2010 Christmas Cards

Finished Christmas Card

When you go as ridiculously overboard as I do every Christmas, you can’t do it all in a month. It takes a lot of careful planning. So every year around this time, I make my Christmas cards for the Christmas up ahead. I only came up with this plan a few years ago, but Holy Cow is it the best idea ever. All the Christmas papers and stamps are on sale, and I have more time in the week after Christmas than I could ever hope to find throughout the rest of the month.

When I’m done, I just pack them away with the rest of the decorations. Then when the decorations come out, I just have to worry about getting a recent picture and sticking them in the mail.

Here’s 2009‘s card
and here’s 2008‘s.

Last year’s card was a little too labor intensive. I got a little carried away. So this year I’m keeping it more simple.

Chistmas Card Supplies

Here’s what you’ll need:
Cardstock that is printed on both sides, cut down to 6″ tall by 9″ wide
Cardstock in a solid contrasting color cut to 4″ wide by 1/2″ tall
Stamped and embossed center image (I’ll explain)
Stamped and embossed interior image (ditto)
Tulle cut off the spool about 4″ wide

This style of card is called a gate card, meaning the sides fold in and meet in the middle. So the first step is to score 2 1/4″ in from each end. I love the scoring blade on my paper trimmer, but you could also use a bone folder.

When you make as many cards as I do, you have to keep your costs down however possible. Adding even one brad jacks your cost up like crazy when you have do it 100 times. So I try to stick to paper wherever possible, and stamping is really cost effective when you’re talking bulk.

You’ll need two embossed images. One is for the front and center of the card. It really doesn’t matter what stamp you use, but something with a greeting makes sense. Mine is about 2″ x 3″ which worked out really nicely. I stamped it on a shimmery cardstock, embossed it with glittery red powder, and then cut the paper out to the size of the stamp.

Christmas Card Step 1
The other image is for the inside of the card, to add a little something once the photo gets put in place. You’ll want to keep it on the small side so it doesn’t compete with your family pictures. Mine is about 1″ x 3/4″. I stamped it on coordinating cardstock and then cut around the outline. Tape it to the end of your 4 x 1/2″ cardstock strip.

Christmas Card Step 1.5
The rest of the interior stuff will be done in photoshop when I get our family pictures done. I envision this little decorative strip separating the photo section from the newsletter section.

Now back to the front of the card.
Christmas Card Step 2
Bunch up the long side of the tulle, and staple it to the right side of the gate we created earlier.

Christmas Card Step 3
Then take your center front embossed image and glue one side of it down on top of the tulle, arranging it so that it’s centered when both gates are closed. I used a liquid glue for this. Any other adhesive I tried wasn’t strong enough to make it through the tulle. The liquid glue may warp your paper, so I’d recommend using a thicker cardstock for your embossed image, but anything else and the embossed piece will just fall off in the mail.

There’s nothing like feeling like you’re on top of things. It doesn’t happen often to me, but every year when I pack these cards away I relish in a little gloat, feeling like at that moment, I am ahead of the game.

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