Of the many Christmas traditions that create joy during the holiday season, cards remain as one that everyone can choose to observe. Caroling gives hardy souls who enjoy cold weather the opportunity to join others to serenade those who like to stay indoors. The special Christmas goodies of fruitcake, mince pie, or pudding that home chefs lovingly prepare usually include a load of calories that some may enjoy while others prefer eggnog.
The universal appeal of Christmas cards makes them a tradition that everyone can enjoy as a participative activity. While cards may have had a start as an encouragement for people to use postal services in mid-19th-century England, the custom spread to America soon after that and throughout Europe by 1900.
Creative people today enjoy making their own Christmas cards for the personal touch that they provide. By presenting recollections of shared experiences or pictures of grandchildren, cards can put a personal touch on a greeting that far exceeds any sentiment that a store-bought card can offer. The expressions of love make them uniquely appropriate and deserving of a place in a collection of treasured items. The creation of homemade cards provides a perfect opportunity to get some help from the Internet for ideas that can work for everyone.
Ideas abound on websites that let creative designers put original concepts and personal touches on a template or use a pattern to fashion a homemade creation.
Better Homes and Gardens (BHG)
For some great ideas that do not have department store prices, the Better Homes and Gardens site provides a set of bright and adorable card designs that are simple to make at home. With ordinary materials and stationery items, they give the creator some imaginative ideas and complete steps to make a card at home.
For a Bird Card, BHG suggests cutting out shapes of bird bodies and wings as well as hats from red and green papers. The instructions recommend using a hole punch to create a bird’s eye, and black paper can make it look real. With gel pens, a creative card maker can draw bird legs to complete a card design like the one on the site. A Felt Santa Claus uses patterns to make a beard and hat, cheeks, eyes, and mouth from felt pieces of traditional Christmas colors. After pasting the fragments to white cardstock, designers can write a greeting on the reverse.
With the offer of 41 free Christmas card templates, the Balance presents collections by artists who give a homemade card a touch of class. The site provides a free graphics program along with free fonts that can make a novice look like a professional designer. The template by Collected allows users to replace the stock photo and text with a family picture, and all that remains is to print out a masterpiece for pennies.
A collage of photos in a design from Simple as That in a downloadable PSD file allows users at home to swap out the images for personal ones. The backgrounds vary from wood scenes to old-timey trucks, and the original concepts present options that can make a homemade Christmas card look very special. Five free templates from the design studio of Creative Life put an accent on the Balance’s website. The photo card templates let creative users record family history with space for a family name and up to three photos.
Crafty ideas from a well-known magazine bring distinction to the creations that a willing worker can make at home. Some of the most original components of a homemade Christmas card exist in the most ordinary places, such as the paint department of the local home improvement store. The site helps creative people find them everywhere. The GH site provides a link to a tutorial that explains how to use paint chips to create Christmas trees on a contrasting background. Children can help glue the pieces together and take pride in making an original creation.
Green pipe cleaners can make a remarkably beautiful Christmas tree. Fuzzy and intensely green, they are fun to touch, and they make a cardstock look cheery and festive. A link from the GH site to Crafty Morning provides instructions for making the cards at home and for using stickers for a star on top.
An adorable reindeer whose head and abdomen are human fingerprints appears on the Across America site, and its loving nature comes across with a smiling mouth, eyes, legs, and antlers from a black pen. The site offers a link to a full tutorial that shows how to put together the items that most people have on hand. Black eyeliner can make the dark lines if the creative artist wants to use a distinctive accent for the creation, and complete step by step instructions explain how to make the card.
Buttons that seem to swing from a string like Christmas ornaments make the Cute as a Button card one that uses items that may exist plentifully in the sewing room. The Across America site provides a link to a tutorial that shows how to make use of buttons for other creative designs as well. With small pieces of gift wrap and some colorful twine, a creative homemade card designer can create a greeting that displays a row of wrapped packages waiting in anticipation for someone to open them on Christmas morning. The link to the tutorial shows boxes of varying heights and widths, and three or four of them can take up the available space. The construction instructions include the supply list which consists of cardstock, this year’s or last year’s wrapping paper scraps, some red fiber, and a Merry Christmas stamp or a black pen for writing a greeting.