Here's hoping you had yourself a Merry Little Christmas...

So, if you're still making your way through the last of the cheese and mince pies, putting off the inevitable taking-down-of-the-decorations... here's a great way to make use of your Christmas cards, upcycle them into next year's tags!

Let's face it, Christmas can be a wasteful time, with things only used once...and never again. This is a small way to redress the balance; and make next year's gifts all the more personal :)



Today's blog post soundtrack is my favourite Christmas song OF ALL TIME! If you can BEAR to hear another Christmas song... I've always loved it, and it's the one song I never tire of hearing, Mariah Carey's All I Want For Christmas - honestly it gives me goosebumps!

I'll start by sharing a project that was requested from a dear reader... to make a 'superhero' cape, embellished with the initials of the person they adore... I won't embarrass the 'adored one' by saying who he is - I'll just show you a couple of pics, one of which the wearer sent me! Thanks Lorna!


Before wrapping & sending...
Being worn..!
In the true spirit of Christmas, today's blog is about giving. Granted, we are quite some time away from doing The Festive Thing all over again, but why not fit some time into your weekend or evening to upcycle your cards ahead of next year..? Notice I could've said 'recycle your cards'? I chose 'upcycle' as I truly believe this is the way to transform them into something better, taking time to personalise your gifts - meaning thought and effort. Surely that's what Christmas is about? Telling your loved ones you've taken time and effort to give them something they'll love? (well, that's ONE of the things it's about!)

And before you roll your eyes at me and make your way to the kitchen to finish off the left-over deep fill mince pies, just think... this is one last way to enjoy the trappings of Christmas before supermarkets start pushing Valentine's on us... see? I'm all heart... :D

Sew... with that in mind...


To make the gift tags you'll need the Christmas cards you've received this year (the ones you don't mind cutting into...), a hole punch, some pinking sheers (or normal scissors, if you haven't any), and ribbon.

The rest is up to you! Pick the main theme/design of the card, cut around it - embellish further if you'd like (using the technique I'm coming to next), punch a hole through one corner, and tie ribbon through the hole. ET VOILA! A designer-looking Christmas tag that will give your gifts that extra-special finishing touch...
(no joke, I've seen tags in shops going for over £4 - for ONE TAG! Hold on... do I sense I business idea..? No, scrap that... one thing at a time... Am I talking to myself again? How very rude! Back to the programme...)


Christmas card glittery embellishments look fabulous when 'tagged'...

Even wording can be used...

...or a whole sentiment, for that matter!

From 'Gifting' to 'Greeting'...

While you're in the mood, add some glitter, crafting glue and maybe even a multi pack of cards to the mix... This is a very quick and easy way of personalising your left-over Christmas cards, NOW, before stashing them away in the attic til next year! (or even buy them while they're on sale, and prep them now...)

It's fair to say we're not all blessed with an artistic slant for making greetings cards from scratch, whipping up a cute cartoon reindeer or a snowy nativity scene, so it got me thinking, I don't need to! I mean, someone else can provide the artistic backdrop - all I need to do is add the sparkly schmaltz... Let me show you how!

Start with your pack of cards, (*I like to pick a charity or two that mean something to me, then source packs from their Christmas range that catch my eye, for whatever reason... normally because there's an animal somewhere in there). Then take one, and look at it carefully... Think about what the 'accent' is on the card; is it the reindeer's nose? How about Santa's hat? Or maybe the lettering is the most naturally-prominent thing on the card? Much like the previous process for the tags, give it some thought, and then draw over that accent with a pencil dipped in glue. You could just pour the glue out of the container, but that always ends rather messily for me - and at least with a pencil you've got complete control when it comes to the finer details...
Here's how I accentuated the outline of a pompom with glue, before covering in glitter. If possible, leave the glitter on for five minutes before shaking off the excess (back into the glitter shaker - so very little waste!) - this makes the glue hold onto the glitter for longer, and means there's less chance of it rubbing off on the inside of the envelope.

I 'made' mine on a factory line, applying glue and glitter to each card before leaving to dry (and harden) at the back of the table, where they won't be nudged or smudged, overnight when possible. I see it a bit like cooking, if you put all the crafty prep in beforehand, there's much less room for making mistakes in the actual making.

And a couple more Before and Afters...

 I chose Santa's nose, then when I saw it dry it looked like I was implying he'd had one too many sherries... so I changed to the fur trim on his hat!












These two doggies in a car were already adorable (!) - I chose to accentuate a tree and the dog's scarf... 


So - here we are, on the verge of a New Year. I wish all of you every happiness - good health for you and your loved ones, and good fortune... Let's make it a year to remember!



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In other news;
  • My baby bibs have sold out! Twice!! And the lovely owner Rowan has now ordered in a completely 'new line'... I won't spoil the surprise, but I'm very excited by the prospect of branching out - I'm currently making the 'prototype', obviously I'll let you know here, as and when they're 'out'!
  • Owing to the bibs being popular, and the fact I seem to be making things for people more in general, I've decided to have fabric labels printed; that might not sound like a big deal... but it is to me! The logo has just been finished (a reworking of this blog's name) - again, I'm looking forward to sharing the end product with you in 2014!
  • Finally, I wanted to show you one of my favourite presents from this Christmas... Enjoy; here's the wreath my Mum KNITTED for me! This is one Christmas decoration I'm going to treasure, and hopefully (one day) show my child and say "Your clever Nanny made this!"...

Comments

  1. A bumper blog.. a good read as always, that wreath is a work of art, my Nan could knit for England but that takes some beating..
    Pleased to see how much your blog has blossomed over the year, this time next year you'll be a millionaire or a maybe milliner..how are you with hats?

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    Replies
    1. Thanks Brian - yeah, Mum's knitting has really taken on amazing proportions... especially considering she's not been doing it that long! And thank-you for your comment on the Blog, I'll be working hard on it this year - as for being a millionaire... MUCH more chance of me becoming a milliner!! :D

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