504 Main by Holly Lefevre: Who's Ready for Christmas?

11.07.2009

Who's Ready for Christmas?

I'm not!...but here I am anyway, faced with the inevitable...
Christmas is coming!
Like many of us, every year I think I have more time than I really do, "Heck, it's only early November. I have plenty of time to craft and create and plan." But, before I know it, I am frantically on Kodak Gallery looking for a photo card and hoping it will make it here before December 22. Then, I can thoughtlessly scribble our names on them, stick them in the envelope and hopefully mail them by December 24.
Well, not this year! I am determined to get my craft on and go for it. One of my favorite past times used to be crafting, but it was first replaced by opening my own business and then by having kids. I used to hand make all of my Christmas cards and many of my gifts because it was fun and I liked it, and I want to do it again! So, this year I am going to start off by making my Christmas cards.

I first made these cards - or something  similar - about 10 years ago, and have always liked them very much...PLUS they are so easy and can be done really cheap! I have made a lot of stylistic changes since I first made them, and so here they are...

SUPPLIES

Cards: Packs of 50 cards and envelopes can be purchased  in stores (about $10 per pack). They have a flat surface. You can also purchase Watercolor Cards or Creative Cards, which have a heavier feel and more expensive look.

Paper: Scrap book paper, handmade paper, newspaper, tissue paper - whatever type of paper suits your style. I had some Christmas paper but I also used blue patterned paper and some other paper from paper packs in winter/Christmas colors....decide what fits your style.

Trim: Ribbon, crystals, trimming, craft paper (optional depending on design)

Cutters: I used a Portable Paper Trimmer, pinking shears, and regular scissors.

Paper Tearing Tool (optional): One of my favorite scrapbook tools ever. I used if for making tags too (tutorial on that one coming up next week!)

Adhesive: The type of adhesive will depend on the paper and trim you select. I used glue dots and photo adhesive. Glue will work too, and maybe necessary or easier for certain designs such as the trunk and if you are using small fabric trims (see green tree below).
INSTRUCTIONS
Tree
Cut lengths of ribbon: I used four lengths, 4.5", 3.5", 2.5", and 1.5". You may need to snip off a little here and there to adjust for placement and the size of your card. (The ribbon or paper doesn't necessarily stay these measurements once you trim it up)
OR
Rip/Cut: Rip the paper into long lengths using the paper ripper or trimmer (depending on if you want a clean edge or a ripped edge). Make strips approximately 1/2" wide (it will be larger in areas and smaller in other areas - if you use the ripper). The paper strips can also have a straight clean edge - just cut the paper into 1/2" strips. Cut them into lengths of 4.5:, 3.5", 2.5", and 1.5".
Decide if you want the edges of your tree to be a straight cut or a pinking shear cut and if you want them angled (if so, cut from the bottom of the ribbon/paper up and in about 1/2"). You can lay the pieces out on a flat surface to do this. I find it easier to affix the paper strips to the card (with adhesive just in the middle), place the trunk and then using a ruler draw a light pencil line. The I cut. After cutting, apply more adhesive.
Trunk
Decide what you want to use as a trunk. 1/4" ribbon - grosgrain or satin - works well, just trim each end off at an angle. Rick rack can be a trunk. You can also use a brown scrapbook paper cut into a thin 1/8-1/4" strip and then cut to the correct length. A paper bag will also work as the trunk. My original idea used brown thread and I actually stitched the paper and ribbon to the card with a sewing machine.

Layout
Place your paper strips on the card and when you are happy with the placement begin glueing from the bottom up. Lay trunk into position and glue down.
Topper
For some cards I used a star stamp and for some I used crystals, and honestly, the trees look great without a topper too.

