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Monday, December 12, 2011

DIY Christmas Cards with Raelyn Barclay

When I asked around for crafty people I had no idea someone would pitch something like DIY Christmas Cards. Raelyn blew me away when she sent me the pictures. But when you read her instructions, you can see how easy they are.

Give it a try. It would be a great project to do with the kids too. Make a card and make a memory. Please welcome, Raelyn!

Going Green with Your Greeting Cards

Hello! My name is Raelyn Barclay and I'm delighted to have been asked to contribute to Maria's DIY 12 Days of Christmas. I've been scrapbooking since oldest wee beastie was about 18 months (he's 13 now) and, in the last four years, using that love of paper crafts for cards. With everyone's budgets tight, a hand crafted card shows you're thinking of the person without breaking the bank. And recycling everyday items into card embellishments saves dollars and the planet at the same time.

Does anyone recognize the tree on this card?
The items you can use on a greeting card are limited only by your imagination. I've used the plastic cover off a store bought cake and cut into clear embellishments. How about the tag off clothing? Some of the children's ones are adorable.

Do you save cards you've received? Put away the sentimental ones and repurpose the rest. Cut out all or part of the front to use as individual embellishments. Save the greeting, mat it, and put inside your creation.

If you have children in school, you could even use their artwork. The wee beasties' grandmothers still have the Mother's Day cards made from a finger-painting. That scrap of lace, ribbon, cloth too small for a sawing project...prefect additions to a card.

Minimum supplies needed:

Adhesive (I prefer glue dots or photo mounts but really any dry adhesive will work)

Scissors (and if you're cutting plastic you'll want an xacto knife)

For ease, I buy the card/envelope blanks you can pick up in the craft section of most verity stores (usually 100 for under $3 in my area). Though you can also make your own cards by cutting 8 1/2 by 11 cardstock in half and folding, then pick up the invitation sized envelops at any office supply store.

The blue stared squares on the Thank You card are from the front of an old card.

For mass production, I recommend finding a sketch, or two, to follow/copy. This is as easy as Google search for "card sketch" and is an encouraged practice, called "scraplifting," so don't fear a copyright infringement unless you're planning to sale the finished card. You'll find entire blogs dedicated to card sketches.

Gather your embellishments, a sheet or two of themed scrapbook paper conducive to the cards you plan to make (or go green and reuse some wrapping paper).

To assemble, I recommend cutting a piece of paper slightly smaller than your card blank (leaving 1/8 to 1/4 inch border) and building forward, that way ribbon type (see Tree Card picture for example) items can be wrapped around the back of the paper which will then be sealed onto the card blank. And before you adhere anything, lay your design out. It's a lot like that old adage, "measure twice and cut once."

How you decorate is up to you. I'm firmly in the KISS group. Also if you plan to mail your finished cards you'll want to stay on the flat side like the 3 Square Card above. Something like the Tree Card above will cost extra to mail because of the bulk. 

For a chance to win one of these sets of four cards, tell me, what is your craft of choice? 

Bio: Raelyn Barclay is an aspiring romance author who believes anything is possible in love and everyone needs a happily-ever-after.  By day she tries to keep up with four sonic whirlwinds and dreams of a clean bathroom in heaven.  In the wee hours of the morning and in the quiet of the night Raelyn hones her craft with an eye on seeing her name in print.  She, her husband, and the wee numpties live in Nevada where scorpion hunting is a sport.

Raelyn is an avid reader able to gobble up 100,000 words in a single sitting.  She’s been known to hoard books and is often distracted by libraries, bookstores, and even the book aisle in the grocery store where more than one innocent tub of ice cream has met a watery death.

When she’s not chasing the wee beasties or chained to her computer, Raelyn stretches her creativity with cross-stitching, knitting, and scrapbooking.

You can follow me on my blog, on Twitter, and/or on Facebook.

Just wow! Leave a comment for a chance to win one of two sets of cards. Aren't they beautiful? They look just like the cards I've seen in fancy specialty shops. 

When you finish here, be sure to follow Raelyn back to her blog. She's such an interesting blogger and talks about a wide array of topics. I never miss her posts.

NOTE: For other DIY Christmas posts, go here. Be sure to leave a comment because there are goodies involved almost everyday. All contests for the DIY posts end 12-22-11, so you can comment on any previous post.


