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How to Design a Christmas Card using Tree Ornaments as Inspiration

Updated on December 16, 2013
Handmade Christmas card using Christmas tree ornament for inspiration.
Handmade Christmas card using Christmas tree ornament for inspiration. | Source

Finding inspiration for handmade Christmas cards.

It's not always easy to come up with designs for handmade Christmas cards. Sometimes if I'm really in a crafty mood, I can draft several designs at the same time. Other times, it's hard to find the creativity within that's needed to produce just one.

I'm not sure if it was the warm cup of tea I was sipping on in front of the Christmas tree after my children decorated it, or if it was red and green glittered Christmas ornaments hanging from the evergreen branches. Something struck me at that moment, and I decided this year's Christmas card would be designed around a Christmas ornament.

Start with a clean work surface.
Start with a clean work surface. | Source

First, figure out the supplies you'll need for your design.

I'm always finding myself doing retakes. At first, I pick out several options which I think seem like a good idea for my card design. Ultimately, I usually end up making the card out of totally different supplies.

It's always a good idea to start with a clean work surface. As you pick out supplies that you think you might use in your project, place them in neat piles around the area, leaving a free spot to start your work.

What you will need for this project.
How to prepare for the project.
Patterned cardstock size 12" x 12".
Cut in half to 6". Fold. Set aside.
Solid color cardstock size 8 1/2" x 11".
Trim to fit the die cuts or circle size you will be cutting out.
Pre-made inside sentiments.
Purchase or make by hand.
Cupcake papers.
Cut out small sections for adhering to the top of the ornament.
Embellishments.
Buy or make.
Adhesives
Glue dots and double-sided tape.
Die cuts or shapes.
Die cut machines or shapes cut by hand.
Finished cards will be 6" x 6".

To cut circles by hand, you can use one of the following methods, depending on the size you need:

  • Use a clean soup can (or coffee mug) for cutting out smaller circles. Draw around the can and then cut out.
  • Use a foam bowl upside down to cut out medium circles. Trace around the bowl and cut out. (A coffee can will work as well.)
  • Use a paper plate to draw large circles. Place paper plate upside down, trace around, and cut out.

Cut out shapes or die cuts first.

If your project requires shapes or die cuts that need to be cut out, do those first. That will save time when assembling the project later.

To make a round Christmas tree ornament shape, I chose a circle Sizzix die cut. There are machines that cut just circles, or you can cut a circle by hand as well.

For this project, I used a medium sized circle die cut called Sizzix Circle #1. This die cut is used with Sizzix BigKick.

How to cut out a circle using Sizzix die cuts.

  1. Choose your cardstock. For this project, I chose a red piece of cardstock in size 8 1/2" x 11".
  2. Measure the die cut to determine where to trim the cardstock. In this example, trim the cardstock to 4 1/2".
  3. You can cut two circles if you place the die cut carefully on the cardstock.
  4. Cut out as many circles as you need. I made six greeting cards for this tutorial, so I needed to cut out six circles. I got four circles out of one piece of cardstock. For this project, I used two red pieces of cardstock for the circles.

Cutting circles with a machine.

Click thumbnail to view full-size
Sizzix Circle #1.Cut cardstock down to size.You can get two circles out of the cut cardstock if you place the die cut carefully on the cardstock.I cut out six circles from two sheets of red cardstock.  Four circles per sheet.
Sizzix Circle #1.
Sizzix Circle #1. | Source
Cut cardstock down to size.
Cut cardstock down to size. | Source
You can get two circles out of the cut cardstock if you place the die cut carefully on the cardstock.
You can get two circles out of the cut cardstock if you place the die cut carefully on the cardstock. | Source
I cut out six circles from two sheets of red cardstock.  Four circles per sheet.
I cut out six circles from two sheets of red cardstock. Four circles per sheet. | Source

There is no limit to your imagination. Use ribbon, glitter, rubber stamps and other supplies to add texture and design to your circle.


