Thursday, October 27, 2011

Simplify - Day 4 How to Handmake Christmas Cards {Assembly Line}

I'm sure many of you are getting started on your Christmas cards soon or maybe have already started.  But how many of you have never made your own cards for the holidays but are intimidated on how to start?  It can be easy to do, but there are ways to make it easier.  I hope to show you today how to create beautiful handmade cards that are simple and a joy to give this season.

For starters, you must have the time.  Believe it or not, you probably have lots of this.  Everyone has 24 hours in a day, but most people mismanage most of it.  I'm not saying you do this, and I'm not saying I don't squander hours myself.  I'm just saying that many people think that the Christmas holiday season is insane - and if you look at all that "needs to be done", well, it kind of is.  But what "needs to be done" has to be broken down into managable pieces to check off a list. 

Ok, I get what you're thinking, where does the "time" part come in and how do you think I have so much?

Simple!  How many hours do you spend watching tv?  For the average person, it's 4 hours a day - or 28 in a week.  Hard to believe, but it's true.  Even if you are twice as 'good' as the average person, watching only 2 hours a day - that's still 2 whole hours that you could be getting much more done in.  I use tv as an example, maybe you waste time on me....

Anyway!  The whole point is that you have the time, somewhere.  Now you need a basic design - remember to keep it simple!  Even if you have lots of fun supplies, Copic markers and stamps and embellishments coming out the wazoo, you're not going to want to repeat that 50 times over.  The card you design should take less than 5 minutes to make once you have your prototype.  The average family sends 28 cards during the holidays, so hopefully it should take you less than 140 minutes (or less than 2 1/2 hours.) 

Remember, it doesn't have to be done all at once! 10 minutes here, 10 minutes there.

Let's get the show on the road.  The concept here is assembly line, meaning do the first step of your card to all the cards before moving on to the next step. 

Also please forgive the photo quality, these shots are terrible as I took them at night and did my best to brighten but they seem to have come out a bit orange!

Here are my supplies, from top left - Stickles in Star Dust, Holly, and Candy Cane; Archival Ink in Jet Black, adhesive runner, corner punch, 3 acrylic blocks with stamps pre-set (a set from Inkadinkado: snowman, "be merry" sentiment, and two separate snowflakes on same stamp}, red flat cardstock as base, and white cardstock as top layer.

Start with your card base.  This one is 4 inches wide by 5.5 inches tall.

Cut your white cardstock to measure 3.75 inches wide by 5.25 inches tall.

Punch all 4 corners of the white cardstock.

Adhere white cardstock to red cardstock base.

Stamp "be merry" sentiment in lower right hand corner.

Stamp snowman in center.

Stamp snowflakes twice (snowflakes should be on same acrylic block, this will save time).

Add Holly Stickles to scarf.

Add Candy Cane Stickles to holly berrys on top hat.

Add Star Dust Stickles to dots on ends of snowflakes.

Repeat until all your cards are finished!

Only halfway decent shot of the bunch - a closeup of the snowman

I hope this was helpful to someone out there - it really can be easy to make your own Christmas cards.  Just imagine what your friends and family will think when they see this year's card from you and realize you took the time to make it yourself!

So tell me, do any of you make your own cards for the holiday season?
Or will this year be your first to try?
I wish you all the best of luck, I'm sure they will turn out great!


  1. Great Post Kristina.
    I had to work out my 'assembly line' when I made some wedding stationery earlier this year. Once I get the process sorted it was plain sailing. This step-by-step instruction will be really helpful to those intending to make lots of cards.

    I am in the process of deciding how I want this years Christmas to look. As soon as I have that worked out, the practical experience I gained with the wedding invites will be put to good use.


  2. @Angela

    The hardest part is coming up with your design - you are so right! Wedding invitations are a great way to learn how to batch create - I did that myself. Please share your Christmas card design when you come up with it!

  3. great design! you DO make this look easy...i'm going to have a go at assembly line style. thanks for sharing your tips :)

  4. Great tutorial! I've taken the easy way out the last few years by doing photo cards!

  5. @Barb

    Thanks Barb! I'd love to see your card if you make one this year. Glad that my tips helped! :-)

  6. @Junker Newbie Stephanie

    Hey Stephanie, thanks for stopping by! I thought of you today, for 'would you buy it Wednesdays'; I found some fun stuff at a vintage shop. I'll have to link up to your party next week :-) And maybe get some tips on starting my own link parties...?

  7. Hi this is so helpful & your snowmen card's look very,very cute. I have for this year made my own card's for the very 1st time. Now whether the recipients will like them is another thing lol. I go back to work nextonth after having an operation in May so I've been stamping & making card's. I've been on several card class's & have really enjoyed them & I'm going on a Promarker class next mth which I'm really looking forward to. Thank you for sharing your wonderful lovely card's. I have 2 teenage boy's & we also have a Cairn Terrier that gies by the name of Haggis as I'm Scottish & my wee dog is Scottish lol xxx

  8. @Helen

    Thanks Helen! I'm glad you like them, and I'm sure your card recipients will love yours also! I'd love to hear more about the classes you've been taking. I've never taken any scrapping or card making class, so I guess I'm self taught. But it's not out of possibility to take a class in the future! Oh and I'd love to see pics of pets, especially super distant cousins of my Bostons!? :-D

  9. you need a like button so I can like you 20 billion times! ^_~
    great post!

  10. @Autumn R W

    AWW!! You are the sweetest. You can "share" to FB, but I don't think you can like an individual post? I'll have to look into that :-)


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