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Make Great Handmade Christmas Cards

Kate Pullen

Beautiful handmade cards can be created with the minimal amount of equipment or expertise. Rubber stamps are ideal for creating special handmade cards. Even a complete beginner can create lovely handmade card that are bound to be much appreciated. One of the keys to making a great handmade card is to keep it personal. Regardless of how technically good a card is - it is the ones with the little extra personal touch that will always be remembered!

What Makes a Great Handmade Card?

Handmade cards are special because they are made by hand! Most people are touched and flattered by the fact that someone has put stamp to paper to create a special card. The fact that someone has taken time out of a busy schedule to actually make a card is always appreciated.

So, all handmade cards are special, but what actually makes a handmade card GREAT? There are many answers to this! A great card incorporates a little extra thought. Don't worry if you don't have the latest stamps - or top of the range inks, what really matters is creating a card specially for the recipient.

Keep it Simple!

It is so tempting to adorn a card with lots of embellishments – however when making a handmade card, often less is more. A very elegant card can be achieved by placing a small stamped image onto a card blank and adding a simple message. Adding lots of extra embellishments will detract from the design of the card.

Add a Border

A simple border will really 'finish' a handmade card. It is possible to buy ready cut frames that can be used to frame stamped or other images. If you are attaching an image to a card that has been stamped onto paper, adding a frame will disguise any cut edges. Our printable borders are ideal for using with rubber stamps to make quick Christmas cards - Printable Card Borders

Pick a Great Greeting

A very simple rubber stamped image and a thoughtful greeting will create a lovely card. Greetings are a great way to make a card special. This is also perfect for personalizing cards. The same card can be used and personalized for different recipients by changing the sentiment or adding a few special words. Here are some Christmas sentiment ideas.

Top Tips for Making Great Cards!

Even complete beginners can create lovely handmade cards that are bound to be much appreciated. Here are some top tips from fellow About.com guides to help you create your first cards.

Tips from About.com Guides

Lesley Shepherd, our guide to Miniatures has a wonderful tip to share:

  • When Lesley makes handmade cards she tries to make a part of the card removable, either as a decoration (little wreaths, trees, photo frames with a family picture) or as a gift tag or a recipe card (with an old family recipe). That way some of her handiwork gets re used. The card serves two purposes, as both card and token gift. For families with young children Lesley likes to include something to do, such as a puzzle or a game, inspired by the the 'cut and make' cards her Aunt used to send.

Lesley has lots of great Christmas ideas on her website.

Marion Boddy, our guide to Painting has a couple of really valuable tips:

  • Marion advises not to stress about getting it perfect. The fact that someone spent time creating a card makes it special and better than any shop-bought card could ever be. Marion also suggests signing the card somewhere to declare it as one of yours. Do it like an artist would sign a print, in pencil at the bottom. Keep it subtle and small; it's there to identify the maker, not distract from the card. If the design doesn't have space for this, sign it on the back.

Take a look at Painting Your Own Christmas Cards for more ideas from Marion.

Marion says about not stressing about making a card perfect and this is soooo important! If a card isn't perfect then don't worry! The whole point about a handmade card is the fact that it is created by hand and therefore the odd glitch simply adds to the charm!

Connie G Thomas, our guide to Cross Stitch has an excellent tip for really making a card special:

  • Connie recommends personalizing a card to make it really special. For example, if the person is a big cat lover, then the card for them has a cat-related theme.

This is such a valuable tip from Connie. There are so many ways that you can create a personalized card even if you don't have the right stamp! Use a play on words with the greeting (have a purrrrfect Christmas!). Take a look at Cross Stitch Cards for more Christmas ideas from Connie.

Barbara Crews, our guide to Collectibles uses her own collectibles collection as part of her card making toolbox:

This is a lovely way of putting a little of your own personality on a card. It is surprising what different things can be added to cards to make them special. Taking photos of things that are important to you can be added to cards as embellishments or even as the main feature. Imagine making embellishments from photos. There are lots of ways that this could work with rubber stamping with some surprising results!

Liz Masoner, our guide to Photography has some great tips on her site - Christmas Photos. Lovely handmade cards can be created by rubber stamping a frame or border for a photograph.

Photography can be combined in different ways with rubber stamps. It is also a great way of personalizing stamped cards – for instance how about taking a photo of some knitting, cutting out some ornament shapes and adding this to a stamped image of a Christmas tree – this would make a great card for knitters!

Thank you to my fellow guides for sharing their thoughts about what makes a great greeting card!

If you have made a card that you'd like to share with others or would simply like to chat about stamping, then you are very welcome to drop into the Rubber Stamping Forum!

See the next page for links to more About.com articles about making greeting cards.
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