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Make your mark with homemade Christmas cards

Handmade Christmas cards add that special something to your gifts, and can be good for the environment, too. Follow our how-to guide to get started.

DIY Christmas cards 101: your guide to making cards from scratch

There’s something so satisfying about homemade Christmas cards, and there are plenty of reasons to try making them yourself this year. Not only does the activity let you stretch your creative muscle, homemade cards are also great for the environment because you can upcycle things from around the house as decoration. Plus, you can use materials you know are recyclable (a lot of bought cards can’t be recycled because they contain glitter or foil in the design). Read on for the basic instructions, then try our ideas or get creative and make your own Christmas card designs.

Start here: how to make Christmas cards

All cards need a solid base – the actual card part. If you want your card to be truly recyclable, try this idea: save old cereal boxes. Cut out a rectangle to the desired size once it’s folded in half. (If you want the card to be thicker, glue two pieces of cardboard together at this stage.) Remember, you can make gift tags, too. Either paint the cardboard white, brown or a festive colour, or wrap it in brown paper to give you a blank canvas to start with. Time of the essence? Skip this step and just buy cardboard to start decorating.

Easy enough for kids: Christmas tree yarn cards

This idea is so simple, and all it takes is sewing yarn in straight lines onto the card in the shape of a tree. Start by drawing a triangle on the wrong side of the card. Then use a needle to thread the yarn through the card at one of the bottom corners. Secure the yarn on the wrong side with a festive piece of washi tape to avoid having a knot. Now go through the card on the opposite corner to form a straight line – don’t pull the thread too tight or the card may bend. Continue working in straight lines, making them slightly short each time, as you get towards the tip of your Christmas tree. It’s up to you how close together your lines are but we like them about 5mm apart. Add beads for baubles and draw a star shape on top if you want, too. 

These are great Christmas cards to make with the kids. Depending on their ages, you may need to get them started by using a needle or skewer to punch small holes in the cardboard in a tree shape, which they can then sew through.

Eco-friendly cards: upcycle household objects 

Cast an eye around your house for objects that can be used on cards. Old buttons are a great place to start. For a cute gift tag, draw a loopy line diagonally from the bottom corner to the opposite top corner. Draw a short line downwards from the middle of each loop and glue one button at the bottom of every line. There you have it – a Christmas bauble garland. Write Merry Christmas on the card and you’re done. 

Buttons could also be glued on a bigger card in the shape of a wreath – go for lots of different sized buttons all slightly overlapping, either glued or sewn in concentric circles. Glue a ribbon bow to the top of your card to finish the wreath.

Easy Christmas designs: hello Rudolph!  

Sometimes less is more with festive designs. Take, for example, a reindeer gift tag or card. All you need is a good felt tip pen, craft eyes and little red pom poms from craft stores. Draw the antlers on, add the eyes and then stick on the pompom to create the nose. A little bit of kitchen string on the gift tag will finish it off. 

If you love the reindeer theme but don’t want to make cards from scratch, try this hack instead: grab a pack of these wooden reindeer christmas tree decorations and use your felt tip pen to write the message on the back (if you want, you can even write ‘Merry Christmas’ or the recipients name between the nose and the eyes on the front of the decoration).