All I want for Christmas is cards! Handmade Christmas Cards and Gift Tags

Christmas Cards 2013
Christmas Cards 2013

A very, very belated Merry Christmas and Happy New Year to you all! Hope you all enjoyed your break!

Apart from the usual Christmas shopping, I once again decided to set myself the task of creating my own Christmas cards and gift tags. This year I wanted to make cards that were easy to put together but as always there was more to it then I expected :/. I also decided to write up instructions for these cards as there was such interest in my two previous Christmas posts (here and here) over the December break. Hope they help you make your own wonderful creations!

The inspiration for this year’s cards came from leftover twine I’ve been collecting from wrapping gifts. I have a habit of over estimating how much I’ll need and usually end up cutting off the extra. I decided that the cards would use the twine by threading it through to make shapes and patterns.

Before I started anything, I did a bunch of prototyping on a piece of test paper. This is very important! One must never forget to test and experiment with the materials (or very similar materials ) that you plan on using. I always figure out a lot from doing this. In this case I learned how to efficiently use my twine, how thick the paper needed to be, how to easily thread twine through the paper and what the final designs would look like.

Christmas cards - testing paper
My testing paper

Christmas Cards

Due to the thinness of my paper, I actually had to stick 3 sheets together so it wouldn’t bend when threading through it. If your paper is thick you may not need to do this but if you do, you need to glue them together with the paper already folded. If you glue it while the paper is flat, it will warp badly when you fold it later on.  Once they’re all glued together, put them under something heavy to hold them while they dry. After this, I roughly cut it down so it would be easier to work with.

Christmas cards - My 3 folded pieces of paper stuck together
My 3 folded pieces of paper stuck together

Next step is trace your design onto the card and ink it. Mark out the points where the needle will be threaded through as well if you need to.

Christmas cards - Tracing the design
Tracing the design
Christmas cards - Inked designed
Card after inking it

Now the fun of poking the holes in. Lay the card down on something soft and flat (e.g tea towel) and poke in the holes where you’ve marked. I recommend using a large needle (I believe I used a leather sewing needle?) as this will become important later. You want to make sure the holes aren’t too close together otherwise when you pull the thread through it may break and merge into one.

Christmas cards - Poking holes into the card
Poking the holes into the card

Now that holes are poked in, put the needle through the holes again and make them larger. Twine is a hard material to work with because of its thickness so make it easier for yourself by expanding the card holes. You can see in the picture below the difference in size.

Christmas cards - holes poked through the card front and inside
In the top image you can see the holes on the left hand side are larger than those on the right after enlarging them with the needle. You can see this more clearly on the inside

This part is somewhat open to how you want to do it. I couldn’t actually thread my twine it through the needle without it unravelling itself. Instead I tied a string of cotton around the end which I would then by hand thread through the paper. If you can thread yours through your needle then use that method instead.

Christmas cards - Cotton thread tied to the twine
Cotton thread tied to the twine

Now its time to start threading! Don’t forget to glue down/tie a knot in the end of the string so it doesn’t pull through as well.When threading through to the back of the card, make sure to keep the string as flat as possible (so try to avoid overlaps) so that when we cover it there isn’t a huge bulge. Don’t be afraid to use a long piece of string too, you don’t want to run out half way through.

Christmas cards - Threading the twine through
Threading the twine through

Once you’re finished, tie or glue down (I did both) the last bit of string, cutting off any excess.

Christmas cards - Inside of the card after finishing
Inside of the card after finishing

This is what the front looks like, I tied some bows around the thread as well, though these ones were a bit wonky ^^;;.

Christmas card - almost finished
Almost finished!

Next, I stuck the final fourth layer to the inside of the card (make sure it’s folded when you glue it in as before) to cover up the back of your threading. Place the card underneath something heavy again to make it hold until dried.

Christmas cards - Fourth sheet of paper stuck on the inside of the card
Fourth sheet of paper stuck on the inside of the card

The last thing to do is to cut off the rough edges and your card is ready to write in!

Christmas cards - finished card
Final card! I ended up not using this card due to the bows and I cut it down a bit too much ^^;

I used a bunch of different designs for my cards which ranged from simple to annoyingly complex. I was pretty happy that they came out as well as they did!

Christmas cards - candy cane design
Candy cane design
Christmas Cards - three presents design
Presents design (I’m terrible at tying bows!)
Christmas Cards - Reindeer design
Reindeer design
Christmas cards - snowflake design
Snowflake design – the most detailed to thread
Christmas cards - Christmas tree design
Christmas tree design

Gift Tags

As always I also created my gift tags using the same technique. Because they’re so small, I had issues sticking down the backs because the knots I tied stuck out too much (my bad :/) and there wasn’t much for the paper to stick to. If I did it again I would make them bigger and would glue the ends down instead.

I also used the wrapping paper in the design again to make them match the presents ^_^.

Christmas cards - gift tags WIP
Gift tags WIP
Christmas gift tags - Gift tags on the presents
Gift tags on the presents
Christmas gift tags - close up
Close up

Hope my instructions help you make your own cards! Now to start thinking of ideas for next Christmas ^_^.

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