Decorating the circle.

In digging through my scrap stash, I found pre-made holly leaves and berries. That saved a lot of time from cutting them out individually. I decided to go ahead and emboss the circle with the same holly berry pattern.

Dry embossing your design.

Click thumbnail to view full-size
This is a holly berry Sizzix embossing folder.I used the Sizzix Bigkick to make a holly berry embossed impression on my circles.This technique is called dry embossing.After, I sanded the embossing with a light sanding block.
This is a holly berry Sizzix embossing folder.
This is a holly berry Sizzix embossing folder. | Source
I used the Sizzix Bigkick to make a holly berry embossed impression on my circles.
I used the Sizzix Bigkick to make a holly berry embossed impression on my circles. | Source
This technique is called dry embossing.
This technique is called dry embossing. | Source
After, I sanded the embossing with a light sanding block.
After, I sanded the embossing with a light sanding block. | Source
Click thumbnail to view full-size
Cut a small piece from a mini paper baking cup to create the top of the ornament.Baking cups come in different colors, foils, and designs.
Cut a small piece from a mini paper baking cup to create the top of the ornament.
Cut a small piece from a mini paper baking cup to create the top of the ornament. | Source
Baking cups come in different colors, foils, and designs.
Baking cups come in different colors, foils, and designs. | Source
Source

Adding finishing touches to the design.

Play around with your supplies until you are happy with the results.

Here, I chose to use pre-made holly leaves and berries. A little adhesive goes a long way on embellishments. I angled them where I wanted them and I was happy with the result.

I created the top of the ornament out of a mini paper baking cup. I cut out a small section and adhered it to the top of the card.

Paper baking cups come in all sizes, colors, shapes, designs, and foils.

Keep a stash of products on hand for when you get the urge to create a card.
Ribbons
Sewing Thread
Fibers
Buttons
Glue sticks
Glue dots
Pre-made embellishments
Other supplies: sanding block, bone folder, cardstock
Rubber stamps and ink pads
Close-up of design.
Close-up of design. | Source

Inside sentiment.

For this tutorial, I used pre-bought cardstock sentiments. There is no limit to what you can say inside a greeting card. You can even leave it blank.

Here are some Christmas sentiments you may choose to use in your own projects:

  • Happy Holidays
  • Feliz Navidad
  • Season's Greetings
  • Wishing you blessings this holiday season and throughout the new year!
  • May your home be filled with warmth and happiness during this holiday season.
  • Good tidings to you at Christmas and the coming New Year!
  • May you find joy and peace during this holiday season.

Set of six cards.

Set of six Christmas cards.
Set of six Christmas cards. | Source

You can make as many or as little as you want.

There's no set rule when it comes to making greeting cards. You can make one or a hundred. It doesn't really matter as long as it suits your needs.

I made six matching greeting cards for this project because I had six of everything on hand already. I didn't have to purchase more supplies to make these.

Normally, I would go to the store and pick out matching supplies for the project I wanted to create.

I like browsing through a large selection of cardstock, both solid color and printed with patterns, to determine what creation I will make next.

Some of my favorite stores include Michael's Craft Store, AC Moore, Hobby Lobby, and Joanne Fabrics.

For the envelopes, trim a 12 x 12 paper to 10" on two sides.

Set your paper trimmer to 10" and cut on two sides.
Set your paper trimmer to 10" and cut on two sides. | Source

Set your card in the middle of the cut paper to fold the envelope.

Fold the edges of the paper around each side of the card.
Fold the edges of the paper around each side of the card. | Source

Adhere your envelope. The card is complete.

Source

How many attempts do you try at something before giving up?

See results

If at first you don't succeed, try again.

The main idea here is to create a design that you thought of through inspiration in your environment. For me, it was observing a Christmas tree when my mind was relaxed.

However, sometimes it takes several tries to get a design on paper that I'm thinking of in my mind. In fact, my first attempt at this card didn't look like a Christmas tree ornament at all.

