Tips for Making Great Christmas Cards

Christmas Card
Kate Pullen

Beautiful handmade cards can be created with the minimal amount of equipment or expertise. Rubber stamps are ideal for creating special handmade cards. Even a complete beginner can create a lovely handmade card that is bound to be much appreciated. One of the keys to making a great handmade card is to keep it personal. Regardless of how technically good a card is, it is the ones with the little extra personal touch that will always be remembered!

What makes a great handmade card?

Most people are touched and flattered by the fact that someone has put stamp to paper to create a special card. The fact that someone has taken time out of a busy schedule to actually make a card is always appreciated.

So, all handmade cards are special, but what actually makes a handmade card great? There are many answers to this! A great card incorporates a little extra thought. Don't worry if you don't have the latest stamps or top of the range inks, what really matters is creating a card especially for the recipient.

Keep it Simple!

It is so tempting to adorn a card with lots of embellishments – however, when making a handmade card, less is more. A very elegant card can be achieved by placing a small stamped image onto a card blank and adding a simple message. Adding lots of extra embellishments will detract from the design of the card.

Add a Border

A simple border will really 'finish' a handmade card. It is possible to buy ready cut frames that can be used to frame images. If you are attaching an image to a card that has been stamped onto paper, adding a frame will disguise any cut edges.

Pick a Great Greeting

A very simple rubber stamped image and a thoughtful greeting will create a lovely card. Greetings are a great way to make a card special. This is also perfect for personalizing cards, especially around the holidays. The same card can be used and personalized for different recipients by changing the sentiment or adding a few special words.

Tips from Guides

Lesley Shepherd, our guide to Miniatures has a wonderful tip to share:

  • When Lesley makes handmade cards she tries to make a part of the card removable, either as a decoration (little wreaths, trees, photo frames with a family picture) or as a gift tag or a recipe card (with an old family recipe). That way, some of her handiwork gets reused. The card serves two purposes, as both card and token gift. For families with young children, Lesley likes to include something to do, such as a puzzle or a game, inspired by the 'cut and make' cards her Aunt used to send.

Marion Boddy, our guide to Painting has a couple of really valuable tips:

  • Marion advises not to stress about getting it perfect. The fact that someone spent time creating a card makes it special and better than any shop-bought card could ever be. Marion also suggests signing the card somewhere to declare it as one of yours. Do it like an artist would; sign and print your name in pencil at the bottom. Keep it subtle and small; it's there to identify the maker, not distract from the card. If the design doesn't have space for this, sign it on the back.

Connie G Thomas, our guide to Cross Stitch has an excellent tip for really making a card special:

  • Connie recommends personalizing a card to make it really special. For example, if the person is a big cat lover, then the card for them has a cat-related theme.

This is such a valuable tip from Connie. There are so many ways that you can create a personalized card even if you don't have the right stamp! Use a play on words with the greeting (have a purrrrfect Christmas!) or create a card with unique materials, like yarn.

Barbara Crews, our guide to Collectibles uses her own collectibles collection as part of her card making toolbox:

  • Barbara suggests reflecting your own interests when making cards to add a bit of extra personalization. Barbara uses pictures of some of her personal collectibles as part of her Christmas cards. Collectible Postcards in Rubber Stamping Projects gives some ideas for using Barbara's collectible postcards to make cards.

This is a lovely way of putting a little of your own personality on a card. It is surprising what different things can be added to cards to make them special. Taking photos of things that are important to you can be added to cards as embellishments or even as the main feature. Imagine making embellishments from photos. There are lots of ways that this could work with rubber stamping with some surprising results!