Tuesday, December 11, 2012

No cost gifts from the heart 4....

My daughter and I made these cards yesterday.
Our materials were:
2 sheets of white project cardboard at just $1 each
1 glossy Country Living magazine from the thrift store -50c
1 sheet of scrapbooking diamante` dots $1.50
A tub of glue (already had it)
Pastel artists chalk (completely optional...used them cause we had them)
Fixative spray (only for using with pastel chalks..already had it)
Glitter spray (completely optional..already had it)
Scrap lace, wool, kitchen string (already had them)
Standard sized postal envelopes (already had them)
So you see by our list, we used what we had on hand, and only spent $4 all up.
Here's how to make them:
1. Measure envelopes and decide size of cards. They need to be a little smaller than the envelope for a smooth fit.
2. Take the time to use a ruler and pencil to mark out the lines to cut on the cardboard. We decided on long cards to fit our envelopes, so measured out the lengths, and not quite double the width of the envelope to decided the size of the card when open. We'd be folding it in half to close the card and fit it into the envelope. So ours were marked out in squares of 21cm x 21cm, which folds down to a card 21 cms long and 10.5cms wide when folded.
3. Use sharp scissors or a paper cutting guillotine to cut the cardboard to size. Fold each card. We ended up with 6 full sized cards, 3 small cards and 6 gift tags from each sheet of cardboard. Nothing was wasted.
4. Cut images from magazines. Now of course the result hinges on the type of images you clip. Our magazine had lots of French inspired decorating ideas, and meshed nicely with the scrap lace and glitter we already had. So it was a good combo. Landscapes, animals, flowers, children, scrapbooking examples, and holiday destinations are all good candidates as well. Travel brochures could be a good no cost sourse of great shots to use. Trim to size of card, allowing some space for lace trim or other embellishments.
5. Be creative and group or overlap pictures, make a collage of themed pictures using a common element or colour (in our case, black or pink or floral or French). Glue into place.
6. Add lace. We then coloured over the lace in artists chalks to tone with the photos. This gives a very pretty effect, but needs to be sprayed with the Fixative spray or it will just come off every time you touch it. This has to be done when the lace is dry too, so either before you glue it or after the glue had dried.
7. Tie string, yarn, or craft ribbon around the spine and trim to make it look tidy.
8. Spray with glitter spray or glitter hairspray.
9. Embellish with other items as desired. Can I suggest some restraint? The best cards we did are the ones embellished with lace OR crystal dots OR glitter spray. Not all three. But ultimately, they're your cards so go with what grabs your imagination.
10. Google some inspirational quotes to hand write inside them. I found some lovely ones, chosen to suit the images on the cards, here.

11. Finally, when the glue is really dry, weight your cards down with some heavy books, platters, trays or anything else heavy you have on hand, and let them sit overnight. This makes them sit nice and flat and gives a better finished product.

Now, I know these are not for the experienced card maker amongst you. I know you can do far cleverer things.

These instructions are for those who are on a stingingly limited budget for whatever reason, and for the less experienced crafter.

As you can see, the results are still very pretty.

I hope I am helping you to see that Christmas truly can be about using what you have to inspire heartfelt gifts. Six of these cards, tied with lace, ribbon or string and presented in a box, hand stitched pouch or simply with a tag attached, could be a meaningful gift for anyone you love.

If you don't have money, you can use your time to create something beautiful. Don't rush, think of yourself as an artist, and really think about the images and the inspirational quotes and tailor them to the recipient.

Wishing you a Frugal Festive Season...

...until next time..

Mama Guardian


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