December 12, 2010

Christmas Card idea

If you're making gifts with Christmas fabric right now, (and if you're like me) you might look at the floor and find a pile of scraps that you've tossed aside. Or maybe you're more organized than me and you toss your scraps into a box? Any which way, it's always a challenge to figure out what to do with all the little bits of leftover fabric, right? Making these cute Christmas cards is an idea that i got from my aunt Julie after she sent me this last year:
She had mentioned the idea of adding a small bit of stuffing to the backside before finishing it to give it a little dimension and that's what i did! You can probably already figure out how to make these, but here are some step-by-step instructions if you'd like them.

You'll need:
heavy card stock paper — i used textured watercolor paper that was precut to postcard size, 5"x7". If the paper is not precut, you'll need to cut it to 5"x7" (or whatever size you'd like). We'll be folding this in half, so make sure your dimensions correspond to the size you'd like when the paper is folded.
xacto knife
fabric scraps of your choice
stuffing (very small amount)
glue — good ol' Elmer's worked for me

The first thing you'll need to do is turn your paper lengthwise, and mark the mid-point of the long side on the bottom edge:
My paper is 7" long, so i marked it at 3.5":Repeat on the top edge then line your ruler up with both the top and bottom marks and very lightly score the paper with your xacto knife. If your blade is new, use a very light hand so you don't go through the paper. Fold the paper in half along the score. To get it to lay flat, i put a piece of paper over the folded edge and ran the side of a pencil back and forth over it a few times. If you have a bone folder for bookbinding, you can certainly use that as well.

Next, cut out a shape—tree, stars, snowman, etc.— to use as a template. If you want to make an ornament, you can use the bottom of a glass and trace around it for a simple circle shape. You can also download the ones i made: Very lightly, trace the shape onto the front of your card.
Open your card and lie it flat on a cutting surface then use your xacto knife to cut out the shape:If there are any stray pencil marks on the front, now is a good time to erase them.
Next, pick out whatever fabric scraps you'd like to use. I made sure they were long enough to cover my tree image when positioned diagonally:Sew the fabric strips together. I had strips, you might have squares...doesn't matter, it'll look cute either way!Next, open your card and run a bead of glue 1/4" from the edge of the image. I used the edge of a scrap of paper to pull the bead toward the opening to make sure the fabric would stay put right up to the edge:Position your fabric strips on top of the glue and press in place. You can also close the card and smooth over the back with your hand. Once you're sure the fabric is stuck on, you can hold your card up to the light to see where the opening is, and trim any excess fabric: This part is optional, but it sure makes the card irresistible! Take a small bit of stuffing and roll it around between the palms of your hands making a little ball. Position it over the fabric you've just glued on. You can kind of smush it around to get it to cover the opening:Take another piece of the same paper you used for the card, and cut it just 1/8" smaller (on all sides) than the inside front of your card. Run a bead of glue 1/4" from the edge and again, use a scrap paper to pull the bead to the very edge of the paper.

You can also apply glue more liberally to the back in the areas where paper will be glued to paper. In other words, glue can go everywhere but not in the area where the stuffing is (keeps paper smoother). Make sure to smooth out the glue with a scrap piece of paper so it's even and won't buckle and curl too much as it dries:Turn it over...finito!I thought the tree one needed a little extra cuteness, so i stitched on two small green tinsel embellishments — you can see them a little better if you scroll back up to the top picture of the tree card. You might want to use sequins or beads or even small ric-rac garland. It's up to you! I was also thinking you could take it to your sewing machine and sew a single outline around the whole shape.

Here's the ornament one—i drew the top hook, and added the word "merry" to finish it:The stars on the right do not have any stuffing behind them. And for the one on the left, i took one of the stars that i had cut out from the one on the right, trimmed it, added two small gold beads to the top and sewed it to the top of the circle diecut so it dangles in the hole:I know there's not too much time left to make cards, so you can always keep these in mind for next year or for other holidays too! The heart one my aunt made would surely be a cute Valentine, or you could do a 4-leaf clover for St. Patty's Day, or a balloon for a name it! Have fun!


  1. Great.....I am just taking a break from sewing with some Christmas fabric. Now I'm gonna have to go root through the garbage to rescue the pieces I deemed too small to save. Gee, thanks a lot!

  2. Your cards are so sweet! Elegant and tactile--that's a nice mix. I'm sending out about 10 cards so this is perfect!

  3. it's like reverse applique! lovely. i dig the ink on it too. ; )

  4. Thanks for the great ideas, Kate. Your detailed instructions are nice.
    Lovely cards.

  5. I have been sewing with 12 Days of Christmas like a mad women...can't get enough of it...great idea for my leftovers that I just can't seem to part with! Lisa in Texas

  6. These are gorgeous, what a great idea.

  7. I always love fabric combined with paper! You just cannot go wrong. Fun stuff, thanks for sharing

  8. THANK YOU for being so generous with your gorgeous ideas!

  9. I love this idea! It never occurred to me to use my scraps in this way--and I have so many scraps--ugh! I think I'll steal this idea for birthdays and Valentines Day as well--THANKS!

  10. Those are wonderful. Thank you, to you and your Aunt!

  11. That's an adorable idea Kate! Thanks for the tips and all the cuteness!

  12. Brilliant! Thank you, again, for sharing this wonderful idea ... love it, and yes, it will probably have to be on next year's to-do list :)

  13. I always love your cards ... thanks for sharing this inspiration, too.
    Merry Merry

  14. These cards are just lovely. Thank you for sharing!

  15. Oh my gosh I've never seen a card like this, hopefully I can make one for Valentines Day! Thank you!


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