By Brandi M. Seals
Are you sick of all those generic Christmas cards out there? They all seem to say the same thing. Cards that say "Happy Holidays" or "Wishing you a Happy Holiday Season" line the shelves every year. If you are ready for a change, consider making your own Christmas cards. It is really easy to do and the added personal touch will not go unnoticed.
The easiest Christmas cards to make feature photos. Gather up the family, your pets, or even stack some presents in front of the tree and get a shot. Do anything you like. This is the most creative step in the project so do not be afraid to experiment. You could have the photo down by a photographer or do it yourself. You may have to do a few extra shots to make sure everything looks right, but there is no reason you cannot use one of your own photos.
Once the photo has been selected get it in a digital format. If you used a digital camera you are ahead of the game, otherwise scan the image into your computer. Then go online to one of the several websites that print photographs. Snapfish is my favorite site but feel free to shop around for the best price. Online you will find lots of options, including the ability to print the photos on Christmas cards. You can pick from the backgrounds they have and often pick a message to go on the cover with the photo. Order up as many cards as you need. Fill out the cards and send them out as usual. While on the photo website, consider also ordering matching photo stamps to go along with the cards.
If you are looking to do something a little more hands on, go shopping at your local craft store. There you will find card stock which you can fold into cards or by pre-made blank cards. Pick any color you like and then decide how you will decorate the card. The easiest way is with a pre-made stamp. If this will be your first time in the stamp aisle, try not to get overwhelmed. You will find a lot down there.
Start by picking a stamp for the cover. Santa in a sled, a nativity scene and Christmas tree images are good choices, but feel free to do anything you like. Next select letter stamps so that you can stamp a message on the inside of the card. Decide what size letters you want, the font you like and whether or not you want all the letters to be in upper case, lower case, or a mixture of the two.
After you have decided what images will go on the card, you will want to pick out the ink you want to use. It is usually in the same aisle as the stamps. When picking out ink, make sure the stamping pad is large enough to accommodate your stamp. You will also want to think about how the ink will look on the paper you have chosen. For example, if your card stock is red, do not use red ink. Stick to whites, golds, or other light tones that will show up well.
The start up one stamping can be a little pricey but keep in mind you will be able to use the stamps over and over again indefinitely. Next year you can do the same images with different wording or pick up a new stamp for the cover but keep all the lettering the same. The possibilities are endless.
To add another little touch, seal the envelopes with some seasonal stickers or place a stamp there instead. Your card will stand out from the rest and should be one of a kind.
There are several other options that you can look into if you want to add a personal touch to otherwise common Christmas cards. Add a trim or a hint of glitter. Add pictures of the family or a cute note about the pets. The possibilities are endless. Think your options over and decide what you want to do. When you make stuff your own, you are able to control what the end product looks like and make it suit you and your style.