Making Your Own Christmas Cards
Making Your Own Christmas Cards
It is mind boggling at most times when you have to spend time deciding the right greeting card(s) to choose. Your eyes dazzle from numerous choices of varied colourful and creative designs. Not just that but also finding the right message on the card with which you feel is the perfect and appropriate message to whom you are sending them to. Confused? Perhaps, not yet.
You pick this, you pick that, you go back and pick the first one, then, drop it in the wrong spot, you do not really give a damn where you return it, you pick another one and another one and another one. You become undecided within all those minutes. You use your cellphone as your lifeline to help you decide? What? You do not need anybody to pick the right card. Then, you spot your dream man next to you, you flirtatiously show him two cards and throw him the question, “Which do you think looks sexy? Santa coming down the chimney or breaking-in through the bedroom window?” Choosing does not end in one or two and if you do not decide in purchasing a box of cards, you will likely get confused, dazed, worse yet getting cross-eyed inside the popular Hallmark or Carlton Greeting Card stores. However, hey wait, you want to take it slower because you just spotted a cute woman. You take a few steps towards her, charm her with your smile and politely ask with two cards in your hand, “Excuse me Miss, do you think Santa deserves a young Mrs. Claus in her lingerie or the Mrs. Claus working overtime with the elves in his workshop?”
The best ones are the glittered, shiny, metallic cards with more classy designs and larger. Of course, the bigger the greeting card, the more costly it will be. Then, you pause and count how many cards you have to mail out especially overseas. International postage puts a hole in your pocket, but duh, it is Christmas time, so what the heck…your conscience tells you.
How much time do you spend on personalizing a message on a card? On the other hand, do you even bother to put a message in your own words? Alternatively, you simply think, who cares at least I am sending them a card this Christmas. Words from the heart do not come easy; well, let it flow and add a brief recent story to make your card alive. Do not depend on the chimes that come with the card (the battery might die in mid-air or mid sea while your greeting card has been travelling).
My parents prefer and admire handmade cards such the ones I had sent them years back. If you got some artistic creativeness in you, show it off. You do not even have to be one you see, just use your imagination. Gather the materials you can use, cut and paste and put some magic tricks (not nearly as a snowman turning live).
Here are some ideas that you can incorporate into a handmade Holiday Card (a savings in your pocket if you need to send out more than 8 cards):
*Use white, red or green or any shade of thick paper. Black or midnight blue paper, use metallic pens.
Nature Greeting Card
- Gather some autumn leaves and flat dry; line leaves with glitter pens (gold or silver).
- Use other materials to your theme such as sticks, dried flowers, thin dried twigs & stems, etc.
- Add cut-out pictures from magazines or from past years’ greeting cards. Be creative (like creating a manger with dried grass and sticks, angels with feathers or leaves, glitter stars in foil or crushed dried leaf, etc.)
- Add photos and handwritten greeting.
Draw and Print Card
- Ask your kids to pencil draw for a Christmas card on white paper. Give it a theme.
- Line drawing with fine or thick black marker and fill-in with colour using a crayon, colour pencil or watercolour.
- Layout your kid’s art and run for colour copies on a thicker paper (card paper).
- To fold a card neatly, first make an imaginary centre line mark using a ruler and a non-sharp object. This will prevent the fold from cracking and your card will look great.
- Now, your kid’s drawing is a greeting card.
*A pop-up card makes it more creative.
Family Portrait Card
- Have a box of white envelopes ready (scrap envelopes, white or a variety of colours extras from past holidays).
- Take out your best family photograph. Scan and transfer onto your layout on an editing software.
- You may put your imagination to work using appliques, cut-outs, décor a la scrapbook style after running the cards on your home printer.
- Keep your work neat.
- You may also take it out to a printing shop for a reproduction of your original design.
- Card can be one fold or flat.
- Add special hand scripted greeting.
*If you have a portable scanner at home, scan the photograph and make multiple colour photocopies.
