Category Archives: Christmas

Kitty Cat in Stocking Card

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Andrew and I had a tough time deciding what design to use for this year’s Christmas cards. We considered having a reindeer on the card but we couldn’t come up with a design we were satisfied with. Andrew and I both like cats, though, so we began toying with designs including kitties. One idea was a kitty sitting with a Santa hat on its head, batting at a Christmas ornament or a mistletoe. Eventually, though, we went with a cat, with a Santa hat on its head, peeking out from a stocking.

Kitty Cat in Stocking Card

I drew the sketch below to get a basic idea of what I was looking for. This turned out to be pretty spot-on and I didn’t really need to make any major changes to it, though the stocking needed a few adjustments.

Cat in Stocking Sketch

I scanned this image and recreated it in Silhouette Studio, making changes to my liking. I tilted the stocking to make it look like it were hanging. Therefore, the kitty would have its head tilted in the opposite direction to “correct” for the tilt of the stocking. I also decided it was cute to have the Santa hat hang down over the kitty’s eye just slightly.

Cat in Stocking Silhouette

I rendered the mouth and pupils in Silhouette even though I wouldn’t have it cut those out. Those would be drawn on with ink.

Cat in Stocking Card

I created the above prototype to see if we really liked it and to see if there were any changes we wanted to make before buying the paper to make the card in bulk.

I spent at least 20 minutes in the paper aisle at Jo-Ann debating what colors of cardstock to get. For the kitties, I bought three colors: two shades of brown and a shade of gray darker than what I used in the prototype. I decided that the gray in the prototype was too light and there wasn’t enough contrast with the whites. I liked the sparkly yellow background but I also went with a sparkly white background because it looked great and would look very snowy (despite having less contrast—but it still stood out enough for me). For the base, I went with a more pearlized cardstock and got it in green, yellow, and red.

Die Cut Stockings

This is the first Christmas card we’ve made using our Silhouette Cameo die-cutting machine. It sure cut down on cutting time (puns not intended). Above you can see 24 efficiently cut-out stockings. We cut out two sheets of stockings, aiming to make about 48 cards.

48 Kitty Cat Faces

It took us a few hours to get the heads finished! There were a lot of small details to take care of. We ran out of eyeballs because we kept messing up the pupils, so we were left with one cat left with zero eyes to glue on. So we drew little curves to look like the kitty’s eyes are happily closed. The cats were pretty much all based on the same design, but each one has something unique about it.

The prototype had a little pink triangle inside the ear. However, we decided that was just one step too many and eventually decided not to glue them on, even though we cut out dozens of little pink ears. It just wasn’t a necessary detail.

Cats in Stockings Stacks

Above are stacks of kitties in stockings! At this point they still needed the white balls glued onto the ends of their Santa hats. Even though the prototype cat was a prototype, we used it (with a new background) and gave it as a Christmas card to Andrew’s parents.

We glued these onto backgrounds which we embossed using Andrew’s Sizzix Big Kick. We tried numerous backgrounds before we settled on what we liked. (Even though we tried several embossing patterns that we were less fond of, we didn’t waste them and included them in cards we sent for variety’s sake.) The white cards got the daisy backgrounds because they looked very snowflakey. The yellow backgrounds got polka dot patterns.

Finished Cat in Stocking Cards

It was a thrill to complete each card. We had some extra kitties for some reason, so a few special people got two kitties! One of these people is my cousin Kevin, who has two cats, so we wrote their names on the stocking. We wrote cat names onto the stockings for a few other people with cats.

Cats in Stockings Cards

These cards took a lot of work and time due to the number of small things we had to glue onto each card. But it was worth it. I love how the cards turned out. It’s great that each one is unique in some way, whether it comes down to color combinations or a slightly different face. I think the cards are adorable!

“No L” Christmas Card

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I thought Andrew might appreciate getting a Christmas card with a riddle on it, so I made him this.

No L Christmas Card

Do you get it? The card has all the letters of the alphabet except for L. Why no L? Noel.

