Christmas is about so much more than materialism but it’s also nice to buy or create something that lets people know you are thinking about them at this time of year and that you enjoy having them in your friendship circle. Sometimes all it takes is a Christmas card so here are some ideas to give you a new take on this traditional festive greeting…
MAKE IT OR DESIGN IT
If the word ‘handmade’ brings to mind visions of stickers, glitter and crayons, take a look at some of these ideas.
Foam stamping is easy and straightforward way to add a personal touch to your Christmas greetings. All you need is a sheet of craft foam, a sharp knife, a piece of cardboard, paint, and paper. Trace any design you like on the craft foam, cut it out, and glue it to a piece of cardboard. Spread paint over the entire surface and stamp your paper. Fold your card, and you’re done. The finished item looks a lot like traditional woodcut printing.
Even easier (and thriftier!) is using paint sample cards from the DIY store and cutting them into triangles to form Christmas tree shapes. Use glue or double-sided tape to stick them to cardstock, and you have a quick festive design. Check out local craft stores for washi tape, and create your own washi tape Christmas tree cards by cutting tape to different lengths and applying to paper to form colourful tree shapes. Tape, paper, and scissors are all you need for this project.
If getting crafty with your Christmas cards doesn’t suit you, there are still options for making your personalising your cards by creating your own design online before printing them from your computer. Many card sites offer at least one freebie you can download and print, all it takes is a little careful searching.
If you’re going to see your friends and family before Christmas, why not give them a decoration rather than a Christmas card? Picture ornaments are always a favourite and can be as simple as inserting a cut-out photograph into a glass ornament and topping it with a ribbon. Clear glass balls in a variety of sizes can be used for a whole variety of things: consider filling them with miniature jingle bells in silver and gold, or feed in delicate feathers. Dress them up with a ribbon, add a personal note, and you have a festive greeting that’s both personalised and decorative. If you choose baubles that come in two halves, you can pop small gifts inside, such as socks, sweets or toys.
ECO FRIENDLY OPTIONS
Don’t be afraid to go green this Christmas, from paperless to growable. I’ve already shared a blog post on eco-friendly gifts, so why not make your cards environmentally sound too? E-cards are an increasingly popular option that helps you cut your carbon footprint. Several sites offer free cards or free trials. Just be careful. Some want you to commit to a membership that will be your responsibility to cancel. Cards come in a variety of styles from electronic greetings that work like digital reproductions of paper cards to a selection of warm and fuzzy videos. Most sites offer you the ability to personalise messages, upload photos, and even create your own audio message. Best of all, they are paperless.
If you still want something tangible in your greeting, why not go green with recycled paper or plantable seed holiday cards? The paper is embedded with wildflower seeds that your friends can plant, water, and grow once Christmas is over. Cards can be purchased as singles or in larger quantities for a bulk discount.
TRADITIONAL WITH A TWIST
For some of us, though, nothing beats a conventional card. Even if you’re buying a ready-made card you can still shop for Christmas card designs that express your own style. It could be through choosing non-traditional materials. Maybe you could choose an ‘out of the box’ design such as mitten-shaped cards, or cards that add geometric pizzazz with laser cutouts. Like pop-ups? There are some beautiful designs available to brighten the festive season for everyone on your mailing list.
A lot of traditional card companies offer options printed on recycled paper that allow you to conserve natural resources more traditionally so keep an eye out for this feature if you decide to buy your Shristmas cards from the shops. Whatever you choose, there are plenty of ways to personalise your holiday greetings to show off your own creativity.
Let me know what kind of cards you’re making or sending this year and please share your DIY tips for personalising Christmas cards in the comments below.