Here in the US, the last three holidays (Thanksgiving, Christmas, New Years) snuggle up on the calendar. I know I speak for many when I say that by early December I’m feeling a little overwhelmed.
My “to do” list includes cards and envelopes to design and mail, packages to wrap, home decorating. . . snowshoeing under the trees . . . concerts and dinner . . . a cup of tea with a friend. . . and I want to DO all of those things!
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Thankfully, there’s more flexibility about when we stay in touch for the holidays. Folks understand. The back-to-back holiday trio makes it possible to choose a time that’s best for you. I seem to be receiving cards from Thanksgiving through New Years. It’s all good.
This article is about how to be inspired, no matter when you choose to make your cards. I hope it will give you some ideas to create something because everyone loves receiving a handmade card for any of the holidays!
My favorite sources of inspiration
I’m often inspired by the U.S.P.S. holiday stamps. Explore their beautiful offerings and develop a theme into designs for cards or postcards:
• Faith, Scripture, Quotes
• New Art Techniques
• Holiday Legends
• Family Photos
• Thank you
Creating cards—or postcards
Here’s one I did with Scripture. My original art was printed on a flat card and mailed in the designed envelope (the second image below).
Mine had printing on both sides, but it could easily be a postcard, with the backside for the recipient’s address.
The holidays are also a festive time to share—or promote—your art skills (drawing, photography, painting, poetry, crafting, children’s art) with others in an economical way. Just be sure your name and contact information is on the back.
Have more to say? Attach a page inside
Another idea that works for me is to send a hand-designed card with my holiday newsletter or note as an attached page. After spending hours making folded cards by hand, writing inside the original may add a little (or a lot of!) pressure to not make a mistake!
To get around this, trim a separate page of blank copy paper to fit just a bit smaller (1/8”) than the card dimensions, and handwrite the message on it. If it doesn’t turn out right the first time, no worries, you can begin again—the card itself is spared.
If you print your newsletter on the computer, just set your document size to a bit smaller than the card size, print, and trim.
When you’re finished, fold the completed page and align it to the inside of the folded card. Attach with double stick tape or a glue stick. Be sure to check the weight and shape for postage on all cards, but especially for this one!
Send a small surprise
A third option is to send your greeting with a gift. In the photo below, I enclosed four autumn leaf coasters (click for my tutorial) with a handmade thank you card to a friend for a lovely fall luncheon. You could adapt these to other holidays as well, using the themes I listed at the beginning of this article.
I love options, don’t you? Thanks for reading, growing creatively, and keeping in touch! See you next year.