The holiday season is upon us. Quite often, those of us who craft like to send handmade holiday cards. Today, I’m sharing some tips for making quick and easy Christmas cards. Whether you make 100 cards or only a dozen, these tips will make the job of creating them easier.
The first of my tips for making quick and easy Christmas cards is a good one for ANY type of crafting with a deadline….Start early.
It’s so easy to procrastinate. I think that I have plenty of time to get the job done, and then before you know it, the deadline is upon me and I’m scurrying around trying to get everything done in time. And, then I’m feeling stressed and crabby!!
Here’s a suggestion. Decide on your deadline date. Then, figure out how much time you have between then and now to get things done. Next, break your creative project into tasks/steps and then assign a deadline to each of those pieces.
Here’s what it might look like for my holiday cards:
- Send Cards on December 8 (DEADLINE).
- I have five weeks between now and December 8. (Figure how much time I have)
- By November 10 – Decide on card design and create a “sample”. Then, break down each part of the card (stamped/colored image; die cuts; cardstock to cut; scored card bases; ribbons/bows, etc) and assign a deadline to each. Make note of the sizes of cardstock you will need to cut as well.
- If possible, set up a work area that can stay set up. If this isn’t possible, gather supplies you will need together and store in a box. This way, everything you need will be together.
- Week of November 13 – Cut cardstock needed for stamping. Stamp and color images (including envelopes and inside of cards).
- Week of November 20 – complete all die cuts and cut needed card stock and card bases.
- Week of November 27 – assemble all card elements (mattes, etc) and assemble cards.
- Week of December 4 – address envelopes and write cards.
The most important part at this point is making the commitment to DO IT and stick to the schedule!! Many times I find it’s easy to let the other demands of my life pull me off of commitments I’ve made. In order for me to overcome this problem, I have to make my card making schedule a PRIORITY!! Sorry that I don’t have some magic formula for you. It’s just a matter of making a decision to stick to the plan!!
Continuing on with my tips for making quick and easy Christmas cards.
Step One – Deciding on the card design.
- My best word of advice here is to keep it simple, especially if you have LOTS of cards to create. Don’t make it detailed! Keeping the design simple makes the entire process easier and faster. (See my sample above)
- Decide on the focal point and keep the focus of the card here. Card sketches are great tools to use in this initial step!!
- Also, if using a technique on your card, use no more than ONE (and make it an easy technique that you enjoy).
- Limit the colors used to no more than THREE.
- Choose solid card stock, designer pattern papers, punches, stamps, and dies to lessen the cost of the cards. Creating card elements this way is more affordable than buying pre-made embellishments.
- Make your supplies go farther by planning how to best use them without having excess waste. For instance, what if you wanted to use a piece of 12″ x 12″ designer paper on a 5 1/2” x 4 1/4” card front? The “best use” of this paper would be to cut 1 1/2″ off one of the paper edges. That gives a 12″ x 1 1/2″ leftover strip to use on another project. Cut the remaining 12″ x 10 1/2″ piece of designer paper into six pieces that measure 4″ x 5 1/4″.
Step Two – Do a Test Run
Once you have your card idea in mind, create a sample using scrap or copy paper. This allows opportunity for experimenting before cutting into your actual project papers.
I’ll have more tips for you next week because I’m going to give you a homework assignment. Take time to plan your holiday card and make a sample. Also, decide on your deadline date and set up a schedule like the one I made above. You have a week to do this. Then, join me next Monday when I share the rest of my tips for making quick and easy Christmas cards.