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I tried paper crafting my own Christmas cards—here are my tips

So cute and guaranteed to bring cheer at the holidays

Homemade Christmas cards laying on top of decorative paper, stickers, washi tape, scissors Credit: Reviewed / Felicity Warner

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If you’re anything like me—and I’d wager many of you are—you’ve had a decent amount of spare time on your hands in 2020, thanks to stay-at-home orders and such because of the coronavirus. Have you used any of this time to pick up a new hobby like baking, knitting, or gardening?

Personally, I enjoy crafting. It’s a soothing, therapeutic hobby that yields beautiful items for your home or gifts for your friends. Among some of the top crafting activities is paper crafting like card making, paper cutting, scrapbooking, and even making your own paper from scratch.

Paper crafting is growing in popularity—an estimated 11% of crafters are paper crafters.

So, I decided to see what the buzz is about and try my hand at paper crafting. It’s the holiday season, so why not make some Christmas cards?

Here’s what I learned, along with my tips for success.

I like card-making, but what paper craft is right for you?

christmas kit
Credit: Reviewed / Felicity Warner

This is the Christmas card kit I tried out—it was so easy to use and create cards with. Highly recommend!

Something I enjoy doing every now and then is sending out handwritten cards—it’s a really special way to say hello to friends and family. During such a socially-distant year, I’ve been looking for ways to stay connected beyond social media and the occasional FaceTime—making and sending cards is one thing I knew the people in my life will appreciate right about now. This is why I decided to send Christmas cards out, even to those I live near to but simply cannot hang out with due to the pandemic.

To start, I tried out a DIY Christmas card kit for beginners from Etsy—which I recommend to anyone wanting to try their crafting skills during the holidays. This kit allows you to create beautiful designs through paper folding and cutting, and it includes cards and envelopes, patterned and colored paper, a few templates to follow, and a step-by-step instruction booklet.

I also picked up a holiday-inspired bundle of crafting accessories from Paper Source that includes 70 flat stickers, a few raised glitter stickers, beautiful cardstock, and some washi tape. These all made for adorable accents on my DIY cards, not to mention great alternatives to symbols or phrases that may be hard to create with just paper.

When it comes to paper crafts, there truly is no creative limit. Paper crafting ventures beyond card making, encompassing several different forms that can be combined to create artwork, home décor, and more.

Some of the most popular paper crafts include classic scrapbooking and quilling, which involves layering and bending thin sheets of paper to create a three-dimensional design.

What you need to paper craft

paper source
Credit: Reviewed / Felicity Warner

This bundle of paper crafting accessories from Paper Source came with so many adorable accents that could be used beyond card making.

Paper crafting doesn’t have to be complicated. It can be as simple as cutting and pasting decorative papers, mixing and matching stickers and stick-on accessories, and using washi tape.

Before you start your project, gather all the basic tools that you’ll need—this includes glue and double-sided tape for securing your materials together, along with high-quality, sharp crafting scissors and a paper trimmer for getting precise cuts on your paper. Other essentials to have in your arsenal include a ruler and a good light source, like a desk lamp.

From here, the options are endless for paper colors, finishes, and textures. Same goes for accessories and add-ons—choose from stickers, washi tape, string and ribbon, stamps, and more.

If you’re a beginner and this list of options feels overwhelming, start with a kit that has all the supplies you’ll need to make handmade cards or a scrapbook. If you don’t feel confident assembling your own components, you can buy curated craft kits, like this winter wonderland-themed kit from Paper Source.

What I learned from paper crafting my own cards

Making cards
Credit: Reviewed / Felicity Warner

I went for a kit that included paper cutting as a form of crafting—the process was relaxing and the final product was beautiful.

I learned my first big lesson after attempting to make a few cards—the importance of having good, sturdy cardstock to work with. A simple set of cards and envelopes, like this 50-count from Amazon works perfectly. Avoid flimsy paper that can’t withstand the added weight of your paper layering and additional stickers or accessories.

Lesson number two: When working with and cutting paper, never throw out a paper scrap. I quickly realized how easy it is to reuse paper scraps while paper crafting. Plus, you don’t want to waste any of the higher quality paper you’ve purchased—every piece counts, and smaller scraps can even be easier to work with on details.

christmas cards
Credit: Reviewed / Felicity Warner

I mixed up the kits to create some inside card decoration where I could easily write a message for my friends or family.

Finally, don’t be afraid to go off the books of a specific card making kit or pair of instructions. I looked online for card making inspiration and found this helpful guide of greeting card ideas. It’s an awesome resource for beginners, as is Pinterest.

My final product feels like an accomplishment

christmas cards
Credit: Reviewed / Felicity Warner

Here's the final product—I used a combination of paper cutting with washi tape and sticker decorating.

My best advice is really to have fun! There is no right or wrong way to make a Christmas card, so be gentle with yourself. Making your own Christmas cards is a great way to drum up some holiday cheer that you may feel you’re missing this year. Plus, it gives you some time to relax and consider the loved ones you’ll send these cards off to.

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