new experience #35: make my own christmas cards!

on the second day of december...

so who thinks about next year’s christmas in january? me, that’s who!

making my own christmas cards was another of the kiki projects that i knew i wanted to do right when i dreamed up my 41 new experiences idea. and almost eleven months later, i finally got to put my plans into action!

step one: for the past few years, i’ve admired the ink + stamp gift cards, thank you cards, invitations etc that sil ana has created. i knew she had a whole kit of inks/stamp designs/doodads so i asked to borrow her supplies.

a box and a tin full o' fun! where to start?!

project error #1: due to our schedules, i did not have a chance to actually get a hands-on introduction to stamping from sil ana. i just collected the supplies and took them home. in retrospect, it would have been better to have ana show me the ropes before i began the cards because i had absolutely no clue as to that the heck i was doing. you will see what i mean in a minute!…

step two: i went over to michaels and bought my blank cards. i had thought i’d like to make about twenty cards – and they must all be unique designs! – and i was able to get a pack of 24 cards. perfect! i also could not resist picking up some embellishments. hey, everything (including the cards) was 40% off! groovy! [sidenote: i’ll point out, here, that my intention in making my own cards was NOT to save money. when all was said and done, it would have been cheaper to buy boxed cards – making my own cards was strictly to enjoy the artsy experience!].

day one:

i set up shop on the dining room table:

my michaels purchases...

some of sil ana's stamping stash...

my 24 cards - i love the two shades each of red + green to play with!

i decided to start with something simple:

ok, those look good!...

how about four more?

all right! that’s eight, and they look very nice…but they’re a bit B-O-R-I-N-G!! [ok, just conservative. i want pizzazz!]

time to dive into the stamping!!

i don’t have pictures of this part because it was all i could do to juggle ink + stamps + thinking creatively.

the good news is that i didn’t goof anything up too badly. however, by the time my kitchen counter looked like this…

i cleaned as i went along!...

…i was feeling a little disheartened. similar to my cake decorating efforts, the images in my head were not translating to the project. i decided to call it quits for day one after stickering and stamping sixteen cards (to various degrees of completion):

the fruits of my labours

step three: back to michaels! after two days of reflection, i concluded that i love stickering more than stamping. so i bought a few more stickery embellishments (at 40% off!) to finish up the cards:

sequins, snowflakes, baubles - now we're talkin'!

day two: i picked up with the sixteen cards that needed some oomph added to them.

for example:

before (ink stamped snowflakes)...

and after! (saved by the addition of snowflake stickers!)

ok, here’s a funny story: when we were little, and mom would bake cookies, there would usually be one or two cookies that turned out a little mis-shapen or squooshed. we called these cookies “gorps” – and they’d be the first ones eaten.

well, after day one, i had a “gorp” card that needed some serious help:

wah! amateur-level stamping at it's finest! notice the smudge by the big "E" and the lines by the "s" and the "!"

i bedazzled to the best of my ability in order to save the merry xmas gorp:

strategically placed sequinning!

upon whom will i inflict this poor card??? no one who reads the blog, that is for sure!

day two really was super-enjoyable. i got daring and hauled out the glitter, even!

glittering was not messy at all, really!

in the final analysis, i had a lot of fun with this project, and am pleased with the results (except for the gorp card). i will not be too embarrassed to send these cards out. i made twenty-four different cards, i got to putter around with art supplies, and i have christmas cards ready to use. will i do this project again? no! this is going to be a once-is-enough-just-fine experience!

here are the final results:

cards 1-6 (i kept the clean look although i did add sequins to "seasons greetings," there)

cards 7-12...

cards 13-18...

cards 19-24!

and my favourite four:

the snow theme rules!

the next step: address and mail/deliver the cards! i am excited because i like to match cards to the recipients’ personalities, so this will be extra fun, this year! (i usually send out about 40-50 christmas cards, and i have a box of regular, purchased cards to also use).

do you send out holiday cards? ever made your own? i started sending out my own cards when i was a teenager, and have never missed a year, since!

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  • Dorry  On December 4, 2011 at 10:11 pm

    good for you getting all creative! I love this idea and think people really appreciate anything that is homemade!

  • The Orchard  On December 2, 2011 at 11:04 pm

    Upon whom will I inflict this poor card?

    That line had me giggling out loud! I love that line and that card! Good job on the cards. I like the snow theme too. My favourite one is one of your faves – the snowflake one on the top right.

