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Tuesday, 17 December 2013

Christmas Gift Ideas: DIY Christmas Cards (Part 1)

Hey lovely people!

Christmas is coming and your wallet's almost empty. What presents can you get for your loved ones, you wonder. How about making Christmas cards? It's always the thought that counts, and I find that handmade cards with heartfelt wishes make sweet gifts. I think it's wonderful that someone would put all their efforts into making and writing a card. The thoughts put into making a card can be worth just as much as a store-bought gift or more...like a pencil case. For this Christmas, we're going to show you 3 different kinds of card designs that you can easily make yourself! We'll be posting a card DIY tutorial here for each day. If you're excited about cards, skip this long introduction and look at the instructions. Still unconvinced about making cards? Then keep on reading!

So you might be thinking, "A card is just paper. It's rather...cheap." There are tons of reference materials out there that you can draw inspiration from to make your card look cool.  However, one problem I find with those beautiful cards I see online and in scrapbook magazines is that they use such EXPENSIVE paper and tools. This is a problem if you're not a frequent crafter. Honestly, a piece of scrapbooking paper costs $1++ each in Singapore. Stickers and stamps cost even more. A tip to get pretty paper is to PRINT them. There are awesome sites and images out there that you can use as paper background. You can even make your own by designing them using Paint or Powerpoint. If you've got Photoshop, go ahead and use it. Anyway, choose a couple of designs and print them using laser printer. If you're seriously broke, use wrapping paper or normal coloured paper. Or just grab a marker/colour pencil/pen and draw. A little thinking can do wonders. A useful place for printable deco paper is Craftingeek's site, where you can find beautiful papers available for downloads and print. 

For tools, you can make use of things around your house or just buy them. I don't buy many tools, because they're usually so expensive. But if I want any tools, I'd go Daiso. It sells a smorgasbord of things for $2 each. It sells craft punches for $2, which is at least $3 cheaper than the prices in specialty craft shops. It has embossing tools also, but I've yet to try them. Craft punches can save you a ton of effort on cutting out deco pieces. Like stars for example. Drawing and cutting out stars by hand can be pretty frustrating (something that I've learnt while making Christine's gift a while back). A star-shaped craft punch can reduce the hassle. I'm pretty sure most people would have the usual scissors and glue, if you don't, go borrow some. If you need a creasing tool, just use the point of your scissors or a bobby pin.

For today’s post, we’re doing a pop-up 3D card!


I saw something like this selling online and I thought that it is an easy card to make. This card took me around 3 hours to make from scratch; including time spent figuring out the measurements and such. Christine and I have made cards of 3 different sizes using the same method.

Materials:
-       Scissors/ Penknife
-       decoration papers
-       glue
-       colour markers/pens
-       paper punchers (optional)
-       printouts (optional)
-       pencil

Steps

1.    Use a piece of firm paper like card stock paper. Decide on the size and shape of your card. Do you want the background to be square or rectangular? For my card, I decide to make it a square that measures 12x12 cm.

The 12x12 cm part will be the background. The 4cm part is the stage. The 1.5cm parts are the 'legs'.


2.    Next is deciding on the depth of the ‘stage’. The ‘stage’ is the part where you stick the pop-up figures on. The longer the stage, the more space you have to create the depth for your card. For the ‘stage’, I made mine to be 4 cm long. However, my advice is that you make the stage around half as long as the background to give your card the support it needs to stand.

3.    Make ‘legs’ that measure 1.5cm to 2 cm, depending on size of the card. For this card, I used 1.5cm.

4.    Now, take a creasing tool (use the edge of a scissors or back of a needle etc) to crease the lines. This will help you fold nice edges without excess paper wrinkles as you’re using thick paper. Crease along the lines as shown by the dotted lines in the picture.
Take a ruler and run your creasing tool along it. I'm using my comedone remover because it's the best creasing tool I've got(I've washed it really clean >.<).

5.    Decorating time! This is the fun (but tiring) part. You can paste deco paper on the card’s background to make a pretty backdrop. Decide on the items you want to put in the card such as Christmas tree, presents, tv, fireplace, words etc. You can draw out the decorations or print out pictures and add tabs at the bottom. Fold the tabs and glue it to the ‘stage’ part of the card. I’d advice that the tabs be at least 0.5 cm wide. 
Things to note: don’t decorate the background of the card using heavy papers. If you do, the card may not be able to stand as the legs will not be able to support the weight.

I used my flower craft punch from Daiso to punch out pretty blue flowers that can look like snowflakes.


Christmas tree drawing for dummies: Draw triangles and stack them as shown above. Remember to leave a tab of around 0.5cm at the bottom!


6.    You can write a message on the back of the card. Just apply glue to the 1.5 cm section between the background and the stage to join them together. Now you're done!
Tadah! I decorated my tree using a black marker and drew fairy lights on it. Simple and easy for those who can't draw or are short on time. 

You can make bigger sized cards like what Christine did:
She did a 15x15 cm sized background. Notice the 'stage' part of the paper is also bigger.

And this is her finished product! She's gotten creative with making pop-up words and a cozy fireplace. You can print out words and add tabs at the bottom to save the trouble of drawing and cutting.

You can also make small cards like so:
A cute mini version! I used leftover pieces of paper to make this.

A look at the finished cards! Don't they look pretty?

Well I hope you've enjoyed this card tutorial. I do hope you try this out if you're looking for card ideas :) Check back again soon for the next installment of the DIY Christmas cards series. 

Till next time
Love, 
El   xoxo

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