The holidays are in full swing, but you may have neglected to send out your Christmas cards or maybe you’re waiting for a handy-dandy, super helpful blog post to come along with some great ideas for easy, quick, DIY cards. Right?
Right! But before we get into all the fun-filled holiday goodness, let’s talk about National Christmas Card Day. This day, which is celebrated on December 9th, was created in honor of the very first commercial Christmas card producer, Sir Henry Cole (1808-1882). Not only did he produce the first commercial cards, but he also invented the idea of sending cards during the holiday season.
Who did Cole send the first Christmas card to? His grandmother, of course! In 2001, that card sold at an auction for a massive $30,312. To put that in perspective, someone once paid $18,860 for a Titanic post card, which was the highest amount ever paid for a card until Cole’s Christmas card was auctioned.
No one wants to spend a fortune on Christmas cards, so making your own cards is a great alternative to purchasing commercial ones. Plus, we believe that in today’s high tech, fast-paced, “e-card” world there is something super special about receiving a hand-made card. Not to mention the fact that it is an awesome family activity to do with the kids, to get them away from technology for a bit and into the old-fashioned holiday spirit.
If you have a whole bunch of cards to send, go for DIY cards that are easy to mass produce, or create a few time-consuming ones to send to your closest relatives and friends. However you decide to do it, make it fun, and involve your spouse and kids! Nothing says “Merry Christmas” like a handmade card sent with love from the whole family.
As always, you can click the links for each card to travel to the creator’s blog or webpage for full instructions and how-to’s. All photo credit goes to the originator of the craft.
Washi Tape Card
Before you begin doing anything, you’ll want to make sure you have a paper guillotine or a rotary paper trimmer. No matter the type of card you want to make, a trimmer is key to ensuring your cards are the right size to fit in an envelope (standard card size is 5×7 for A7 envelopes).
How cute are these cards?? Washi tape is basically patterned masking tape, so this card is a simple “cut and paste” deal without using glue. Just cut your tape in graduated pieces (feel free to measure, if you like) to get the general Christmas tree shape, and then decorate the lower edge with a final strip. It’s so quick and easy, and a great project for kids to help out with.
Paint Chip Card
These paint chip cards are another example of just how cheap and easy DIYing can be! Paint chips are free to take from any store that sells paint, so go ahead and stock up on a bunch of them. Once you’ve got your bundle, all you have to do is cut the triangular shapes, stick the trees on the front of your card using tape or permanent glue, and then add whatever accent pieces you like to the skyline and tree top. Feel free to use pop dots to give your trees a 3D effect.
Reindeer Potato Stamp Card
Who ever thought of such a clever use for a potato? Sarah, a German DIYer, decided to create an adorable reindeer canvas bag using a simple reindeer cookie cutter, some brown paint, and a potato. The canvas bag is super cute, but you can also apply her idea for making your Christmas cards. If you have kids, you can have them use several different holiday shapes to cut out potato stamps, paint the backs in an array of Christmas colors, and then stamp away on the front and back of every card.
Sarah’s blog is in German, but take a look at it anyway to see how she finished decorating the reindeer with a few dabs of white paint and a black fabric pen.
Elf Snot Gift Card Jar
Talk about a super unique and super gross way to give someone a gift card! With some glue, some baking soda, contact solution containing boric acid, and neon green food dye, you can create your own “snot” to put in a wide-mouth mason jar. Once you have your gift card, push it down into the “snot” to make sure it’s fully coated. Kids really like this because it adds a fun and unique element to Christmas morning, especially if your kids still believe in Santa and really think the slime is elf snot!
The sticker on the jar can be found on the blog, Down Redbud Drive, so just follow the link to it. It’s mentioned on the blog, but be sure you use contact solution with boric acid or the resulting slime will be foamy instead of sticky.
Snow Globe Shaker Card
This is one of those cards that’ll take some time to make, so you may want to reserve this idea for very close friends and family. May Sukyong Park used a lot of different tools to create this card, but you can make these elements by hand or with inexpensive die cutters. For cards that are complex like this one, a good approach to take is to “improve” upon the design by making it simpler.
If you have a snowman stamp, use that instead of trees. The snow banks don’t have to be pointed, so why not cut them out with a rounded top, like hills? The sequins are pretty, but buttons would look just as cute. Rhinestone stickers are another alternative to the sequins if you aren’t worried about the card having a snow globe effect.
Lastly, you can always change the inner design. Why not create a Christmas tree with gifts around it or Santa riding off into the sky on his sleigh? The ideas are endless once you get the creative ball rolling!
Present Pop-up Card
Unlike the previous card, this one is significantly less complicated, and everything you need to know is right there in the photo. You just need to cut your paper as shown, glue it onto your cardstock, and then decorate the interior with whatever embellishments you like. This is another project that’s super quick to make, but it’s even faster if you’ve got hands to help.
Unfortunately, the helpful elf behind this card is nowhere to be found, but he or she certainly knows that we love their project idea! Such a simple design is made elegant with really cheap materials (those gold stars, for example, are the kind that come on multicolored sticker sheets you can find in any drug store for a couple dollars).
Christmas Gift Card Boxes
Just like the elf snot, this project will hold any gift cards or small, lightweight gifts that you plan to give out. The instructions are super detailed and require a good bit of measuring and cutting. Since you probably aren’t making a ton of these, it’s a good project to just sit down and do on a cold, snowy day. Alternatively, you can simplify the process by purchasing a gift box punch board, which is what we recommend if you need to churn out a bunch of these fast.
The project won’t be exactly the same if you use the punch board, but you have the luxury of making different sized boxes quickly and you can always decorate the boxes with the same embellishments. A Santa-themed box followed by a few elf-themed boxes would be adorable if you’re giving gift cards to a whole family!
Christmas Tree Layered Paper Card
Originally made as kits for a fundraiser, these cards look fancy, but are actually easy to make! The paper sizes are as follows: 3.5 inches, 3.25 inches, and 3 inches, but you can always make them smaller or larger as long as you follow the same graduated increments.
The white paper is embossed, which can be done with an embossing machine, which we highly recommend anyway because embossing is, by far, the easiest and cheapest way to make any card look like an expensive one. There’s washi tape beneath the Christmas tree, and the tree itself can be die cut or you can print one out on card stock. To get that 3D look, you just need pop dots. Super easy!
Wreath Mini Cards or Gift Tags
With a little green wire, a little twine, and bits of holiday greenery, you can make this easy project. Although technically gift tags, you can convert them into mini cards by cutting out 3×3 squares. Wouldn’t it be so cute to write a unique holiday message in each one and then give them to people by hanging them on their Christmas trees? We think these would make unique ornaments, too!
Unfortunately, the blog this idea comes from, Frolic-Blog, is no longer active. However, you can recreate this fabulous project just by looking at the photo above.
If these homemade card ideas don’t get you in the holiday spirit, I am thinking that you may need to stop what you are doing right now and watch “How the Grinch Stole Christmas” and double check that heart of yours!
For more DIY holiday craft and decorating ideas, check out these blog posts:
- DIY Holiday Decorating Ideas for that Old Fashioned, Rustic Look
- Cheapest, Easiest, and DIY-est: 7 Winter and Holiday Crafts for Kids and Adults
Christmas Day is quickly approaching, and we know you’re just as excited as we are! But you’re also probably feeling a little worn down with all the shopping, too, which is why TopProducts.com is here to help. With so many thorough reviews and easy-to-scan comparison tables, you can quickly evaluate a ton of different items at once. If that isn’t super handy, we don’t know what is!
August Wright, TopProducts Staff Writer