I made this card for Andrew last year. I cut red and green strips of cardstock and wove them together. The yellow frame hides the edges of the woven grid of paper. I like the stickers, which are very festive-looking letters.

Felt Beard Santa Claus Card

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During our first Christmas together, Andrew and I enjoyed the fun we had making our Christmas Tree with Buttons card. So during our second Christmas together, we decided that we should put Santa Claus himself on the annual Christmas card.

Santa Claus with felt beard and hat, and googly eyes.

We strove to make Santa’s design a bit abstract because we knew we couldn’t get away with making him look realistic. This meant making Santa’s face mostly beard. I wanted to make the beard and hat out of cardstock, but Andrew really wanted to use felt. We actually wound up using sheets of white fleece because the felt was thin and allowed too much color to come through—the fleece was bright white by contrast. Felt is very difficult to work with. It is difficult to trace our patterns onto it, and it stubbornly refuses to be cut. I think felt is visually less interesting than textured cardstock, but at least it is fun to feel.

For the cards we handed in person, Santa’s hat had fluffy cotton pompoms on the end. But we figured that these wouldn’t mail well, so we replaced them with simple flat circles of white fleece. It still looked pretty good.

We gave Santa googly eyes. This gave the card a very whimsical look; it was very funny to see Santa Claus looking every which way every time I moved the card. But let me give you a warning: if you are going to mail cards with googly eyes, be sure to use something stronger than Elmer’s multi-purpose glue to hold them on. I went to my cousin’s apartment some time after she received our card, and I saw Santa Claus on the front of it, only he had no eyes! Just little circles of dried glue where they should have been! Perhaps the mail sorting machines popped off Santa’s eyes! In retrospect, this is hilarious.

These are all of the Santa Claus cards we made for Christmas.

We ended up making forty-two of these cards. There was little variation between them, because we used the same template for all of them. However, due to minor differences in how we traced them, cut them, or glued them together, each Santa had a slightly different personality. I am pleased with how these cards turned out.

Christmas Tree with Buttons Card

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Andrew and I have been busy lately. Not only have we been celebrating Thanksgiving and doing lots of shopping the past weekend, but we’ve been hard at work on our Christmas cards, which we are creating in bulk. We’re making about 48 Christmas cards. I will post about the cards we’ve been making in a few weeks, after they’re all sent out. In the meantime, now is a good time to write about the Christmas card we designed two years ago, during our first Christmas together.

A Christmas tree card with buttons as ornaments.

We had been dating only about three months when we made our first Christmas cards together. We first went to Jo-Ann and bought several colors of sparkly green cardstock; we didn’t know what color might look best, and we were going to try out different possibilities. We also bought buttons and found these cute little stars, which are slightly padded. The packages included gold and silver stars. I would have preferred to have only gold stars, but the silver came with them. Then we went to my house and crafted prototype cards until we found a design we liked.

With our official design in mind, we returned to Jo-Ann and bought lots and lots of cardstock—enough paper to make all the cards we needed. We had picked a favorite cardstock color for the tree, but the store ran out of those, so we also bought some of our second-favorite color. The cashiers unfortunately have to ring up each sheet of cardstock one-by-one. Then we created a template from our prototype card and traced the shapes onto the backs of the cardstock. Then we cut these all out and glued them onto the cards.

I unfortunately don’t have the pictures to illustrate this, but one of my favorite things about these cards was that each was somewhat unique. Some cards had trees one shade of green, and some had a different shade of green. (Since we also made prototypes using different colors, and because we didn’t want to waste the paper, there were a few more cards with different shades of green as well.) Some trees had gold stars, others silver. And the colors and arrangements of the buttons were unique on each card too.

We probably made about 30 of these cards, and each one was different in some way. The recipients of these cards probably didn’t realize that their cards were slightly different than other recipients’ cards, but it was fun to have some variety in the cards we were making. It made it seem less like we were producing the same card over and over. I feel like the cards we made last year (our Felt Beard Santa Claus Cards) lacked this variety; they all looked essentially the same. But the cards we’re making this year each have a bit of a unique feel to them. Achieving this level of variety is something I look forward to with future years’ Christmas cards.