Monthly Archives: December 2012

DIY: Gift Cards

Regardless of your age, unwrapping gifts of all shapes and sizes is fun. It’s suspenseful. It’s messy, but every last bit of mutilated piece of wrapping paper strewn across the floor just makes it more fun.

Although most could probably agree that unwrapping gifts on Christmas morning defines holiday tradition, not all of us are the stellar gift givers that provide such seasonal cheer.

Sometimes it’s the recipient’s particular tastes and preferences that deter us from choosing the perfect gift. Sometimes it’s money. Sometimes it’s time. But sometimes you’re just stuck, without even a clue as to where to shop, what to look for and what to buy for that special someone.

That’s where gift cards come in. You eliminate the last two steps of gift giving and simply choose where the recipient will shop.

I’m not always a fan of gift cards. If I had the time, I’d rather make a gift or choose something more personalized from a retail store the recipient often frequents. But as people get older, tastes change, and time slips away faster than you’d assume to be possible. And now that I’m older, I’m more aware of what people will want and will use.

Needless to say, I was a gift card shopper this year.

But, naturally, I figured I should make the time to put a bit of my personal touch into a few of the gift cards I’m giving away this year: Gifts that didn’t come with something tangible to wrap.


I made a few handmade gift cards – nothing too fancy or involved. But at the very least, these cards represent something I know my family members will appreciate, regardless of the length of time it takes them to simply rip open the envelopes, or the size of the mess that accrues once the envelope is tossed on the floor.


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Done and done.


Approximately 80 cards later, my annual holiday crafting project is complete. My handmade cards have been cut, pasted and embellished – a few have arrived in the mailboxes of their recipients already.

Just a few more to sign, seal and deliver, and then I’m ready to enjoy the last few days of the year with my friends and family.


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Christmas Spirit

Photo: National Christmas Tree Lighting Ceremony, Washington, D.C., Dec. 6


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December 12, 2012 · 10:06 am

Sneak preview


First handmade Christmas card of the season!

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December 5, 2012 · 10:01 am

A Start

Apparently two viewings of The Nutcracker in one weekend put me in the mood to start my Christmas cards last night.

I started with the envelopes:

Following a design I found on Pinterest, I used the giant mug I painted at All Fired Up! to trace half circles along the bottom right corner of each envelope.

Instead of painting the green wreaths on each envelope and waiting for them to dry, I used two green shades of my watercolor markers. I like the way the colors blended together!

Next I moved on to the cards. (I’ve counted 76 recipients, but I’ll make 80 just in case!)

Using the green cardstock I bought at Hollo’s last month, I cut half circles to fold into the Christmas trees for the front of each card.

I opened another find on Pinterest to create each tree. Although the folding part was tricky to master based on the photo I found, I kept trying slightly different techniques until I found a method that worked well.

80 paper Christmas trees later, I’m off to a good start!


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