As a kid, every year without fail, I made my own Christmas cards. I loved getting the glitter glue and fat Crayola felt tips out and drawing elaborate Christmas scenes of snowy villages, Christmas presents amid decorated trees and (blame the Catholic school) Jesus Christ… as a ghost. With a Santa hat on. My depictions of all of the above probably looked like someone got the formaldehyde out at the office Christmas party and started aggressively throwing glitter and lunatic snowmen about, but I was a kid, and aside from the questionable theological demonstration of Supernatural Santa Jesus, my family and friends at least pretended to be pleased and grateful for the gesture.
So obviously I have taken the message into adulthood that it’s always nice to receive a homemade Christmas card. I enjoy receiving homemade Christmas cards, anyway. I’m not particularly into the whole convention of buying Christmas cards from Marks & Spencer, scrawling the recipient’s name and your own, then posting it to be consigned to the recycling on January 2nd. While I appreciate all the Christmas cards I receive, I wouldn’t keep a store-bought Christmas card, while a homemade one is likely to go into my Christmas decorations storage unit box and come out to be displayed for years to come.
Here are a couple of ideas for homemade cards that are quick, easy for the kids to make, and cost pennies. Except for the stamps to send them which cost £1340. SIXTY FUCKING PEE for a single first class stamp I discovered today. Up until last year I still thought they were 26p but SIXTY ENGLISH PENNETH. Ridiculous. No wonder handwriting is to be abolished in 2019; by then a book of 12 stamps will cost more than a 3 bed semi in the south east and no one will be able to afford to write letters or cards anymore.
HANDPRINT CHRISTMAS TREES
This year I wanted to get Caspar involved in making Christmas cards, as a fun festive activity and an excuse for him to get covered in paint, which is a favourite pastime of his. To make these you will need:
- White card, cut into A5 and folded into A6 size
- A severed hand, alternatively a still-attached hand
- Small piece of sponge for printing
- Green and red paint of any description
- PVA glue
- Gold/silver pen
I got Caspar to make a singular green handprint (don’t worry, his hand is still safe and well, attached to the end of his arm) on each pre-cut A6 card, waited for these to dry, then used a piece of sponge cut into a small pot shape to print, you guessed it, a little red pot at the bottom of each handprint. Once these were dry I then drew a star with my gold pen at the top of each tree, and glued rhinestones on as bauble decorations. Simple, fun and effective.
VEGETABLE PRINT PRESENTS AND BAUBLES
I actually made these last year, but as I was on a 3 year blogging hiatus, the idea was never shared. There are many, many alternative uses for vegetables (snigger) and this is just one of them. Also, it involves glitter, on which I am keen. You will need:
- Black card, cut into A5 and folded into A6 size
- A potato
- An onion
- Kitchen roll
- PVA glue
- Glitter in every shade of the rainbow, preferably in shaker tubes
- Christmas foil ribbon, I used silver, red and gold
- Glue dots
- Silver and gold pens
For the present prints, I carved a piece of potato into a present shape (4 squares, 2×2 stacked with a recessed area for the ‘ribbon’). The bauble prints were half an onion (cut across) with a couple of small nicks cut out for the ‘glint’ on the bauble. You will need to press out the liquid from the veg stamps with some kitchen roll. When dry, apply a thin layer of PVA to your stamps (I dipped mine into a shallow bowl of the stuff then wiped off excess as appropriate) then print them onto your pre-cut cards. Get the glitter shakers out and throw some glitter at them, evenly covering the PVA print. When they are dry, tie a few bows in the foil ribbon, and use a glue dot to affix them above the glitter veg prints. For the bauble prints I used a silver pen to draw the little ‘crown’ at the top where the ribbon loops through on a traditional Christmas bauble. Write ‘Merry Christmas’, ’Bah Humbag’ or any seasonal greeting of your choice underneath and you’re done. Caspar didn’t assist with this one as he wasn’t yet 2 at the time but this is a fun one for slightly bigger kids (such as myself).
My pal Charlotte at Black Heart Creatives has blogged her crafty Christmas cards. I practically begged her to. They are my festive crack (while I am pregnant, at least, and cannot get sloshed on eggnog). Have any of you guys made homemade cards this year? Care to share with the class?