Inside
I am printing a photo of the munchkins and using photo corners to affix it on the inside of the card (the photos are my favorite part of a holiday card). On the opposite side, I will write a personal greeting...I may cheat a little and print out a little something on the computer and glue it on the inside or even use a "Happy Holidays" or "Seasons Greetings" stamp and just sign our names. (see top photo)

I made a few different styles of cards to show you how much fun you can have and that is doesn't have to be out of Christmas paper.....and for those who don't celebrate Christmas, I am working on a design for that too.
Same paper - two different techniques, two different looks!
One with ripped edges and straight sides and
One with stragith edges and pinked sides
Black and White
Ribbon and Fabric Trims
Ripped paper, straight edges
The Original Idea...circa 1999

Happy Crafting!

Holly

47 comments :

  1. This is D A R L I N G!!! Last week on my Tipsy Tuesday post I posted about homemade Christmas gifts... which I will do again, can you email me and let me know if I can borrow a picture and link to your blog for my Tuesday post?! I just bought some Christmas paper, with the goal of handmade cards... now I know what I am going to do! THANK YOU!

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  2. Your crafts are beautiful love it!! I am in the Christmas spirit already, thanks to my gfs. I wasn't sure how I'd be because my Mom died recently and we were both such Christmas people. But, so far so good. I think by turning it around and making it nice as we always did would be her wish because we LOVE Christmas!

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  3. Oh my goodness, look at that original!!! (sorry Holly, I meant that lovenly!)

    You have inspired me yet again. Although I think this will be next years cards, I already have addressed the envelopes of cards bought last year on clearance. Now just to get a picture of the girls or family to put in the cards and I'm ready to go for this year!

    MJ

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  4. I love this idea!! You made each tree look so unique using the same design. I'm definitely going to try it out!

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  5. That is such a cute idea! What beautiful, sweet cards. Something homemade really always does have that special touch :)

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  6. Love it! I might just try this for this season's cards. Definitely a great one. Thanks!

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  7. ohhh, I may have to "borrow" this idea...I used to make my cards too! Then I had kids....ummm yeah..I wonder if cutting the paper would go faster if I cut out a triangle (tree shape) then just tore it in strips from there?

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  8. You probably could cut a triangle first, especially if you are going to have straight cuts. I find it difficult to tear small pieces when you get to the top. I just start ripping the long pieces - it is easy. There are always clever ways to tailor a craft.
    Holly

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  9. These cards are so cute and personal (since the paper is entirely up to the crafter!). I love making hand made Christmas cards! My husband and I made cards our first Christmas in our own, roommate free apt. Thanks for stopping by my blog! As soon as I figure out how to put te SITS button on you'll see it! (lol I'm computer stupid!)

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  10. You make card making look so easy! I tried one year to make my own cards ... I was so proud of myself but they certainly weren't works of art. Alas I now buy mine every year ... cheating I know.

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  11. You have inspired me to make my own Christmas cards this year and maybe with incorporate some paper beads into it.

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  12. Beautiful! My friend does this every year and the cards always come out gorgeous!

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  13. Very creative cards! I love how there now the usual green and red! And yay for giveaways! The stamper looks very awesome.

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  14. I love those and they wouldn't be too difficult either. Martha Stewart is showing an idea I might try this year. She used small amounts of glitter to accent a photo. The one I liked most was a black and white of a young girl holding a stack of gifts. Just the gifts received the glitter. It is also a simple idea that has impact. It was in the November issue if you want to check it out.

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  15. I admire and envy you for having such crafty skills. I'm more the look at them, than the make them person. And I can't say that I'm ready for Christmas.....yet.

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  16. Adorable. You are so on top of the holidays. I just ordered my cards. xoxo

    SC

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  17. Oh, Holly, these cards are wonderful! I enjoyed this post very much, but it has made me reflect on how NOT ready for Christmas we are here...

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  18. I love this idea. I used to make my gift and cards too, but just haven't had the time or the space to get all my crafting stuff out. My scissors have probably rusted... You've inspired me to try it again this year!

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  19. Back when I only sent out about 10 cards I actually sketched and inked all my designs by hand on each card- I can't imagine doing that now! But, you're idea seems way more doable, thank you for sharing.

    And I love the stamps!

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  20. Me, again, Holly--there's something for you over at my place

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  21. Those are so cute! I haven't even started thinking about Christmas.

