Our 2014 Christmas Cards

Christmas Cards by Natalie Parker

Our 2014 Christmas cards are making their way to their destinations and I’m sharing them with you today!

As per usual, this crafty design-loving cardaholic buys rather than makes Christmas cards.  More on why here.  This is one of the few times I prefer quantity over quality: I’d rather spread the love and send more cards than spend the time to make them for fewer people.  I’m still keeping up with my always-send-a-card mantra, so I had about 90 on our list.

I bought these at Papyrus a few weeks ago.  Normally I shop the after Christmas sales, but we were on a boat heading home from Antarctica last year.  No after Christmas sales there, I’m afraid.

These cards are extra awesome because the envelopes have this cool festive design on the front!  I stamped the back with my trusty return address stamp from Paper Source.

Christmas Cards by Natalie Parker

In other news, I’m in love with the Postal Service’s Rudolph stamps.  Love.  I wish I could get a sheet of just Bumbles though.  Did you know that the Postal Service makes holiday-themed international stamps?  My list of international cards gets a tiny bit bigger every year and I love these rad round stamps!

Hope it’s getting merry and bright in your neck of the woods!

Christmas Cards by Natalie Parker

And if you’re looking for ways to upcycle old cards, make sure to check out my tutorials on making Christmas card gift tags and Christmas card notecards!

Previously: Our 2012 Christmas Cards, our 2013 Christmas Cards

Recycling Christmas Cards into Notecards

Christmas Card Notecards by Natalie Parker

It’s the day after Christmas!  What does one do with all of those Christmas and holiday cards?  I’m always looking for neat ways to reuse them.  I turn some of the cards into next year’s gift tags.

Other cards have such pretty pictures that I want to reuse the whole thing!

Christmas Card Notecards by Natalie Parker

The solution?  I turn them into notecards!  I pick my favorites and use my recycled notecard tutorial to turn them into new cards.

Christmas Card Notecards by Natalie Parker

I use leftover response cards from my wedding as the base layer for these new notecards, but you can use any heavy stock you have on hand.  Craft paper would work really well here!

Christmas Card Notecards by Natalie Parker

I have this nice set of cards ready for next year in case I need to send a note to someone during the holidays.  Easy!

Christmas Card Notecards by Natalie Parker

Earlier: How to make recycled notecards, even more recycled notecards.

Our 2013 Christmas Cards

Christmas Cards by Natalie Parker

As usual, we bought these on sale last year*.  And as usual, I bow in respect to those that make their own cards.  Making my own cards just isn’t in the cards for me.  Ha!

Keeping with my resolution of sending more cards, any “maybes” on my list were “yeses.”  Everyone deserves holiday wishes and I tried to sit and think of the person while I was writing each card.

I dressed up the envelopes with two different types of washi tape I got from Two Peas (gold triangles, red grid).  I used my personal stamp from Paper Source that I still have an unhealthy obsession with admiration for.

Christmas Cards by Natalie Parker

I had to get these out earlier than normal this year.  I’m glad I get to share them with you!

Christmas Cards by Natalie Parker

*Mr. P insisted on penguins this year.  I love the cards but the envelopes were a tad flimsy for my liking.  I kept on telling him that I might end up like Susan from Seinfeld after licking all of the envelopes.

My 2012 Christmas Card

2012 Christmas Card

Hi, it’s me over here – the person who my friends describe as crafty – with my non-homemade, non-customized Christmas cards.

I love being crafty, but I still buy my cards every year.  There’s something about getting out 70 of them that prevents me from making them myself 🙂  Sure, I could design a photo card, many do, but it’s not my thing.*

Disclaimer: I think twice about blogging about Christmas cards because any time I share what I do, people think that I don’t like what they do.  It’s okay, I just do my own thing.

I really prefer to find a pretty card and devote my efforts to writing a message inside.  It’s not much, but I like thinking about the person I’m sending it to.  This usually results in “hey, I need to have dinner with them!  And Them!  And them too!”

That’s what I think it’s about in the end – getting a chance to connect with people in a non-social media form.

*I reserve the right to change my opinion after I have kids.

Christmas Card Gift Tags

Christmas Card Gift TagsDid you know you can make gift tags out of old Christmas cards?  Well, you can!  But first, a story:

While planning our wedding, I had my heart set a tag puncher because I needed to make little name tags for one of our favors.  The husband, being the dear that he is, was skeptical about spending wedding funds on a tag puncher that we’d only use once.  I promised him that we’d use it to make gift tags for Christmas instead of buying tags at the store.  True to my word, every Christmas since we’ve made our own gift tags.

