Homemade Christmas Cards [Tutorial]

Oftentimes you see tutorials on Pinterest or elsewhere on the internet, and the caption is something like “How to fold a perfect 3 dimensional swan in 5 seconds!”
THOSE people have mad paper skills.
Or you see those pictures of “Easy homemade thank-you cards” that look like they were created by angels.  
Those people, also, have mad paper skills.
So let me just tell you before we get into this, I am not one of those people.  Hehe.  Nope, not at all.  In fact, I only just took up card making when I decided to post this tutorial.  I’m teaching because I’m learning… And I know learning to teach is the best way to learn, so here I am.  
How did I go about this?  Well, I didn’t have much of a method, and unfortunately, I did not have the magic swan paper folder as my instructor.  I had a bunch of paper and miscellaneous supplies, which I hap-hazzardly picked up at Staples, Walmart, the Dollar Store, and… Yeah, just Staples, Walmart, and the Dollar Store.  😀  Then I came home and pried open my inner creativity box (or tried, at least), and this is what I came up with.
Here’s what I used:
 – 2″ circle punch (from Staples)
 – Scissors
 – Fine point black sharpie
 – Pencil
 – Ruler
 – Glue stick
 – Red and green cardstock (from Staples)
 – White cardstock (from Staples)
 – Patterned red scrapbook paper (from Walmart)
 – Red, green, and silver glitter paper (from the Dollar Store)
 – Small drinking glass

 – 16-oz. size round container 

 – Exacto knife (which I did not actually end up using, so you can have that on hand if you want, but… well, you probably won’t use it.  😉
 – Lace, gold, and silver border stickers (from the Dollar Store)
 – Extra decorative additions (I used thin cardboard Christmas punch-outs with sticky stuff on the back (from the Dollar Store).  You can use any stickers, or just stamp some paper to make your own… Or just nix that idea altogether and use your other supplies by themselves) 
 – Some soft, thin string (from Walmart)
 – White envelopes (4-3/4″ x 5-3/4″ invitation style, again, from Staples)
First thing I did for assembly was create all of my little “Extras.”  I wanted to make some patterned paper cutouts, snowflakes, Christmas ornaments, and Christmas trees to use on the cards.  So, I set to work!
For the paper cutouts, I just took my red scrapbooking paper and cut out some circles with the circle punch.  Then I set those aside.  I pretty much only used those as background color, so you will see those in the pictures of the finished cards later on in this post.
Next, I did the ornaments.  On the back of the red, silver, and green glitter paper, I used ruler and pencil to make a bunch of lines, differently spaced to make random sizes, like so.  Then I cut them out.

When I finished cutting out the strips, I use a glue stick to make the entire surface of a sheet of the white cardstock sticky, and then glued them on, showing a bit of white between some of the colors, randomly.  I wanted it to have that “Homemade” charm by not being perfect.  Partly because I didn’t know that they would be perfect if I tried, so I decided to try for what I knew I could achieve. Homemade imperfection is thankfully, fashionable.  And I’m uber good at imperfection.  😉

Once they were all glued on, I let them dry for a minute and then trimmed the edges to be at the edge of the paper.  Like so:

 Next, I tried to use the circle punch to make some ornaments.  No.  This does not work.  WAY TOO THICK!  So, instead, I used a small drinking glass to trace circles on the back of the paper, and used scissors to cut out the ornaments. 

I did, manage to (with some difficulty) use the circle punch to make some plain red, green, and silver glittery ornaments.  With the white glued to the back of that stuff, forget it.  But on its own, you can get through it.  So, I set those aside with my other circles.

Next, I used some more green glitter paper to trace these triangles onto the back to make glittery Christmas trees.  I didn’t measure how tall I wanted the trees to be (use your own discretion for that), but I made the base of each tree 2″.  Then I drew lines to make the tops of the trees at the halfway point, and traced the triangles.  

Then, I cut them out.  With scissors.  Dun-na!  Then I set those aside.

 And then, snow flakes!  Actually, I think I did this first?  Oh well.  For the snowflakes I used white cardstock.  First I punched a bunch of small circles out with my handy-dandy circle cutter, and then I traced some big ones using the mouth of a 16-oz. round container (a sour cream or cottage cheese container are the perfect size, or you can just use some other… round… thing that you might have in your house.  Feel free to be creative.  ;))


 Haha, *clearly* I went all out with the snowflakes.  😉  Just kidding.  Clearly not.  As you can see, they need not be fancy.  Also, it’s hard to make tiny snowflakes out of cardstock.  Just mentioning.


When the snowflakes were done, I set those aside as well.  Actually, once my trimmings were all done, I found it helpful to set them in groups onto big plates to be on my work surface.  Just helped me keep some kind of order throughout this whole thing.  

At that point, it was time to make the actual cards.  The cardstock I used is just standard size, 8.5″x11″, for both the colored and the white.  I started by using the white for inserts, make two different shapes for wide cards and tall ones. I began by folding sheets of paper widthways and lengthways for each kind.

When the paper was folded (is that a word?  “Folded?”  Weird), I used a ruler to make a line down the middle of each sheet exactly and cut up from the open end toward the folded one.  Each sheet of paper makes two cards.  I repeated this process with the green and red paper, making sure that for each colored card there was a white one.

When that was done, I trimmed about 1/8″ strip (or so) off of each white card, cutting one strip off the bottom and one off of the side.  

Then I put the white inserts into the cards.

I also had a cup of tea.  This is definitely recommended, unless you think you might spill it.  In that case, don’t even think about it.  😉  Hehe, I also played Christmas music as I worked… Just saying… It creates perfect Christmas card ambiance.

Next, I started decorating.  Here is where your creativity comes in.  You can do whatever you want!  If you feel like checking out my pictures for ideas, feel free.

Also, at some point (either before or after you decorate), you should make sure the white insert is centered inside the card, and cut two little triangles out (like you did for the snowflakes) through the colored and white paper to make holes for string.  This binds the white and colored parts together.  I cut my triangles 1-1/2″ from each end of the tall cards and 1″ from the end of the wide ones.  Then I used a 12″ length of string to thread through the holes and tie the pieces together.

And that’s about it!  I think I’ve mentioned everything I did, but if you’re confused, feel free to leave me a comment and ask questions.  I’m happy to help if I can.

Homemade looking Christmas cards– SUCCESS!  They look *so* homemade.  😛  I think they’re pretty cute.

Annnd, here they are, with envelopes, ready to go.

This is the kind of thing you want to do with a party, so make them with your kids, with a bunch of friends, or whatever… Have a great time making them, and let me know how they turn out! 

Back soon,



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