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I’ve come up with a new system, and I’m hoping it will change my ways. I’m planning four cardmaking sessions for the upcoming year as a way to build my handmade card stash. Whether you craft alone, or involve your kids or friends, I’d love to have you join me! Today we’re going to cover cards for the first quarter of the year. Pull out your calendar and make a list of the holidays you may need cards for, and any birthdays that will be celebrated. You might want to add in a few thank yous or cards without sentiments as well. I chose to make cards for New Year’s, Valentine’s Day and St Patrick’s Day, as well as a birthday card and a thank you.
I knew I needed to start the process by simplifying. I didn’t want to be digging into my stash for the perfect themed paper or embellishments for each card, so I pulled together a coordinated kit of generic goodies. I started with three fairly neutral pieces of patterned paper in navy, charcoal and white – all wintery colors – and then added a pop of color with the fun banner paper. I also brought in some fabric paper for added texture. Next, I added some shipping tags and buttons, as well as some paper tape. I rounded out my kit with two tools that I intended to use on every page – my In Stitches border punch and a set of clear stamps.
I started off with a card to bring in the New Year. I started by stamping the background of my card with the circle stamp set and embossing it in white. I brought in the Winter Wonderland Clear Stamp Set – the stars reminded me of fireworks on New Year’s Eve. I also added some chipboard numbers – I so rarely use the numbers on my alphabet sets, so this was a perfect way to use some of those up! The shipping tag gave me a perfect place to add my sentiment.
Next up, Valentine’s Day! I created a scalloped border by stamping one of my circle stamps off the edge of the card – it reminds me of the paper doilies we’d use on Valentine’s in grade school. I then balanced it by stacking paper strips along the other side of the card.
I created the main accent by layering my paper tape on the graph paper and then using a squeeze punch to punch the heart out of the middle – I love the effect. I finished the card with some scattered buttons.
For the birthday card, I wanted to take advantage of the banners on the Dear Lizzy paper – and I love that my MicroTip® Scissors make cutting out little designs from patterned paper super easy! I lined up the banners and then stitched over them at the top of the card. My Under the Tree Squeeze punch makes a perfect accent when popped up on foam adhesive, and I finished the card with a few scattered snowflakes and a sentiment from the Happy Birthday clear stamp set.
The St Patrick’s Day card worried me the most – I didn’t know if I’d be able to pull it of without bringing in any very theme-y supplies. But I remembered that I’d seen shamrocks made out of hearts, and I knew I had the perfect motif for my card. Since my That’s Amore squeeze punch wouldn’t go through the adhesive backed fabric, I used it on scrap paper and then cut my hearts using that as a pattern. Once I’d added a button to the middle of my four hearts, it was perfect! I added some border punched strips of patterned paper and a typed sentiment and I was done.
For the thank you card, I really wanted to play up the winter theme. I started with a background of stamped and embossed snowflakes before adding some strips of fabric, tape and border punched patterned paper.
I knew my Frosty Fun squeeze punch would be the perfect way to bring a winter feel to this card, but wanted my snowman to have a bit more dimension. After punching Frosty from patterned paper, I snipped off his hat and arms and added them to two stacked white buttons for the perfect snow-y friend.
I hope this inspires you to get into the habit of giving handmade cards – with a little planning, you’ll always have one on hand.