The holiday season is upon us. One of the gifts I decided to give my nieces this year is cards. At first I thought I would make them each a stack of personalized “monogrammed” cards. Then I realized that they are at a point (8 and 10 years old) where they like projects and new things, so why not let them make the cards (or at least partially make the cards.) They live in Wisconsin and so it isn’t easy to just stop by and do craft projects with them (although I wish it was) so I thought I would do some of the work and let them finish the cards by putting them together.
I had already made several “monogrammed” cards for them, so I will send those along as examples. With my new plan, I set out by picking out plain card stock and designer paper combinations that I thought they would like.
I am lucky enough to have a huge room upstairs where all my arts and craft supplies are. I found a HUGE long table at Salvation Army that makes a wonderful work space. Most of the time I never pick up the mess from my previous project, so that is the first thing I have to do – clean up the table. Lucky for me, the last thing I worked on was cards, so it didn’t take long for me to straightening things up.
Picking out papers. I am very frugal with buying my supplies. I check out the Sunday advertisements for both of the craft stores in my area to see who has what on sale. If one of them has a sale on paper and I am in need of more paper, I make a point to head that direction. Also, I make sure that I am armed with any coupons they have and always check the clearance sections because you never know what you will find there. I have found a lot of deeply discounted papers in that area. Craig’s List can also be an good place to find things like stamps and punches and even papers. You can also make contact with a stamp demonstrator from your area. When we first moved to Texas, I visited my friend in Austin I learned about Stampin’ Up. They have demonstrators all over the world and most likely there is one in your area. Those demonstrators can have all sorts of activities from stamping cards to scrapbooking. Several demonstrators will have a “stamp-a-stack” class where you pay a fee (usually around $10-$15) to go stamp a stack of cards (usually 12 cards). They do all the planning and paper cutting and you just go and stamp the selected stamps they have chosen to “demonstrate” and put it all together (I notice they are usually themes depending on the time of year – Christmas, Valentine’s Day, Spring.) You walk away with finished handmade cards and you didn’t had to buy any supplies. What a deal. With the “stamp-a-stack” in mind, that is what I did for my nieces. I think they will enjoy this gift. It is creative, handmade and they get to have some fun with it too. I hope it will bring a big smile to their faces when they each open their gift.
I have a hard time figuring out what to give my mom for gifts. She is at a point where she has everything and doesn’t want more “things.” I have found making cards for her to be one of the gifts I can make and give her that she will use (she also enjoys the homemade soap.) Right now I am making her Christmas cards and throughout the year I give her other cards as gifts. She can use them herself or use them as gifts for other people. I want to make sure I am making cards that she will like, so she is involved in the process. I know that takes some of the surprise factor away, but in the long run I know she is happier to get a gift she likes and can use.
You may have some stamping and scrapebooking stores in your area that offer classes or projects. Local craft stores in your area may have some projects going on with the holidays coming up.
I am also quite happy to report that some of the papers I cam able to buy are made in the USA. I look at that as a win-win situation. I get to make a handmade card and support a business in the USA. While that business is not local to my area, at least I feel better knowing the paper didn’t have to travel across the ocean to get here.