How to Make Gift Tags out of Old Christmas Cards

When the holiday is over, I take all the cards we received and store them with other Christmas supplies.  Any card with a neat design will do.

Christmas Card Gift TagsThe next year, I take my tag puncher and cut tags out of the pretty parts of each card.

Christmas Card Gift TagsThat’s pretty much it!  I sometimes write on the design with a sharpie to say who the gift is for and then use double-stick tape to tape it to the box. You can also punch a hole in the tag and attach it to the gift with string or ribbon and then write on the back.

Christmas Card Gift TagsThere you have it – unique gift tags that are super simple to make.  If I have extras, I stick them back in the box to use for next year.

No-Nonsense Christmas Card Display

Christmas Card Display

I’ve yet to find the perfect Christmas card holder for our place.  By the time December rolls around, I’m tired of looking and just want to display and enjoy the cards already!

At our last place, we strung a piece of fishing line* on the wall under the stairs and hung the cards on it.  This idea is getting more impractical as non-folding cards get more popular.

In the holiday spirit of get-it-done-now-so-you-can-enjoy-the-season, I decided to stick the cards to the wall.  We had a nice space behind the front door and it’s fun to keep adding cards to the design.  It took just a few seconds to add each card.  Done!

I used some sticky putty that doesn’t damage the walls and comes off the cards at the end of the season.  No, I don’t have the brand name because I’ve had a ball of this stuff rolling around in my desk for years.  I’m helpful like that!  Ask around at a hardware store for something that won’t damage the walls.  If I find the name of something similar, I’ll post it to my Facebook page.

*The fishing line may or may not have stayed on the wall 365 days a year at our old place because we were too lazy to take it down figured it blended into the wall.

It’s that Time of Year Again

Christmas cookiesIt’s the most wonderful time of the year.

That is, it’s time for the battle of wills between me and my scrapbook/craft table.  Every year, I think I can fit in some time to work on scrapbook layouts during the holiday season.  And every year is a massive fail.

My time is invariably taken up by meticulously wrapping gifts, baking cookies, watching Christmas movies, going to parties, watching college football, picking out and putting up the Christmas tree and decorating my place.  Am I complaining?  Not really.  I really do enjoy all of the holiday hullabaloo.  I even picked up my Christmas cards for this year at an after-Christmas sale last year because I’m cheap so I could start on them early and have more time to engage in cookie making.

Therefore, you’ll be seeing more holiday-themed posts on my blog in December and fewer scrapbook pages.

If you enjoy my scrapbook layouts, please do stick around!  They will be back again soon!

How do you juggle your time during the season?  Do you still have time to scrapbook?  Do you make holiday albums?

I Don’t Make My Christmas Cards AND I’m Cheap

Yup, I said it.

I could probably start a second blog about my failings as a paper crafter. If I could name one thing that I probably should be doing, it would be making cards.

Sure, I make a card every now and again like this one I did for a wedding earlier this year. These are one-off things and I am not ready for prime time mass production. I send out too many cards and if I couldn’t make each and every one of them perfectly, I would go crazy.

My solution is to step away from the sauce and know my limits.

Still, why not get a jump on next year? I always feel that I don’t have enough time during the Christmas season, and that’s even using store-bought cards.

Enter Papyrus

I have never been that person. You know, the ones that stock up on decorations and wrapping paper at the after-Christmas sales. Still, I couldn’t help myself this week and happened to be in the neighborhood of a Papyrus store. All of their holiday cards were 50% off. These aren’t bottom-of-the-barrel cards. These were primo-super-cute-glitter-all-over-the-place cards.

The husband and I each picked out our favorites and we are set for next year!

A Word of Warning

Just a friendly tip: don’t store these with your Christmas decorations. I made the mistake of storing Christmas card supplies with the regular Christmas decorations years ago. I couldn’t get a head start on the cards because they were banished to the back of the garage.

I picked up a nice storage box at Ikea. All of my cards for next year fit neatly in the box. I also store all the cards I received from friends and family in the box so I can remember to add folks to my list next year. The box is from the Ikea Kassett series if you have a store near you.

Next year I’m going to be so ahead of the game.

I keep telling myself that.

Tips & Ideas

  • Check out sales at specialty paper and card stores, they will have excellent stock they are trying to unload.
  • Papyrus is closing out all holiday cards at 50% off.
  • Don’t think you missed the boat! The girl at Papyrus said to keep checking back because they will be shipping holiday close-out to the stores over the next month.
  • Store your holiday card supplies next year somewhere inside where you can get to them before the decorations go up.
  • The storage boxes I use are the Kasset series from Ikea, available here.