Photograph Printed Glossy or Matte Card
Designing Your Christmas Cards on your computer
- If you do not have graphic software, many Photo Editing sites are accessible free online. Try picmonkey.com, iPiccy.com, Photo Editing/Photo Sharing Photoshop.com and more…
- Size your card to a 4x6 or 5x7 (photographs)
- You can run it through your portable printer and do your own trimming. If not, take your design in a flash drive for instant printing at nearby supermarkets with photo labs or business stores that service instant quality printing. This way, your designs printed as photos/pictures will have a clean backing (no name print) with your choice of either matte or glossy photo paper (if you want to mail it just as it is).
- You may send the photo Christmas cards in white sized envelopes or paste them on a card stock paper for the look of a regular fold card.
- The sizes above are an easy match to a box of white or coloured envelopes you can purchase at minimum quantities.
Postcard Greeting Card
Create your own photo postcard and make someone smile this Holiday season.
- Plan a theme for your postcard and match the theme with the right font types, background colours, designs, etc.
- Choose the high quality (resolution images at least 300 dpi resolution in jpeg).
- There are different postcard sizes. Leave a border if you want your photos with a border around it, or extend your layout through your own graphic software at home making the photo(s) bleed past your margin line (actual size of the postcard), this way, the printer can trim without cutting off important parts of your photos.
- Alternative 1: Select an online printer you can trust and conveniently set your layout from their website providing you a selection of templates to choose from and easily send out your work from home such as http://www.zazzle.ca/custom/postcards, or explore some creative tips from http://content.photojojo.com/diy/postcards-from-your-photos/
- Alternative 2: There are websites where you can download a free postcard template. Set and design from the template onto an editing software, if not you will find free editing tool sites always online.
- Design the back of your postcard and use text that corresponds to your theme (front and back).
- Carefully proofread before sending them out to a printer to avoid any extra charge for adjustments they may have to make from your project.
- Or you may do your own printing at home.
Handmade Christmas Cards
History of Christmas Cards
How the sending of Christmas cards did start?
In the 1800s, there was an exchange of greetings through message writing that is the handing and dropping of handwritten holiday greetings. Soon enough, these handwritten greetings were sent off via post mail.
Who designed the first Christmas card?
1843, London, artist-illustrator John Calcott Horsley was commissioned by a wealthy English businessman and innovator named Sir Henry Cole to make him a card to wish his close friends and business acquaintances a “Merry Christmas”. Cole wanted it somewhat a presentable greeting he could proudly send.
Sir Henry Cole owned and operated a shop specializing in artsy ornamental home decors. As a prominent innovator in 1800s, Cole modernized the British postal system as well. In 1843, he was the first in the world to conceptualize and commercialize Christmas greetings through a card- the Christmas Card. With his friend Horsley, they both designed and developed the wonderful world of greeting cards at Christmas time.
The First Christmas Cards
The production of British Christmas Cards was sold at 1 shilling each, the first cards designed by Sir Henry Cole and his artist friend, John Horsley. By 1860, Christmas Cards multiplied as printing and production improved. Postal services had introduced the first “Penny Post” where the public can enjoy its services on deliveries that everyone could afford, where in the past; only the wealthy could take advantage of anything by post.
Christmas Cards from Around the World
In the late 1840s, Christmas Cards reached America. The cards were expensive and not everyone could afford them, and so the mass production of Christmas Cards began. Louis Prang, a printer, lithographer and publisher who immigrated and settled in Boston, Massachusetts from Prussia, initiated this idea. Prang started creating greeting cards since in England, then 1874 he began selling Christmas cards in America. He is also known as “father of the American Christmas cards”.
In 1915, Hallmark greeting cards were born. Hallmark Cards is founded by Joyce “J.C.” C. Hall, an American businessman along with his two brothers.
The creativity of homemade Christmas cards began in 1910s and 1920s and because of their delicate craftwork, these cards were not suitable through post, but were personally handed.