How to make your own Christmas cards

How to do embossing > Use store-bought cards, or make your own from card stock.

1. Press a rubber stamp onto an embossing pad. Position the stamp over the card, and apply firm, even pressure to transfer the design. Clean the stamp with a paper towel, then a stamp-cleaning pad.

2. Place the card on a paper plate, then sprinkle embossing powder over the stamped design. Tap the card to remove excess powder, and reapply as needed to coat design. If there is stray powder on the card, very gently spray compressed air from a can fitted with an extension wand.

3. Working in sections, hold a heat gun 2 inches from the design and move the nozzle in a circular motion. The powder-covered areas will melt, creating a glossy finish. Continue until the entire design has melted.

Gently wave the card 3 or 4 times to set the design. If the paper begins to curl, heat the back of the card, and fan it again. Then place the card under a heavy book for 5 to 10 minutes (this will not smudge the design).

Photo cards > You can make a border using a frame-shaped stamp or “photo corners” using a triangular stamp.

1. Emboss your design on a folded card by following the instructions above.

2. Using a utility knife, cut an opening into the card that is slightly smaller than the photograph.

3. Center photo over a piece of card stock (cut to the size of the card) and secure with double-sided tape.

4. Tape the card stock and photo to the inside of the frame.

Sparkling cards > Landscapes and architecture are ideal subjects for cards, and they look great with a dusting of glitter. Many computer programs offer antiquing functions that “age” a photo in seconds. 

1. Working in sections, use a fine-tip brush to apply white glue to an area of the card. If there is snow in your picture, you might glitter those areas. If not, you could glitter spots where snow might fall, such as tree branches.

2. Place on a paper plate and sprinkle with glitter. Shake to remove excess glitter. Let dry.

Making a deckle edge > This gives paper a charming, handmade look.

1. Place a sheet of card stock face down on a flat surface. Align a ruler parallel to one side, about an inch in.

2. Pressing firmly on the ruler, rip the edge of the paper along the length of the ruler. Repeat on the remaining three sides to create desired size.

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