Sunday, 15 January 2012
What did you do with your Christmas cards this year? Have you still got them stashed away somewhere? Did you put them in the recycling bin? Worse still, did you throw them in the landfill rubbish? Because you could save yourself some money if you use them wisely and make cards and gift tags for next year.
It is perfectly acceptable these days to send home-made cards. Some people even pay good money to buy cards that are home made by someone else! Making cards is easy and you really don't need much artistic talent to do it. The really good part is that you can tailor your cards to your exact needs.
Take the one in the photo. It was made to say thanks to the neighbours for a highly enjoyable drinks and nibbles party. And this is how:
There's a big business grown up out of card making and, if you aren't careful, you could spend a lot of money on buying the ready-made trinkets they sell for that purpose. But this is about saving money, not spending it.
I admit that the card in the photo is a pre-cut blank but I could just as easily have made it from some recycled card and folded it myself. The base paper is a bit of old white printer paper that I've splatted with paint to make it spotty. It's really easy to do - simply load a paint brush with some water colour or ink and then shake the brush over the paper about 15 cms above it. Make sure you cover your table with lots of newspaper and wear old clothes because it goes everywhere! But it is fun.
The brown paper was also from a craft supplier (because people know I do this kind of thing and I get them as gifts sometimes) but I could just as easily have used leftover wrapping paper for that bit. The 'good food' sign is a photo I took on holiday some years ago. I've got it digitally now (scanners are wonderful things) so I haven't lost it - just recycled.
And the wine glass was cut out of a magazine. I don't buy many magazines but I seem to get a lot of advertising things, either through the post or just pushed through the letter box. I always scan them for potentially useful pictures before I put them out for recycling. I keep the retained scraps in an old shoe box to sort through as necessary.
The stars are stickers and I can't remember where I got them, but I could have drawn them or even left them off completely. And if you don't feel confident enough to write a 'thank you' sign for the card design you don't need to have words on your work of art at all! Just put your message inside.
Don't wait until you need to make a card - start collecting now. Go through the papers that have arrived through your door and tear out anything that looks interesting. You probably have lots of holiday brochures arriving at the moment - they're always good for pictures of wildlife, food, drink, foreign buildings, and lots of other things. You can even cut words out of the headings if they say things like 'good' 'fun' 'happy' or whatever.