Thursday, December 12, 2013

2013 Handmade Holiday Cards

I made two kinds of holiday cards this year.  The first is a 4x6 grid photo card, which you can read about here.  The second is a batch of 30 handmade, hand-stamped holiday cards with pockets.


From my holiday card-making experience the past couple of years, I have a tendency to over-commit and make grandiose plans for complicated and time-consuming cards.  (See 2012 cards here and 2011 cards here.)  I’m happy to say that this year’s handmade card was actually very easy to make!  I made these in a few sessions of an hour here and an hour there.  Not too painful at all!  :-)

This year, I am using Papertrey Ink’s stamps & dies again.  I’ve used PTI stamps the last two years as well.  I just really like them.  This year, I am using the stamp sets Instant Photo: Holidays and Grand Ampersand.  I’m also using the coordinating die set Instant Photo Pull Out Die Collection.

The pockets that the cards go into have a square window in which a 2.25” square photo shows through.  I picked out my photo and made a collage of 12 2.25” square photos on a 8.5x11 sheet in Adobe Lightroom

I saved it as a 8.5x11 jpeg and then printed it out onto my favorite Canon photo paper, using my Canon printer

I was going to just trim the photos with my paper trimmer.  But I remembered that I have a Marvy 2.5” square punch, which would be perfect for punching out these photos with a white border! 

After all the photos are punched, it was time to die cut the card that goes into the pockets.  I used Papertrey Ink’s white and cream cardstocks.  I like them because they are very thick and also are perfect for stamping.  I trimmed each piece of 8.5x11 cardstock in half.  Then I put it onto my Sizzix Big Shot platform.  The diecutting sandwich I used, from bottom to top:  platform with all tabs, cutting pad, cardstock, die facing down, and cutting pad.

Here’s my cardstock on top of the first cutting pad, with the die faced down over it.
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Running the sandwich through the Big Shot.
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I was very careful with the die placement so that I could cut three cards from each half piece of 8.5x11 cardstock.  No cardstock wasted!
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After I finished diecutting the cards, I adhered each square photo to the cards, approximating where the location of the window on the pockets.  Then I started stamping sentiments and designs onto the cards.



I stamped an hour here and an hour there while watching TV.  It didn’t take very long, maybe 2-3 hours to stamp 30 cards. 

After stamping, it was time to diecut the pockets.  I began by picking out some holiday-themed patterned papers and trimming them into 12x6.5 inches.

Then I placed the die on top of the paper and ran it through the Big Shot.  I was able to cut two pieces from each 12x6.5 piece of paper.

While the paper was still on the die, I scored the fold lines using a bone folder.  The die has slits where you score the paper for perfect folds!

After all the pockets were diecut and scored, I had a pile of pockets to fold and adhere!

I used my Scotch ATG to adhere the pockets together.  It was very easy because the 1/4 adhesive tape was the perfect width for this.  And here’s the pile of pockets!

All that was left to do was assemble the cards into the pockets.  I punched a hole on the top of each card and threaded a piece of red & white twine through it.  The finished pockets with the card inside are pretty cute!  I’ll be using Papertrey Ink’s White Instant Photo Pull Out Mailing Envelopes to mail them out.

Here are some more looks at the different stamped designs I made.





And the pockets.




I hope you enjoyed a look at our 2013 handmade holiday cards and are feeling inspired to make some yourself!  These came together rather quickly and painlessly.  I really like the way they look, and they are pretty unique.

Let me know in the comments if you have any questions.

Here’s my supply list:

Papertrey Ink 8.5x11 cardstock in white & cream 
Various holiday patterned papers
Canon Photo Paper Glossy II 8.5x11 paper
Canon Pixma MG5320 printer
Marvy 2.5" square punch 
Papertrey Ink Instant Photo Pullout Die Collection 
Papertrey Ink Grand Ampersand stamp set 
Papertrey Ink Instant Photo: Holidays stamp set 
Papertrey Ink Instant Photo Pullout Mailing Envelopes (30) in white
Sizzix Big Shot manual diecutting platform (I have the old pink one that they retired)
Fiskars paper trimmer
Bone folder
EK Success Cutterbee scissors
Scotch ATG adhesive
Acrylic blocks
Baby wipes
Clear Design Ultra Clean spray
Clear Design Scrubber Pad
Fiskars hole punch
Martha Stewart red twine
The Twinery blue twine
Brilliance Inks in Pearlescent Jade, Pearlescent Sky Blue, Starlite Silver, & Galaxy Gold
Memento Ink in Danube Blue
Papertrey Ink Premium Dye Ink in Pure Poppy


  1. These came out great! Merry Christmas!

  2. These came out great! Merry Christmas!

  3. These look awesome , love it.

  4. I really love the design on these and the titles are gorgeous!

  5. Great idea! Thanks for the tutorial!

  6. These turned out BRILLIANTLY and I'm sure all the recipients will be delighted to receive them!

  7. You did a great job with your handmade cards. I really like them. Boy, though, it looks like a lot of work.

  8. These are so fabulous! What a labor of love ;)

  9. Love these!! Christmas cards is just one of those things I've never gotten around to doing because I always have so much else on my plate this time of year, but I'm sure I will start doing them at some point + you make me want to start. You always have the best ideas, thanks for the inspiration!

  10. That is awesome. Great ideas! I'll have to tag that for next year. Thank you! Merry Christmas!

  11. OMG these are amazing!!!!!!!!!! I can only imagine all the time you put in but they look fab! Love your work <3

  12. What a great idea a card and an ornament.

  13. AWESOME! I always look forward to this are so creative! Merry Christmas!

  14. Beautiful! Love the pockets with a picture window.

  15. What a beautiful labor of love! These cards look fantastic. I like that you make them all a bit different-- it makes the recipients feel that much more special, I bet!
    ~Natalie :)


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