Do you remember why the Grinch stole Christmas? He did it because he was tired of all the commercialism. I can sympathize. I long for the times when Christmas what about spending more time with loved ones and less about stressing over finding the perfect gift. when little handmade mementos were more valuable than a department store gift card. Just call me sentimental, but my favorite part of Christmas is getting together with friends to make cookies, spending time with the kids coloring Santa Claus pictures and conjuring up any Christmas crafts that I can think up.
That being said, I have come up with some great Christmas card ideas using Christmas card templates and stencils. Of course, you can use Christmas stencils the usual way and paint the image onto a card, but there are many other ways to use stencils. I took a few stencils from my collection and explored just how many ideas I could come up with using them to decorate Christmas cards.
So, now I want to share my Christmas card making ideas with you because I take the time to know when you relax and immerse yourself into a fulfilling project will like this you not only get into the spirit of the season you will therefore make someone feel very special because you took the time to make something special for them!
Let's start with the basics of card making and then move on to the creative ideas, alright? Cut a sheet of colored paper (construction paper) down to a 6 x 8 inch rectangle. Fold in a 4 x 6 inch card helped to create.
Have you found a Christmas stencil that you like? If not, you'll find many options at your local arts and crafts supply store or online. They come as plastic pre-cut stencils ready for painting or printable stencils that you can find on the internet or in book format. Each type has advantages and disadvantages. The pre-cut stencils are ready to go but you need to either go shopping and pick one up or wait for it to come in the mail. They are therefore more expensive. The printable stencils need to be cut out and that means extra work. However, they are less expensive (or free) and since they are printable you don't have to shop or wait. Plus printable stencils can be resized to fit your project area with a copy machine or on your computer.
The most basic way to use a stencil in card making is with paint. Just place your stencil on the front of the card. You can tape down the stencil or hold in place. Use a stippling technique or up and down motion with a stencil brush or foam brush to apply paint in the stencil openings. The stippling technique is done to keep paint from seeping under the edges of the stencil openings like a normal back and forth brushing motion does.
However, besides painting, there is another great way to use stencils as Christmas card templates. Trace the openings of the stencil onto colored paper, cut out and glue to the front of the card. No. paint to mess with and you can really capture clean lines and color contrast with the paper.
If you found a nice printable stencil, you can eliminate the steps of cutting out the stencil openings and tracing the design onto the paper. Just place the paper with the stencil on top of the colored paper and cut along the lines with a craft knife. Press down firmly to cut through both pieces of paper. So, make sure that the two pages stay together as you cut. If you are having trouble with this, trim around the stencil and tape it to the colored paper. Glue the image to the front of the card. That's it! Easy, right?
Well, here are some great ideas for adding creative touches to your card making project:
Words are powerful. How about putting some traditional holiday greetings on the card behind your stencil image? It's easy. Just type your message (happy holidays or Merry Christmas) on a word processor. Set the margins so that the message will print on your 4 x 6 inch cover and print on the card stock. Experiment with different fonts and colors for your card. I found that using a light gray instead of black makes a nice background and doesn't distract from the main image.
If you use a craft knife to cut out a stencil image traced onto the color paper, you not only end up with the pieces needed to glue to the card, the left over paper is so now another stencil. You can use this one to apply paint to a second card.
Be creative and use these stencils in the negative. There are many ways to do this. For example, let's say you cut out a Christmas tree stencil for one card and now you have a piece of colored paper that has an image of a tree cut out of it cut that piece into a 4 x 6 inch rectangle with the tree in the middle and glue it to the card of a different color front of another. Or you could trim around the tree and create just an outline.
Don't forget that stencil patterns can be flipped to face in a different direction. For example, a reindeer can face to the left on one card and to the right on another.
If you use a stencil to trace an image onto your paper, your cut out image will have trace marks on them. Gently erase the marks or turn the paper over and glue with the clean side facing up.
Use other items to decorate cards. Glue a festive ribbon along the bottom or use some spray glitter to give it a glamorous look.
Use a hole punch tool to make cute circles from the construction paper and glue randomly over the card as snow or just decoration. These make great Christmas ornaments on a tree.
Paper tends to get rippled when glued, so after the glue has dried, place the cards in a heavy book to flatten them back out.
Now, I know you can come up with many other creative Christmas card ideas. After all, it's that personal touch that you are shooting for, right? And don't forget that even in the end the Grinch found out that Christmas what something that comes from the heart!
Hi! I'm penny Vedrenne and I'm on a mission to get you excited about Christmas again. Sounds corny, doesn't it? Well, if you are a crafter or artist you already know how thrilling it is to create. If you aren't a crafter or artist, stick around because you may be amazed at what creating for Christmas can do for you and how easy it is.
From this article you learned that there are many easy ways to use stencils to create personalized greeting cards. Well, that's just the tip of the iceberg. Think about making some nice gifts for friends. Plan a gathering with friends to create and share ideas. Get the kids involved. You'll also save money. But don't feel guilty about that because you are giving from the heart and that's what Christmas is all about anyway. Not to mention, you'll great time have a designing your own Christmas and most likely find the true spirit of the season!
So, now you're ready to start looking for ideas. No. problem! It's my job to come up with as many ways as possible to be creative with stencils and then give you the complete how to information! Visit me at designs from Penny ([http://www.designsfrompenny.com]) for some of my great stencil designs. The blogs are full of ideas and information. Plus you'll, a book of stencils designed as find Christmas cards with a pattern for a matching envelope to decorate.
I hope I inspired you to explore the many ways that you can be an artist with stencils. For more information on stenciling, visit all about stencils (http://www.all-about-stencils.com). You'll find complete instructions starting at the beginning plus a full section on the holidays.