This looks more like a party popper than an ornament.

My first failed attempt!
My first failed attempt! | Source

Thank you for reading this today.

Thanks for stopping by and reading this tutorial. I hope you find inspiration to create lovely handmade greeting cards to share with your friends and loved ones.

Happy crafting!

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    • CraftytotheCore profile image
      Author

      CraftytotheCore 3 years ago

      Hello Linda! Thank you so much for your kind comments.

    • mylindaelliott profile image

      mylindaelliott 3 years ago from Louisiana

      What a good idea! The card turned out so professional looking too.

    • CraftytotheCore profile image
      Author

      CraftytotheCore 3 years ago

      Hello YourTutorials! Thanks so much for stopping by.

    • CraftytotheCore profile image
      Author

      CraftytotheCore 3 years ago

      Hi Pamela! It's so nice to see you. Thank you so much for your kind comments and voting.

    • CraftytotheCore profile image
      Author

      CraftytotheCore 3 years ago

      Hi Ocla! Thank you so much. Very kind of you.

    • YourTutorials profile image

      Michael Smits 3 years ago from Vancouver

      Perfect! Thank you.

    • Pamela Kinnaird W profile image

      Pamela Kinnaird W 3 years ago from Maui and Arizona

      Very nice. Nominating this for Editor's Choice and voting up.

    • CraftytotheCore profile image
      Author

      CraftytotheCore 3 years ago

      Hi MsDora! It's so good to see you. Thank you so much for your lovely comments. Happy Christmas to you too! :D

    • MsDora profile image

      Dora Isaac Weithers 3 years ago from The Caribbean

      Very practical ideas, money-saving too. Thank you very much for the clear instructions and helpful pictures. Happy Christmas to you and yours.

    • CraftytotheCore profile image
      Author

      CraftytotheCore 3 years ago

      Hi Peach! Sometimes when I don't have the supplies on hand, I just go to the store and buy pre-made embellishments and some scrapbook paper. Jolee's stickers make a really nice line of pre-made embellishments that add a lot of color and texture to cards also. Thanks so much for stopping by.

    • CraftytotheCore profile image
      Author

      CraftytotheCore 3 years ago

      Hi Alicia! Thanks so much for stopping by and commenting. I truly appreciate it.

    • CraftytotheCore profile image
      Author

      CraftytotheCore 3 years ago

      Hi Suzette! Thanks so much for your kind comments.

    • CraftytotheCore profile image
      Author

      CraftytotheCore 3 years ago

      Thank you so much Rebecca! It's nice to see you.

    • peachpurple profile image

      peachy 3 years ago from Home Sweet Home

      i like yr simple design. Just that I don't have all the card making stuff.

    • CraftytotheCore profile image
      Author

      CraftytotheCore 3 years ago

      Hi Wetnose! LOL, thanks for the comments! :D

    • CraftytotheCore profile image
      Author

      CraftytotheCore 3 years ago

      Hi Pamela. Thanks so much for stopping by and leaving such wonderful comments. I truly appreciate it.

    • CraftytotheCore profile image
      Author

      CraftytotheCore 3 years ago

      Hi Ocla20! Welcome. Thanks so much for your kind comments. It's nice to see you.

    • CraftytotheCore profile image
      Author

      CraftytotheCore 3 years ago

      Hi Maira! Thank you so much. This year I mailed out 5 cards. That's down from about 75 I used to make and mail. The postage is just to expensive now. It cost 66 cents to mail these.

    • CraftytotheCore profile image
      Author

      CraftytotheCore 3 years ago

      Hi Marcy! It's so nice to see you here. Thanks so much for commenting.

    • CraftytotheCore profile image
      Author

      CraftytotheCore 3 years ago

      Hi Sha! Thank you so much for your kind compliments. I was invited to teach a class at a school once. I went and bought supplies enough for 20 students which cost a small fortune. Then, I received a phone call that they decided to post pone the class. But the supplies were for Valentines, so I asked if they could at least have the class before Feb 14. They agreed. Then the day of the class, no one knew what room I was supposed to be in. It turned out it was a voluntary class and only 4 teenage girls showed up. That wasn't too much fun. They weren't interested in making cards at all.

