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Make Your Own Christmas Cards
Are you tired of sending the same old Christmas cards depicting boring baubles and dreary bells year in and year out? Have you ever thought that you could design better Christmas cards yourself? Why not have a go this year?
The best time to begin collecting material for making Christmas cards is during the previous year's yuletide season. Collect as many seasonal clippings, ribbons, bows and small decorations as possible from magazines, wrapping paper, gift tags, Christmas cards, advent calendars…the list is endless - you won't have to look far for inspiration during the Christmas period.
Once you have amassed all of your material, store it in a special craft chest. You may wish to divide your material into different themes and put it into individual drawers in your craft chest.
You can then decide when to begin making cards for next Christmas. This will depend on how much time you have throughout the year and how many cards you wish to make - do you want to make a card for everyone on your Christmas card list or just a few for close friends and family?
Before starting to make the cards, you will need to buy either some card for cutting, folding and making your own card blanks or some ready-made card blanks with envelopes - this is the quickest and easiest way. Look in the crafts-paper crafts-card making section of eBay for good value packs of card blanks and matching envelopes or try your local craft store.
White or cream is a good background color as it enables you to use a variety of colors on top but you don't have to restrict yourself to this color, you can be as creative as you like. Red and green also make good background colors for Christmas cards.
You may also wish to buy peel-offs, which are stickers with such greetings as 'Happy Christmas,' 'Season's Greetings,' etc. They are useful for giving your cards the finishing touch but are not essential, as you could write a greeting using a silver gel pen, for example, or not include a greeting on the front of the card at all.
Sticky pads are another useful addition to your Christmas card craft making kit. These small foam pads with adhesive on both sides give certain images a slightly raised effect, allowing them to stand out from card slightly. They are excellent for giving more prominence to centerpieces.
You could also buy other materials like handmade or mulberry paper but these are not necessary if you have amassed a lot of your own Christmas material.
Alternatively, if you do not have any materials for making the cards, you could buy a Christmas card making kit. This will include several card blanks as well as many bits and pieces that you can use to design and make cards. It may even have suggested designs and instructions, which are great if you lack a little inspiration.
As far as tools are concerned, the only essential tools are a pair of scissors, a ruler and some glue. A glue pen is very useful as it allows you to apply glue very finely to small decorations.
Now the fun begins…just sit down and let you imagination run wild. Try out different designs on the cards without sticking them down. If one design doesn't work, discard it and begin again but don't be too judgmental - the idea is to have fun. Some designs will be better than others but you won't develop your own style if you don't give your creativity full rein.
As a finishing touch, you could add a little sticker on the back saying 'handmade by…' These stickers are available to buy or you could print them yourself from your computer. If people like your cards, you could have orders coming in for next year's cards and before you know it, you will have set up your own card making business. You could even sell your surplus cards to friends, at local groups and fairs or even on the Internet. eBay is a good place to start selling hand-crafted items online.
If you do begin selling your cards, bear in mind that you can only sell your original designs. If you have copied someone else's design either from a book, magazine, website or another source, you cannot sell it as it would be a violation of copyright, unless it is explicitly stated that it is a copyright-free design.
So, sit down, relax and enjoy a creative pursuit in the run-up to Christmas. The rewards could be greater than you expect.
Copyright © 2006, Ian White Access 2000 Pty Ltd
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