Welcome to the first EVER Simply Sweet Christmas Inspiration Hop! Lesley has put together a fabulous hop dedicated to LAST MINUTE SIMPLE BUT SWEET Christmas cards! I have lots of tips and tricks to share with you today as I share my design for the hop! I had so much fun putting these together! You'll want to head to Lesley's Blog Always Playing With Paper to read about her giveaway as well read all of the rules to qualify to win! This is also my "Keeping Christmas" project for the month! This will be the last one, but don't fret, I will be posting Christmas projects all month long, so stay tuned!
I am doing a giveaway of my own. I have put together a few of my favorite Christmas card supplies (mug not included ha ha) for one lucky winner! For my giveaway (US residents only), simply comment below what your favorite Christmas tradition is and be a follower of mine on Instagram. You can find me @kellylunceford. I share projects and ideas almost daily there! My giveaway will end on Dec 3rd 8:00 am MST and I will have my daughter randomly pick a winner. The winner will be announced that day as well.Here is a list of the other participants in the hop! It is so good to be back together with the ladies from The Challenge! Make sure you head to their blogs and comment for a chance to win Lesley's giveaway. So....enough babbling...on to the cards! As I mentioned before, I have lots of tips and tricks to help you get your Christmas cards done lickety split! So, grab a cup of cocoa and enjoy the SIMPLY SWEET CHRISTMAS INSPIRATION HOP!
For my project, I decided to turn one of my tags I created for the 25 Days of Christmas Tags which you can see HERE into a focal point for my card! Tip #1 You don't need to reinvent the wheel! Try using a design for a tag or smaller project you have already done and use it on your card. Keep these things in mind when deciding on your design; does it have pattern, texture and shine? If you include these three things, you should come up with a winner! None of those elements need to be overly abundant to create something worthy of the fanciest of stationery Shops!
I made 8 cards in total and they didn't take much time at all! 4 of them have baker's twine around the top and 4 are plain. It's always good to think about what the mailing costs will be when you add a lot of layers and embellishments. I finally have some awesome people working at the Post Office that embrace my love of Snail Mail and are always willing to help me with my mailing needs!
Tip #2 Try maximizing your time and supplies by getting a "2 for 1" deal out of your efforts. I did this by using the negative space that the letters created when I die cut the word "JOY" for my cards. I used the red part to create 8 tags, but you could also make 8 additional cards!
All I needed to do was emboss the skinny "JOY" in gold in the negative space and add another sentiment over the top! I glued some red jingle bells from the dollar store to some clothespins for an easy embellishment as well as a quick way to attach it to the ribbons on my Christmas presents.
I wanted to make sure I didn't neglect the inside of my cards. A large sentiment on the inside really makes them feel like a store bought Christmas card without too much effort. This particular sentiment is from the Year of Psalms: October Mini Stamp set with the addition of the holly leaves and berries from Concord and 9th's Joy Bundle. That is the stamp set that I used for the entire project.
Before I start on a mass produced project, I make sure my work surface is clean and tidy as well as making sure I know where all of my supplies are and that I have enough to finish the project. There is nothing worse than beginning a big project, only to find that it can't be finished because you don't have what you need. It is times like this, that could have you abandon the project all together because of frustration.
To begin, I cut all of the pieces that I would need:
8-A2 card bases (white)
8-4 by 5 1/4 inch panels embossed with the Richard Garay Pine embossing folder spritzed with Shimmer Spray
8-2 3/4 by 4 inch white pieces for the focal greenery
8-4 1/4 by 3 inch Kraft cardstock to mat the focal panel
8- 3 1/2 by 2 1/4 inch red pieces for die cutting the letters
Tip #4 try and optimize your paper and supplies by using dimensions that will get you the most from one piece of paper.
After everything was cut, I stamped the inside of each card as well as a simple "homemade" image to the back. This really doesn't take any extra time at all, but really adds to the charm.
For my design, I chose to use the striped image from the JOY stamp set to create plaid letters. I have used the stripes by themselves, but I think making plaid is the perfect way to use them and to maximize the uses for your stamp set. I stamped them in Fresh Snow ink and let them dry. It was important that I keep all of the letters together so that the plaids would line up properly. That meant I would need to use a large portion of my desk to keep them together. I also needed to keep the centers of the "Os" with the correct die cut red rectangle so the plaids would line up on the tags as well.
After that was done, it was time to stamp the focal panel. I have found that it is good to get all of the stamps on their blocks and have the ink pads ready to go. I used the small images on one block and it is easy just to rotate the block when you need it. I only stamped the greenery in red once, on accident, but caught my mistake before it was too late! LOL!
The "Peace, Love, Joy" sentiment is embossed in gold onto strips of vellum. Tip #5 Do everything assembly line style so you can clean as you go. I like to emboss everything at the same time so my heat tool is nice and hot. I also like being able to clean as I go, so I just do everything using that particular tool at the same time so it can be put away. I hope you have found this information useful and informative! Thanks for fluttering by!