Easy card ideas, fast party foods and good friends are all you need to have card-making fun for the holidays.
What a way to make merry during the holiday season—and to save money on Christmas cards at the same time! It’s a party where guests make their own easy yet festive greeting cards, then enjoy a casual dinner of party-theme foods. Not only is this creative get-together lots of fun, it’s fuss-free for the host, too.
Here, paper craft designer Jen Olski of Milwaukee, Wisconsin, shares all you need to know to plan a memorable card-making bash. Plus, you’ll find her super-easy card project and other festive card crafts in the slide show above. Even a beginner can quickly assemble these surprisingly simple designs—from a beautiful stamped angel to a sweet holiday gift card holder.
We’ve also included a menu of scrumptious party foods (most of which can be made in advance), such as envelope-shaped sandwiches, a can’t-stop-munching snack mix and cheesecake squares topped with pretty patterns. It’s a complete meal that hungry guests are sure to love.
All in all, your card-making party will be a cut above the rest…and you’ll find you can put it together in no time!
- Invite five or so friends for an afternoon of card-making with a casual dinner to follow.
- Gather the card-making supplies needed for the projects in the slide show above. (Or, ask guests to bring their own papers and scissors while you supply the rubber stamps, ribbon and remaining items.)
- Cover the card-making table in your home with a protective oil cloth or tablecloth.
- Gather the ingredients for the party recipes at bottom.
- Do as much of the food preparation in advance as possible. (Check the menu at bottom to see which recipes you can make ahead.
Jen’s Tips for Making Cards by the Dozens
With a little planning and some doable designs, you can whip out dozens of stunning handmade cards in less than a day. Here are a few hints to help you get going:
Pick a design that you can quickly re-create.
Using lots of doodads and fancy paper-crafting techniques is great when you have to make only one or two cards. But when you’ll be making dozens to send, keep it simple. The card projects shared in the above slide show are great ideas to start with. For more inspiration, scan crafting magazines or books…or flip through your holiday cards from past years for ideas.
Plan your project.
To make the most of your time—and your supplies—figure out how many cards you can create from your supplies. For example, from one 8-1/2-inch x 11-inch sheet of card stock, you can get two cards…or four layers for the front of a card.
Jot down a list of extra supplies you’ll need so you only need to make one trip to the craft store. And be prepared to substitute if you run out! Remember that each friend and family member will receive only one card, so if theirs is a little different from the rest, it won’t matter. In fact, it will be that much more special!
Work in steps.
Think of creating your cards as a one-person assembly line. Start by cutting your paper and trimming your ribbon so that every element is ready to go. Next, stamp all of your main images. Then layer your main images, and finally, add your embellishments.
Your project will go much faster when you break it down into smaller steps. Plus, if you get called away, it’s easier to pick up where you left off.
If you’re traveling to a friend’s home to make cards together, cut your paper before you leave. Or, just take along parts of the project that are easy to do while you’re busy chatting or munching on snacks.
Add the finishing touches.
Don’t forget about the inside of your cards! To save time, print out your favorite greetings from your computer using a coordinating colored ink, then trim the paper to fit the inside of your card. This works especially well when your card stock is dark and stamped inks would be hard to read.
Sign the backs of your cards with your name or initials and add the year. It’s a personal touch that will help friends and family remember your thoughtfulness and the creativity you shared.
If you like, embellish the mailing envelope with a stamped image or greeting that coordinates with your card. The envelop will stand out in a pile of mail, and your recipient will know there’s something extra special inside.
- Paper Crafter’s Punch
- Bits and Pieces Munch Mix *
- Layered Veggie Tortellini Salad*
- Ham ‘n’ Swiss Envelopes
- Patterned Cheesecake Squares*
- Festive Fortune Cookies*: Simply purchase a box of ready-made fortune cookies, plus red and green confectionery coating disks (such as Wilton Candy Melts). Melt the red and green disks separately in the microwave, then drizzle the colorful melted coatings onto the cookies and let them set before serving. They’re festive, fuss-free…and yummy, too!
* = make-ahead recipe
Photography by Country Woman.