Liz Fichera said...

I am the least crafty person you'll ever meet but I am in awe of people who are. Those cards look fabulous! I'm just glad people still are into sending Christmas cards! :)

Great post!

Southpaw said...

Those are beautiful cards. I don't recognize the tree and now I want to know what it is? Did I miss it?

K. Turley (Clutzattack) said...

Beautiful cards. I just love the black, white and blue card with the squares. I'll have to... (what's the word, scrap-lift? it.)

My craft is sewing, but I do own a nice paper cutter so maybe I'll have to try doing some cards this year.

Clarissa Draper said...

You are so talented. I think it's so cool when people create things like this.

Anonymous said...

Maria, thank you so much for having me on you blog today!

@ Liz, you're crafty with your writing :) Thank you.

@ Southpaw, thanks. The tree came from a box of Dove chocolates.

@ K Turley, thanks. My mother made sure I knew how to sew but it's not a hobby for me.

@ Clarissa, thank you.

L.G.Smith said...

Those cards are really beautiful, and what a great idea. I can never throw away a beautiful card. Not crafty enough to make one myself, but I appreciate it when others can. :)

Nadja Notariani said...

Those cards are lovely - and I want to win them! When my girls were young, we made cards, too....such a great memory with them. The boys, however, aren't so much into card making! Ha.

Cathy in AK said...

Beautiful and earth-friendly. Can't beat that : )

Anonymous said...

Lovely cards! I'll bet the people who receive them really appreciate the work and artistry and time put into them.

Angela Brown said...

How awesome is that???? Recycle and reuse to repurpose. These cards really do add that personal tough to them.

Thanks so much for sharing. Sounds like project for me and Chipmunk.

Jenna Cooper said...

Those are really unique ways to re-use things for crafts. I always admire people who come up with stuff like that.

Anonymous said...

@ LG, a card can be as simple as printing out a favorite quote and matting it to colored paper then onto the card. (See that card on the right in the Christmas set? That's just a printed out quote.) Thank you.

@ Nadja, thanks. Boys rarely are into the crafty stuff. Though I will say oldest wee beastie can make a mean card when he sets his mind to it :)

@ Cathy, thank you.

@ Diane, thanks and I can only hope so :)

@ Angela, it is a great project to do with kids. I'm sure you'll both enjoy it. Thanks.

Anonymous said...

@ Jenna, thanks. It's very much like Plato: "...the true creator is necessity, who is the mother of our invention."

Cate Masters said...

Wow, beautiful cards! What a cool idea, to reuse old cards too. So much better than simply tossing them.
I used to be crafty at all sorts of things, from embroidery to painting to whatever I could think of. :) Lately I focus on writing, though I put my camera to use for trailers, etc.
Happy holidays!

Barbara Ann Wright said...

I used to do calligraphy quite a lot. I made custom "certificates" for various people who achieved something awesome with calligraphy and usually Celtic knot-work of some kind. That or I'd embroider them something.

Sarah Ahiers (Falen) said...

you know, i've done a bit of scrapbooking before, but it's never occured to me to make xmas cards. DUR!

Anonymous said...

@ Cate, thank you. My focus has been mostly writing as well but it's nice to stratch the ol' muscles once in awhile :)

@ Barbara, calligraphy is a dying art. And a Celtic knot! I bow to you.

@Sarah, LOL, I had that same reaction the first time I put the two together.

Kaz Augustin said...

Don't include me in the draw (too far away for a start) but just wanted to say that those are BEAUTIFUL cards Raelyn. I used to make my own, once upon a time, and with the inspiration from yours, think it's high time to start up again! Many thanks for the lovely examples.

Shelley Munro said...

Gorgeous cards, Raelyn. The last time I went to buy a card I almost expired of shock, so I definitely need to try making my own.

Anonymous said...

@ Kaz, thank you. The drawing is open to anyone on the planet. Do a search Kaz, you'll be amazed at the number of card stetches you can find and that gives to you a springboard to your own designs.

@ Shelley, thanks. I agree, the prices on cards these days is amazing.

LD Masterson said...

Wow, Raelyn. I'm really blown away by your creativity on this.

Anonymous said...

@ LD, thanks. It really is a craft of copy what you see :)