    We have made Christmas cards before. The kids love it. I love it too!

    Maybe see you tomorrow at S n’ K!


    • 1970kikiproject  On December 3, 2011 at 5:53 am

      glad you had a chuckle, tricia! that one card sticks out like a sore thumb from the other 23! enjoy stitch n kitsch and it would be super fun if we did cross paths! that’s neat that you’ve made cards with the kids – i can see that it would be fun to do with children!

  • Anonymous  On December 2, 2011 at 10:51 pm

    Hey, good job!! Funny enough, I always get one of those pre-made photo Christmas cards through Blacks – I always have a pictures of the girls on it. This year, I decided I wanted to make my own (print out pictures and put them on a card myself)- when you messaged me tonight, that’s exactly what I was doing!! 🙂 It’s a bit tedious and more costly, but it was fun! I even had Darren helping me stick the pictures on the card stock!! Glad you had a good experience.

    • 1970kikiproject  On December 3, 2011 at 5:54 am

      fun! great minds think alike! i love when people include a photo of their children – it’s fun to see the changes from year to year. hope your cards turned out well – nice that you had a partner to help speed the process along!

  • Zo  On December 2, 2011 at 10:25 pm

    I think the cards are adorable. I know If I tres to do cards like that…well..the words demented kindergartner come to mind!
    I do send out cards…I like them to be funny and not religious/denominational although I have sent funny Hanukkah cards to relatives and Jewish friends. I usually just buy several different boxes of cards and get to work.

    • 1970kikiproject  On December 3, 2011 at 5:56 am

      “demented kindergartner” – i get the picture! 🙂 there are some really fun/cute cards out there…so hard to not overbuy! and definitely every type imaginable for religious or non-religious friends!

  • Gina Unger  On December 2, 2011 at 3:15 pm

    Oh, Cath! I just loved reading this blog! Your cards are so much fun to look at here! You did a really great job for not getting any help from SIL Ana or anyone who does card-making regularly. Way to go! 🙂
    As you know, I used to make all my Christmas cards and haven’t done so in the past few years. I was debating doing it this year actually, but decided against it, holding off till next year – maybe!
    My favourite card is one of your favourites, too! The red one with snowflakes all over with Merry Christmas at the top. The one with the snowflakes and snowmen is so cute too. Way to go! Proud of your endeavour! 🙂

    • 1970kikiproject  On December 2, 2011 at 3:19 pm

      oh, i appreciate your high praise, gina, because you are a rock star when it comes to handmade cards (btw, i still remember the time you made your own paper!!). i bet you have other fun arts & crafts projects on the go for this christmas. and goodies from the kitchen, too! ok, you will laugh but i had already picked out one of the two specific cards you mention as the one for your family – honest!

  • Johanna B  On December 2, 2011 at 11:02 am

    I was so excited when I saw what your new experience was. I love making my own cards. I’m a collager. I use bits and pieces of lots of materials in addition to my stamps. I keep Martha Stewart crafts in business and I wish I owned stock in Michaels. I could easily spend entire paychecks there. Yours turned out really well for your first try. I’ll bet it won’t be your last go at it.

    • 1970kikiproject  On December 2, 2011 at 11:09 am

      oh, i would love to see some of YOUR finished projects, johanna! i could use some tips from an expert! michaels is sooo tempting! man, i had a hard time deciding on the embellisments/stickers because there were so many cute and bright choices. i could easily drop a bundle, too!

  • Stephanie  On December 2, 2011 at 9:59 am

    I like the card with the snowmen lined up all along the bottom! Cute. And I could TOTALLY get behind this activity…artsy-fartsy AND stickers, all at the same time! I laughed at the gorp card. I would send that to a friend, along with a cheerful note that “I made it all by myself!”. You’re such a fun person Cathy…really, I can’t stop smiling every time I read your blog.

    • 1970kikiproject  On December 2, 2011 at 10:06 am

      stephanie, your comment makes my day! i do like to have fun with my blog, so i am glad that comes through. although it does not take a whole lot to make me laugh! ah – see, that is a brilliant idea re the gorp card. i need to change my thinking. it’s SO SPECIAL, who is SPECIAL enough to receive it?! i would LOVE to see what you would come up with, making your own cards. you have talent,as evidenced by the plasticine dolls! 🙂

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