Holiday Cards

20 Dec

Supplies needed to make your own card.

This isn’t a post related to food, cooking, eating or food places in anyway but it is about creating something beautiful from unused (and often discarded) items. The art of transforming unused or unwanted objects into something of value is known as upcycling. My upcycling idea is to turn shopping bags into homemade holiday cards. In fact, I appreciate the gesture of a handcrafted card much more than receiving a store bought card. This is also an ideal project for kids and, of course, can be done any time of the year for any event. I have turned many bags into birthday cards, Valentine’s day cards, get-well cards, anniversary cards, thank you cards, etc.

What you will need:

  • An assortment of paper bags (e.g. shopping bags from clothing stores, gift bags, etc.)
  • Scissors
  • Markers
  • Glue
  • Envelope
  • Tape
  • Pencil with eraser
  • (optional) Coloured paper
  • (optional) Any other craft supplies you may want to use on your card such as glitter, stickers, ribbons, etc.

Although there are many variations, the following are step-by-step instructions for a design of a Christmas card.  I was inspired by the red and white paper bags that I had and the upcoming Christmas holidays.

Step 1:  I am using the white bag as the base of the card and the red bag to make a Christmas tree. Remove the string from the bag if necessary. Save the string for later use.

Step 2: Cut out a rectangle that is twice as long as the envelope. There is unwanted writing on the card but this will be fixed in Step 4.

Step 3:  Fold the paper in half and ensure that it fits into the envelope. If not, trim the card accordingly.

Step 4: Since there is writing on the base paper of the card, cut a strip of coloured paper just big enough to cover the words. In this case, I had enough material for a cutout from a blue bag I had previously made a complete card from. I used craft scissors to create the jagged edges around the cutout.

Step 5:  Now cut a big enough patch from the red bag to make a tree.

Step 6: Flip the red paper over and using a pencil, draw the shape of a Christmas tree.  It doesn’t have to be perfect or even symmetric.  Cut out the shape of the tree.

Step 7: I usually like to make a thin border on the front of the card but of course, you don’t have to.  Before glueing, position the blue strip and red tree to preview how the card will appear.  Leave enough room at the top to write a small greeting.

Step 8: Once you are satisfied with the layout of the card, use a pencil to write in the greeting. Trace the words with a black marker.

Step 9: I wanted my card to be cheerful and festive so I coloured in  “Happy Holidays” in a  variety of bright colours. After the ink has dried, erase any pencil marks.

Step 10: Glue the blue strip first, then the tree. At this point, the card is done if you wish. I wanted to decorate my tree with some ribbon and sparkles.

Step 11: Using a sharp point (in this case, the tip of my math compass worked nicely) poke four small holes along the tree where you think appropriate.   Thread the ribbon through the first hole. Continue threading through all the holes.

Step 12: The ribbon will now be visible on the inside of the card. Tape the two free ends of the ribbon.

Step 13: Using some plain or coloured paper, cut two rectangles just smaller than the actual card.

Step 14: Glue the precut yellow paper to each half of the inside of the card.  Once the glue has dried, you can write your personalized message on the inside.

Step 15: Lastly, I had some rhinestone stickers which I thought would make perfect tree ornaments. Place them however you wish.

Step 16: Mail your card!


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