Semi-Handmade Christmas Cards...and a holiday digi-freebie from Heidi Swapp! yay!


There was a time when I envisioned myself sitting at a gorgeous desk with a stack of handmade Christmas cards on one side and a stack of envelopes on the other, lovingly writing each and every card a personal message...

...a time when I envisioned my children sitting at my feet while I wrote, quietly putting together puzzles and giving each other words of praise and encouragement when one of them fit in a piece...

...a time when I envisioned the magic of the holidays filling our home until we were full to bursting with love and peace and faith. 

And then I actually HAD children and realized that, yeah...none of that other stuff was going to happen. Ever. 

Of course, I still send out cards each year, but they are ordered online, and are usually just shoved into an envelope and addressed with a pre-printed sticker (anything to save a minute or two, right?).
Not exactly the gorgeous handmade beauties of my dreams, right? 

So the past few years I have done something just a little different with my cards...I've made them Semi-Handmade. Sure, I still order the basic cards online. Sure, I still use pre-printed address labels (usually). But I've started adding just a little personal touch to my cards...a little something that makes them completely unique and memorable. 

This year Heidi Swapp made my job super-easy with her 12 Days of Digital Freebies. Seriously? What a fantastic idea! All I had to do was print and cut out the graphics! 

Then I just played around with different ways to dress-up my basic cards! Woo hoo! Here is our Christmas card for this year...


And here are the ways that I used today's "The Most Wonderful Time of the Year" freebie to make them extra special...


In this example, I simply printed out the graphic onto cardstock, cut it out and rounded the corners, and attached it to my card with baker's twine. So simple! But really, doesn't that little extra touch just make the cards stand out? It's almost like a little gift that your card recipients get to open in order to see the card. Here's another idea...


For this one, I printed the graphics out onto vellum, cut them to fit around the card...


and attached them in the back...again with baker's twine.

If you're not into changing the look of your card, you can also add a little something to your envelope to make your card one-of-a-kind...


I left the actual card alone in this example, and added the graphic to the back of the envelope (after I inked the edges and added little "ribbons" to the bottom). I love this look...wouldn't that actually make a darling little gift-topper, too? 

Now what if you already make your own cards? (and, if you do, I salute you. and worship you. and want to know how you manage to get it all done). Do you buy your envelopes? Or do you make them? What if you suddenly run out of envelopes? Or you just want to change things up a bit? How about something like this?


Little paper bags are a fun, easy way to dress up your card at minimal cost! Here I just printed out Heidi's freebie onto the bag, and sealed it with some baker's twine and washi tape. This would be a great idea for cards you can hand to neighbors or teachers or friends...OR, simply seal the bag a little better, address it and send it in the mail! 

**for an amazing tutorial on how to print on a paper bag, check out this post from hellobee.com**

Now, if you are not a card-sender, you can still give your neighbors and friends something special...a "card" of sorts...


I used the paper bags again, but this time I used my photo-editing software to add our family name to the bottom...and then I filled the bags with yummy treats.


Now, when you give these away, you'll be giving a gift AND a card in one! Awesome...


So there you go...a few easy ways to make your cards (and even gifts!) using digital graphics. I hope you love them! And don't forget to visit Heidi's site to download your very own set of holiday freebie!

**For more ideas for Semi-Handmade cards, you can check out my blog post from last year, too**

**In order to download Heidi's freebies (which are in .pdf format) you will need to first have Adobe Reader on your computer. After that is installed, just click on the link to the download and save it to your computer. Once it is saved, you can open it and print...if you have any questions at all regarding the process, please contact me**

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