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DIY: Homemade Christmas Cards

Who says you can’t send beautiful holiday cards when you’re on a student’s budget?!

By Lizi Woolgar

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There’s no denying it. Christmas cards – along with all other celebratory cards – are pretty overpriced. Unless you go for the Wilkos – type 59p options, that is. So maybe I should re-phrase. Decent-looking Christmas cards these days cost a fair bit. Especially if you’re one of those people that seems to have a never-ending list of Xmas card recipients (who really has that many friends though, c’mon?!). The thought of buying all of those cards must be pretty painful.

So, as my ‘Step into Christmas’ article touched on; why not make your own? You can stock up on crafty goods and put a day aside to get creative (I chose a lazy, mildly- hungover day, in case you wondered). It’s so much more cost-effective this way, people really do appreciate the effort, and a day of putting your mind into an usual activity is actually incredibly therapeutic. Here are a few designs I tried out (largely inspired by pinterest, I must admit).

1. Spray Art

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Incredibly simple yet effective. Head outside to do this if you’re worried about the staining; it really doesn’t take long enough for you to worry about the cold.

What do I need?

  • Dark paper/card (navy or black work best)
  • Metallic spray paint
  • Ruler
  • Templates to spray through (reindeer, holly, xmas tree etc.)
  • Plain brown card
  • Scalpel (scissors will suffice)
  • Newspaper to avoid staining your parent’s floor (#soz)
  • Magazine for resting
  • Glue or sellotape
  • Silver ribbon

1. Lay newspaper down and place the black card down with desired template secured on top.

2. Spray lightly and rapidly over the template – if you go overboard the spray paint will just bleed past the edges and turn into a reindeer-shaped blob.

3. Carefully remove template and head back into the warmth.
diy christmas card image

4. Grab a plain card (i.e. ready-folded) and draw the shape of a window on the inside edge – ensuring your spray art will fit comfortably over the width and height of your window.

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5. I found using a scalpel works so much better than scissors in acheiving the precision of the window. So, using a ruler and a thick magazine surface (so you don’t slice through your table an’ that) cut out the window from ONE side of the card only. In other words, don’t forget to unfold the card to only cut through the ‘front’ side.

6. Once you’re happy with the window frame, simply secure your spray paint art with glue or tape on the  card inside and voila! Decorate with snowflakes, glitter, wording and so on.

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2. The Snowman

What do I need?

  • Double-sided tape & double-sided tape foam pieces
  • White card or paper – the more textured, the better
  • Brown and orange paper
  • Silver Leaf
  • Tweezers
  • Snowflake sequins
  • Scalpel
  • Brown card

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1. Cut out a circle or oval from the front side only of your card using the scalpel.

2. Create 3 (or more!) circle sections of different sizes for each part of your snowman.

3. Using the foam, secure each section so it is a little more elevated than the section below (it’s difficult to see in these pics). But for example, stick your lowest section straight onto the card, use one layer of foam for the middle section and two layers for the head. It just gives more of a 3D effect this way.

4. Add snowflakes and silver leaf (using tweezers – it is INCREDIBLY difficult to navigate using only hands) as and where you fancy.

5. Stick on the nose, arms, eyes and buttons as you like. I cut out a hat from a previous Christmas card but making your own would probably look better!

6. Attach two strips of ribbon using glue and the bow using double-sided tape.

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3. Button Baubles! 

What do I need?

  • Black thread
  • Plain card
  • Selection of buttons
  • Double-sided tape or foam
  • Thick gold ribbon
  • Sellotape
  • Compass (or anything sharp to pierce holes)

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1. Cut 6 pieces of thread of varying length and select 5 or 6 buttons accordingly.

2. Pierce holes along the top of the card (on the fold) and thread the string through.

3. Secure the string in place on the inside of the card using a small amount of tape.

4. Pull each piece of string taught and – using double-sided tape – stick the button to the bottom of each piece.

5. To attach the thick ribbon, make a discreet slice along the fold of the card (where you pierced the holes) and thread it through. Secure with tape again on the inside.

6. To create the cute finishing touches, simply grab a black pen and draw the bows on yourself! I found trying to createthis effect with string was fiddly, irritating and time-consuming! It looks just as good drawn on.

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ONLY GOT 5 MINS?

Then check out the following designs. They are simple, self-explanatory and super, super speedy!

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Lizi Woolgar

University of Bristol | 40 stories

Graduate of University of Bristol. Having spent my first two years of University writing for the student newspaper, epigram and Brighton-based Spindle Magazine, I then went on to edit the Style section of Epigram 2012-2013. Now keen to pursue a career in journalism/editorial work, I look forward to writing my weekly column for The College Tourist, all the while seeing where my writing and travel will take me.


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