When it comes to Christmas cards, I like to make extra special varieties for just family and very close friends, but I try to keep them fairly simple for use in assembly line style, so I can make several at a time, like the eight here. Made with Kraft Cardstock and corrugate, these cards invoke an old time Christmas feeling, yet combined with shimmer and sparkle from Liquid Pearls, Stickles, and Metallic Cardstock, give them an elegant flair…a country chic look. After all the paper trimming, stitching, and die cutting, which are the most time consuming parts, they come together pretty quickly. Just do all the prep work first, and then line them up and build the cards one step at a time.
Step 1: Trim the 12×12 Kraft Cardstock in half to make 6×12 inch pieces, one per card that you want to make. Trim Gold Metallic Cardstock to 5 1/2 inch squares, again one per card. Trim corrugate to 5 inch squares, one per card.
Step 2: Die cut the largest circle from the Sized Circles Movers & Shapers, to each center of the gold cardstock and corrugate. Using a ruler helps to find the exact center, about 1 1/4 inches in from each side. Fold the Kraft Cardstock pieces in half to make 6×6 inch card bases, crease side up. Lightly trace around one of the die cut circle centers to the middle of the Kraft cards, so you know where to stamp, using a pencil. A ruler will help you find the exact middle, about 1 1/2 inches in from each side. Save your gold and corrugate die cut center circles for another project.
Step 3: Turn the corrugate over to the smooth side, with a piercing or foam mat underneath, and lay the Stitching Circle Frame over the corrugate, aligning the centers. Using a pencil (or craft pick directly) mark the dots in the second row from the outside to complete a circle onto the corrugate, all the while holding the stencil as still as possible to ensure a perfect shape. Because it is easier to do before stitching the corrugate, distress the inside edge of the corrugate circle with a Distress Tool. As you distress the edges, push them up somewhat to create a lip, so that when it is mounted to the gold cardstock, you will be able to see the gold matting for a nice border look. Ink the edges of the inside of the circle of the corrugate, as well as the outside edges with Vintage Photo Distress Archival Ink.
To begin stitching, start with about a yard of Craft Thread, and then insert the threaded needle, front to back, in a hole in the lower left corner, pulling the thread until about three inches is left. You will need that for later, so do not pull it through. Begin sewing back to front, then front to back, creating a running stitch. Once you get back to the three inches of excess thread, just continue stitching in and out until you come to the excess thread again, and it should look like you have backstitched. You will have several inches of excess thread left, so just leave them both dangling, as you will need it that way later. Just leave the threads uncut and untied for now.
Step 4: Using an Ink Blending Tool and Glacier White Pigment Ink, lightly ink over the penciled circle area on the Kraft card (crease side up), extending just beyond the lines of the circle, getting slightly heavier with the ink on the bottom portion of the circle…think sky and land. With scrap paper, cut a wavy pattern on one of the edges. Lay this over the top of the circle (waves side down) so that only the bottom area of the penciled circle is seen. Ink over the waves about a half inch heavily by pouncing the tool so it deposits lots of ink. Move the wavy pattern further down, leaving a tiny gap between the waves, so that the hills will appear to have some depth and contrast. Make two or three hills until the bottom part of the penciled circle is covered up with the heavier ink. Dry this with a Heat Tool.
Step 5: Place the card (crease side up) into the Stamp Platform (upper left corner), and secure it with the magnets. Position the Tree Line Stamp on top of the card just above the snowy hills, stamp side down right where you want your image to be. Close the lid over the stamp so that the stamp clings to it, and it is in place. Ink the part of the stamp that will cover the circled area only, as it is larger than what you need, with Vintage Photo Distress Archival, and stamp the image one time, pressing firmly. Clean off the brown ink from the stamp without moving it, and then add Glacier White ink to it, and stamp the image again. Layering the inks gives a subtle 3D look, as well as contrasting images of the trees, which will be in the background of the scene.
Step 6: Lay the cabin scene stamp face down on the card between the background trees and snowy hills, making sure the image fits nicely in the circle. Bring the lid down to secure it, and then ink it with Vintage Photo Distress Archival, and stamp the image. Let it dry a few minutes.
Step 7: Ink the fence and front yard area of the stamp with a darker brown, Potting Soil Archival, and stamp the card again. Let dry, and then ink the cabin part of the stamp with an even darker brown, Ground Espresso Distress Archival, and stamp the card again. Using various tones of the same color family (or even different color families entirely), and stamping different parts of an image, building it up, create a wonderful contrast and depth, and make a flat image appear more 3D. This is what makes a stamping platform so valuable, the ability to keep stamping and building, while not moving anything to distort an image. Remove the card, and dry with a Heat Tool.
Step 8: Squeeze a little of the Icicle Stickles on the craft sheet, and using your finger, spread the Stickles over the snowy hills and under the trees and cabin. Let dry.
Step 9: Using White Opal Liquid Pearls, fill in the snowy areas on the cabin and roof. Make dabs of snow all through the trees in the background and the darker foreground trees. Draw lines over the outlines of the hills and shadow areas as well. Let dry.
Step 10: Die cut the deer out with Kraft Cardstock. Ink the edges of it with Vintage Photo Distress Archival. Color in eyes, nose (Make an X with a square in the center of it.), and lines on the ears with black pen. Use a white pen to color in around the eyes, ears, under neck, under belly, and tail. Foam tape the deer to the scene, covering up the stamped deer. Make white dots in the sky with the pen, and then dot those with Icicle Stickles. Let dry.
Step 11: Die cut branches using dark brown, Kraft, and white cardstock. Ink the edges of the brown branches with Vintage Photo, and cover the white branches with White Opal Liquid Pearls. Die cut medium and small snowflakes with white cardstock, and cover them with Icicle Stickles. Let these dry. Adhere the Corrugate to the gold Metallic pieces, and then adhere these to the base Kraft cards, making sure to cover up the penciled circle outlines, all using Adhesive Strips. Ink the edges of the card with Vintage Photo.
Step 12: Apply a light coat of Pearl Metallic Paint Dabber to the Snowflake Adornments, and let these dry. Die cut the mini tickets with Kraft Cardstock, and stamp the sentiment onto them with Potting Soil Archival. Lightly outline the tickets with a white pen, and then ink the edges of the tickets. Take the Beaded Berries, and twist them around a craft pick to make them coiled. Stretch them out a bit, and then connect two of the berries pieces together, twisted them at the center to form an X. This will make them easier to adhere.
Step 13: Snip the larger piece of thread off leaving about three inches, and set the cut thread aside. Using Multi Matte Medium, start adhering the branch pieces in the lower left corner of the card, layering the dark brown piece first, the Kraft second, the large white branch third, and the small white branch fourth, off to the right. Adhere the berries onto the center of the swag. Take the two loose pieces of thread, and tie tightly in a knot. String the ticket on the right thread, and the snowflake charm on the left. Push them down flat and fanned out so you can read the ticket, and tie the thread in knot. Take the piece of thread you set aside (Cut more thread if you need it.), and wrap the thread around two of your fingers to create loops. Remove the looped thread, and place it in the center of the knotted thread on the card, and tie another knot in the center to hold the loops, creating a bow. Adhere the Stickled snowflakes in the upper right corner of the card.