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  22. I am so behind, which is NOT good since Hanukkah is actually before Christmas this year, methinks. Need to consult calendar a.s.a.p.

    Wanna make me some Hanukkah cards? Please & thank you. MMMM'kay?
    ;-)

    p.s. something 4 u over at my blog!

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  23. These cards are beautiful! Thank you for showing how you made them! You should write a craft book because your instructions are simple and straightforward and able to be followed!

    I am not a fan of rushing the season but I think Christmas Cards are an exception to my "policy"!They have to be planned out pretty early if you want to get them written and mailed to friends and family in time for the holidays. If you want to create them - and I would love to be able to make them myself- you have to start even earlier planning them.
    This is a wonderful post!

    Thank you!

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  24. That's it! I have to get serious about my holiday stuff too! You're making us all look bad with with your fabulous cards! :) P.S. Love the stamper!

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  25. That's awesome!!! Yeah, I'm trying not to think too much about Christmas. My mom is already doing her Christmas shopping.

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  26. molly4:01 PM

    fun idea! cute stampers too. i am waiting on that looks similiar that i ordered a couple of weeks ago.

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  27. wow, those are great! So simple, yet elegant! Great idea

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  28. Those are simple and adorable. Thanks for sharing.

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  29. Oh I really like those cards. Usually making handmade cards takes forever but these look like they're something I can find time to do.

    Those stampers are really neat too. Hopefully the giveaway will include your Canadian fans too. Wink. Wink.

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  30. I love Christmas trees! These are really cute and now I am inspired to make my own cards even though I have a couple boxes stashed from last years clearance. I bet almost all the Christmas cards I have bought have a big tree on them now that I think about it...
    Thanks for the great idea!

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  31. These are so cute! I like to make my own cards, too. I'm thinking of posting instructions for them some time soon.

    I'm excited about your giveaway! The stamps are beautiful!

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  32. i'm very jealous of your crafting skills! i must have missed that bus. i can't craft worth crap. {say that 10 times fast!}

    happy monday!

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  33. These are darling! I can't wait to try them, if I ever get any spare time! Thanks for sharing the homecoming memories on my post sweetie. I never had a date either. I like to think the boys were a little intimidated! Have a fantastic day! Kori xoxo

    Oh, check out my mom's new blog if you get a chance--it's amazing

    The-Queens-Jewels@blogspot.com

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  34. What a GREAT idea!! I'll definitely be doing some of these!! I'm a follower now. =)
    Emily

    http://projecticansurvive.blogspot.com

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  35. Hi! I'm coming over from SITS. Those cards are awesome! You've inspired me for sure. I love crafting at Christmas but never thought about homemade cards before. I think I'm going to try yours out. Thanks for sharing the directions! :-)

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  36. I am going to use the Japanese Masking Tapes to make your trees! Thank you for the idea!

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  37. So crafty you are...you devil you! Love the cards. About 5 years ago we abandoned Christmas cards and started sending Summer cards. We just figured it was one less thing to do during the holidays...and the feedback was great. Thanks for coming by...and yes...Charisse said "hosed":) Holly at LLL

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  38. They look great.

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  39. Adorable Christmas cards!

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  40. Soooo cute. I don't know girl. I think I could make one. But to make as many as I need for Christmas card list? I doubt it. You should talk to Martha Stewart, she'd probably love to have you on her show. I'm serious! take care, Keri

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  41. I had thought about making cards this year, and I was looking for an easy way to do it. I may just try this. I love the photo inside idea too. I am sooo ready for Christmas!

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  42. Holly, your cards are wonderful! Great tutorial! Love the giveaway too! Looks like you're only 4 people away from making 100! WOW! Congrats! Okay, I'm jealous...just a little :)

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  43. That looks so fun! I love crafts.

    http://candyflosspersie.blogspot.com/

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  44. I'm late but here I am! :) I have NEVER been inspired to make a card. These are fantastic. Thank you so much for sharing your creativity in the DIY holiday party. I love them!

    Roeshel

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  45. Ok while your making the frames from my blog tomorrow Ill be making the cards from yours...very cute

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