Make your own Christmas cards this year!.jpg

Make your own Christmas cards this year!

By Ada Daly [email protected]

Ada moved to Portugal just over three weeks ago, together with 60 large boxes overflowing with crafts materials and not much else! She had been crafting most of her life as well as running her own successful crafts business. She has also worked for many years for the largest art and craft distributor in Europe, as well as working with the UK’s top craft magazines.

Welcome to the first issue of our Arts and Crafts page.

Whether you enjoy making a card or gift to give to family or friends for a special event, or putting together a ‘one off’ piece of jewellery, or even making something to decorate an area of your home, then over the next few months we will be exploring and trying out many different crafting techniques as well as introducing you to some really brilliant new tools and machines in order to make crafting fun and easy.  There can be no better feeling than being able to say that you made it yourself!

This month I would like to introduce you to three very basic elements of card making: Cutting, Matting and Layering.  These are designed to give your cards added dimension, and lift them up off the card, especially if layered in matching coordinating colours.


Here I have used traditional greens and reds. Next month, we will make a more modern card, give you ideas on pretty gift tags and also introduce you to The Cuttlebug!

Basic crafters’ tool box: You should always have these items available in your box, as they are crafter’s essentials and will be used all the time.

• Scissors, small and sharp

• Various types of glues – Glue Pen, Pritt Stick, Photo Glue

• Metal edged ruler

• Sharp cutting knife

• Foam pads (to give dimension)

• Double sided tape

• Pokey tool (useful to make holes with)

• Cutting mat with gridlines (essential to line up and help you cut straight)

• Tweezers (useful for picking up and moving tiny items)

You will need:  For these two cards I have used a selection of beautiful S.E.I. craft products from America.

• 1 Sheet Card with Christmas Scene –

15cm x 9cm

• 1 sheet White Glitter Card –

16.5cm x 11.5cm

• 1 sheet Foiled Card – 20cm x 20cm

• 1 sheet Light Green Textured Card –

30cm x 30 cm

• Ribbon – Green

• Gold Square Brads

• Epoxy Lettering Sticker Pack

• Stamp Pad – Forest Green

• Foam Pads, Pokey Tool. Scissors, Tweezers

How to:

1. Glue your central picture to the white glitter card and cut a 6mm frame (mat) all the way around with your craft knife.

2. Glue this to the gold foiled card and cut leaving a 2mm mat all the way around.

3. Repeat this and glue the gold foiled card to the brown textured card, leaving a 6mm mat all the way around.

4. Take strips of your foam pads and stick these all around the outer edge of the back of the brown card, approximately 5mm in from the edges.

5. Lay the 30cm x 30cm light green textured card on your cutting mat and slice 6.5cm strip off the edge of the card. This will be your base card. Keep all the bits as this will be used to create the side tag.

6. Create a centre fold on this green card (see hints and tips below on how to create a perfect centre fold).  Take your green stamp pad and gently tap all the way around the card to give a highlighted effect around the outer edges.

7. From the green leftover pieces, cut a strip 2.8cms x 10cms. Lay on top of a leftover piece of brown card and mat, leaving a 1mm mat all the way around. Glue together.

8. Now take your main matted picture and centre this on your base card leaving a 2cm gap on the top, the right and the bottom of the card. You will have a 4cm gap on the left hand side.  Glue picture down carefully.

9. Using the green stamp pad gently tap all the way around the tag. Then using the pokey tool, make small holes about 5mm from the centre of the top and bottom of your tag.  Stick the tag to the side of the card making sure it is centred.

10.Cut a 13cm length of green ribbon and cut a ‘V’ notch at the top and bottom.  Lay this over the tag and anchor to the card by inserting a brad through all layers.  Secure by bending the ends of the brads outwards.  You can hide the brads by covering the inside of your card with matching paper.

11.With your tweezers add your ‘Merry Christmas’ or in Portuguese ‘Feliz Natal’ letters.  If necessary use a ruler to help you keep straight.

A few useful hints and tips to help you along the way:

• When picking out card, ribbon and embellishments, try to pick colours that coordinate with your central or main picture. Re-use last year’s Christmas cards, cutting out pictures and making new cards and tags with them, or make family photos a central feature.

• Do make sure that you measure very carefully before cutting your matting frames out.  If necessary make pencil marks on the back of your card to help.

• You could also use more foam pads on each layer to create more height.

• Folding and creasing is really simple.  Roll rather than fold your card over to meet the other side, then run your hand slowly up and down the backbone of the card pressing down lightly as you go until you have completely creased the card flat.  Turn it over to the inside and do this again with the back of your hand.  This way you will always get a perfect centre crease and can correct any misalignments as you go along.

• If you are just starting out and have never made a card before, then do remember that practice does indeed make perfect!    

• Remember the two ‘golden rules’ of card making:  

i)  Less is best.  

II) Keep it simple!

For more information please contact Ada on 910 216 698 or email her on [email protected]