      The only other time I have been asked to teach a class was by a woman who owned a scrapbook store. I brought in my portfolio and donated a military page to her for her weekly raffle. We live in a military town. She loved my work and asked me to teach for her on Friday nights. The problem was my children were infant/toddlers then and I could not leave them on a Friday night to teach the class. She closed up shop a few years ago.

    • CraftytotheCore profile image
      Author

      CraftytotheCore 3 years ago

      Hi Susan! Thank you so much for your comments!

    • CraftytotheCore profile image
      Author

      CraftytotheCore 3 years ago

      Hi WiccanSage! Thank you so much for your comments. That was another idea I thought of too. I was going to apply some ricrac on the ornament. But I stopped at the embossing part.

    • CraftytotheCore profile image
      Author

      CraftytotheCore 3 years ago

      Thank you so much for stopping by DDE! I truly appreciate your kind comments.

    • AliciaC profile image

      Linda Crampton 3 years ago from British Columbia, Canada

      You have some lovely ideas for creating cards, Crafty! The results look so pretty and cheerful. Thanks for sharing the very useful instructions.

    • CraftytotheCore profile image
      Author

      CraftytotheCore 3 years ago

      Thank you so much Chitrangada! I truly appreciate your kind words. I haven't been writing much since my grandfather passed away. I could barely get this Hub done, so I really appreciate your compliments.

    • CraftytotheCore profile image
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      CraftytotheCore 3 years ago

      Hi Lambservant. Thank you for your kind comments.

    • CraftytotheCore profile image
      Author

      CraftytotheCore 3 years ago

      Hi Flourish! Thank you so much for your comments. I'm glad you like the use of the cupcake papers. It was the only thing I could think of that looked like the top of an ornament without going through great effort to create something.

    • CraftytotheCore profile image
      Author

      CraftytotheCore 3 years ago

      Hi Jackie, you are too cute! Thank you so much for your comments.

    • CraftytotheCore profile image
      Author

      CraftytotheCore 3 years ago

      Hi Faith! LOL When I made the first card, I laughed so hard because I couldn't believe what it looked like. Thank you for commenting.

    • CraftytotheCore profile image
      Author

      CraftytotheCore 3 years ago

      Hi Kidscrafts! Thanks so much for your compliments. I truly appreciate it.

    • CraftytotheCore profile image
      Author

      CraftytotheCore 3 years ago

      Hi Billy! Thanks so much for stopping by. I was invited to teach a class on homemade Valentines at a school one year, but it was a group of teenagers. They were not very interested. LOL

    • CraftytotheCore profile image
      Author

      CraftytotheCore 3 years ago

      Thank you so much for your kind comments Glimmer Twin Fan!

    • suzettenaples profile image

      Suzette Walker 3 years ago from Taos, NM

      Your Christmas cards are beautiful and creative. Your instructions are wonderful and easy to follow also. Thanks for sharing your knowledge with us.

    • rebeccamealey profile image

      Rebecca Mealey 3 years ago from Northeastern Georgia, USA

      I like these so much bettet than ones made on a computer. Pinned and shared,

    • wetnosedogs profile image

      wetnosedogs 3 years ago from Alabama

      You are so good at be crafty. I love what you think was a failed design. It is great.

    • Pamela99 profile image

      Pamela Oglesby 3 years ago from United States

      Making cards and envelops for Christmas is such a meaningful thing to send to someone and yours are beautiful. I think you ideas are very clever. Voted up and shared.

    • Maira818 profile image

      Maira818 3 years ago from Los Angeles, Ca

      Amazing work! I like the creativity involved here. Plus it is much more personal than buying a random card at the store.

