Thursday, November 7, 2013

Handmade Christmas Cards

The shops are bursting over with Christmas Cards - from the simple to the extreme - from the naive to the naughty - cards - cards - cards everywhere you go. Buying packs of 10 or even 20 cards is cheaper but you end up sending the same cards to your friends and if they know each other they will know.....(awkward)..... but why not make your own cards. It is simple, less expensive and very personal. It is a great way of spending a cold evening in front of the fire - let your older kids help you - and create unique cards that your friends and family will love.

With the opening of Vibes & Scribes Craft Shop in Bridge Street in Cork, it has never been easier to get hold of crafting material. There is also a craft shop in Princess Street as well as in Paul Street Shopping Centre and most of them will have demonstrations or workshops coming up to Christmas.

Here I am showing you how to make a raised card. All you need is a motive that repeats itself at least 3 times. I have used a sheet of wrapping paper but you can also buy 3D sheets where the motives are printed in copy. A sharp scissors (I am using a really small one), card & envelope, extra paper (I am using here some cotton paper but you can use silk paper or the paper that comes with gifts etc. I am stamping a message in the card and for that I need a stamp with a message, ink pad and embossing powder (only if you want to emboss the message) - last but not least, little 3D pads. You can also use craft silicon - a small drop here and there will have the same effect. 

Selection of items for making a card
Card Sets in craft shops are inexpensive - make sure to look for special offers. I personally love colour coordinating paper but the sky is your limit.
Repeat motive for raise image
Choose a motive that is easy to cut out. Here I am using robbins on flowerpots. I bought this sheet (there were 20 of the same motive) a few years ago for £1 but good quality wrapping paper will do as well. Make sure that the paper is not too thin (just doesn't look right) and that it is easy to cut the motives out.
Cut out each image as it appears
Keep one motive complete - take the second one and cut away the background. You will have to look at the image as if it is already in 3D - the motive that is closest to you is the one that is cut last.

Add little pads on the back of the image
Using the little 3D pads, start arranging them along the single layers - making sure that the pads are not too close to the edges as it could be seen when looking at the card.

Making sure not to go to close to the edges

Start building up the image
Start building up the image - using the first layer as guideline. Add the second layer - third etc. The smallest cut should be last. 
The finished 3D image

Look from the side

Stick 3D motive onto extra paper
Now place your matching paper on a flat surface, add some glue to the top and place the 3D image on top. Press down slightly and let dry. 

Place motive onto card
Now take your card, put some glue to the back of your 3D image and paper and place in on the card. You can place it either in the centre but sometimes it looks nicer off-centre. Here again - your imagination is the limit.

Print or stamp message on inside of card
I have stamped a message in the card but you can print simply a message on matching paper, trim it to fit and affix it to the card. When stamping, dab the ink pad slightly onto the stamp and press the stamp onto the card - press down but don't move your hands at the print will smudge otherwise.

Ready to post
Let it all dry and the card is ready to post. Making your own cards is so easy and quick and a great way of passing an afternoon of rain. Get your girlfriends together, put the kettle on and happy card making :-)

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