shapes.
To make a snowflake: cut three pieces of white pipe cleaner to the same length and join with a short piece in the middle to create a six-point snowflake. Cut six short lengths of pipe cleaner and twist around the ends of the points to make prongs. Glue onto a card.
To make a candy cane:twist a red and a white pipe cleaner together and bend at the top to make a cane shape. Tie a ribbon bow and glue on. Glue a piece of wrapping paper onto the card, allow to dry and then glue the candy cane on top.
Decorative hole punches can be used to create all sorts of festive designs. Either punch out shapes then stick a piece of contrasting paper behind the holes, or cut out shapes from scrap paper and stick them onto contrasting card. Its a good idea to perfect your design on scrap paper first.
Come up with your own festive greeting or image and The English Stamp Company will put it on a bespoke rubber stamp for you. You can use one of their templates or your own design. Once youve got your stamp, have a go on a piece of paper before making your cards so you know how much ink to use and pressure to apply.
Make a cardboard envelope that, when opened, reveals a flower shape with a photo in the centre. Start by drawing a square slightly larger than your photo in the middle of an A4 piece of card. Now draw parallel lines from the edges of the square out to the edges of the card to make a plus sign (+). Cut out the sign, discard the corners of the card and round off the ends by drawing around a cup and cutting out. Cut a piece of Christmas paper to fit in the square and glue in place. When dry, glue thephoto in the centre. When dry, close the flaps and seal with a festive sticker or length of ribbon.