Many holiday purists shudder at the thought of emailing or texting a Christmas greeting. Some tradition- minded folks take it a step further, by not only sending cards to their friends and family, but by making unique, personalized greetings by hand.
Here are some of our favorite crafty ideas for making the most memorable impressions.
Recycle. Kathy Beymer got the idea of cutting up magazines and catalogs to make cards while avoiding the chore of carrying her recycling bin discards down three flights of stairs. The Chicago resident (who chronicles her projects at Merrimentdesign.com) makes collages in simple holiday tree or star shapes, using small pieces of the colorful pages.
“This is really easy for kids because they can rip the paper and spread the glue,” says Beymer, 41, who puts together cards with her son and daughter.
Another idea: Use spare buttons that come attached to new shirts by gluing them onto cardstock in the shape of snowmen, wreathes or Christmas trees. Also try sketching around them and adding a hand- written greeting.
Stamps and cutouts. Kittie Caracciolo got hooked on stamps and dies 10 years ago, and each of the hundreds of cards she makes annually is a work of art. She sometimes spends hours with tweezers, glue, ink and high- powered magnifying glasses to make her elaborate cards.
“My family keeps all my cards,” says Caracciolo, 63, of Apopka, Fla. “In fact , my sister has framed a few.”
On her blog kittiekraft.typepad. com, she shares step-by-step instructions, plus tips to protect these creations when mailing.
Trivia: The first Christmas card in America was published by Louis Prang in 1875 and featured a simple flower design and the words “Merry Christmas.”