    • Marcy Goodfleisch profile image

      Marcy Goodfleisch 3 years ago from Planet Earth

      Oh, so cool! I want to take lessons from you, or something! I love the idea of using ornaments as the inspiration for these. On my list for future projects!

    • bravewarrior profile image

      Shauna L Bowling 3 years ago from Central Florida

      Crafty, I don't know where you find the time or muster up the patience for the amazing crafts you do. I am not crafty because I lack the patience. Your tutorials are very specific. Have you considered teaching an arts and crafts class?

    • Just Ask Susan profile image

      Susan Zutautas 3 years ago from Ontario, Canada

      I really like this idea and you've made it look so easy to do. Will pin this so that I can try making my own cards next year.

    • WiccanSage profile image

      Mackenzie Sage Wright 3 years ago

      Beautiful! I love it, it's simple but so festive. I always love the look of ricrac & embossing. I already made my cards for this year but I'm keeping this in my paper crafting idea file.

    • DDE profile image

      Devika Primić 3 years ago from Dubrovnik, Croatia

      How to Design a Christmas Card using Tree Ornaments as Inspiration is an amazing idea for the Holidays. Beautifully approached with your creative mind you can do anything you want. I always enjoy reading and learning from your great hubs. Voted up, useful, interesting, awesome, and beautiful.

    • ChitrangadaSharan profile image

      Chitrangada Sharan 3 years ago from New Delhi, India

      Wonderful and very creative hub!

      I must say, you have put in lot of effort in this hub and it shows. With the help of your instructions and helpful pictures, I am definitely going to try to make these Cards for the New Year.

      Thanks for sharing. Voted up and pinned!

    • lambservant profile image

      Lori Colbo 3 years ago from Pacific Northwest

      Very cool. you are indeed crafty to the core.

    • FlourishAnyway profile image

      FlourishAnyway 3 years ago from USA

      Very creative. I think my favorite part was your use of the cupcake liner for the top part of the ornament. It captures the effect perfectly, and they do come in both gold and silver. This is really well done, Crafty.

    • Jackie Lynnley profile image

      Jackie Lynnley 3 years ago from The Beautiful South

      Oh I love this and that last one the very best. That fringed ribbon just really sets it off! ^

    • Faith Reaper profile image

      Faith Reaper 3 years ago from southern USA

      Awesome idea, Crafty! Well ...your failed attempt would look better than any of my attempts. I love the envelopes too. Up and more and sharing. Blessings, Faith Reaper

    • kidscrafts profile image

      kidscrafts 3 years ago from Ottawa, Canada

      You create gorgeous cards, Crafty! Your explanations are very detailed and easy to follow.... as always! Great pictures as well!

      Have a great week and enjoy the time of the holidays!

    • billybuc profile image

      Bill Holland 3 years ago from Olympia, WA

      If I was still teaching I would be using this wonderful activity. Very creative and well-explained.

      Happy holidays my friend

      bill

    • Glimmer Twin Fan profile image

      Glimmer Twin Fan 3 years ago

      This card is gorgeous! Love this craft and will have to try it if I get some time. Pinned for a reminder.

    • CraftytotheCore profile image
      Author

      CraftytotheCore 3 years ago

      That's such a great idea Ann, to use pinking shears to make gift tags out of greeting cards. Every year I try to make my own gift tags. Then every year I end up buying them. LOL This year I had no time for anything. I barely got these cards done yesterday. Thank you so much for your comments!

    • annart profile image

      Ann Carr 3 years ago from SW England

      Great ideas for our own cards! I always think that home-made cards are so much more personal. People know that you've spent some thought and quite a bit of time to produce them on a personal level and that makes them feel special.

      I use one year's cards to make gift tags for the following year. I merely use pinking shears to give a decorative edge, having cut out relevant pictures of varied sizes from cards I've received. Then I can choose pictures for the children, like Santas or elves, and for the adults, like snowy village scenes or more religious ones. I haven't bought present tags for years!

      Great hub. Ann