Friday, 6 December 2013

Guest Post - Shutterfly's Helpful Hints for Holiday Cards

I was beyond thrilled when I was contacted by Shutterfly to partner up and share some of their Holiday card ideas with my readers!
Heather Hewitt has written some great tips for creating the perfect greeting card.

Tips for
Using Embellishments on Your Holiday Cards 

It’s hard to believe, but it’s time to begin thinking about your Christmas card for this holiday season. If you’re a veteran card maker, then you know the importance of embellishments – that is, those decorative accents or details added to make something more attractive. But what about the newbie card maker who wants to give it a shot this holiday season? DIY projects can often be exciting, but intimidating if you’re venturing into a new area of craft. The best way to test the waters of DIY card making is to simply order your holiday cards online, and then add embellishments to the existing design. Simply use these helpful tips on card making to get started: 

  • Understand your options. When you’re first starting out, it’s important to know what materials are out there – and how to use them. Visit your local craft store; there will likely be an entire row or section dedicated to scrapbooking and card making. In addition to the basics like cardstock, tape/glue, and scissors, you will want to see which embellishments match your cards’ theme and colors. Embellishment options often include: 
  • Stickers 
  • Expression tags 
  • Ribbons 
  • Washi tape 
  • Glitter and sparkles 
  • Labels 
  • Jewels 
  • And more!  
  • Pay attention to the Rule of Uneven Numbers. According to visual experts, using embellishments in clusters of odd numbers – 1, 3, 5, etc. – brings balance to your design and is appealing to the eye.   
  • Create layers. Cut unique shapes from your papers and layer a variety of colors, shapes, and embellishments to add depth to your cards.   
  • Don’t waste. Use leftover scraps! You may not think you will use a small bit of ribbon or a one-off jewel or button, but you never know when they’ll fit right into a design you’re creating.  
  • Remember that less is often more. You don’t want your cards to become overly crowded or weighed down with embellishments. The eye needs a place to focus – if there is too much going on visually, it can’t.  
  • Get outside your box. For creativity to bloom, don’t limit yourself. In other words, don’t just stick to the same ol’ embellishments. Use fabric or take an object and use it differently than you have before. For instance, try creating flower petals by positioning several mini-safety pins on the page in the shape of a flower. Let your imagination run wild! 

The most important tip for DIY card making is to start with the end in mind, making sure that once you add your embellishments it still fits into the envelope. When ordering photo cards, be sure to note the final size of the card you order and plan accordingly. If you think you’re going to add layers for a border, this will increase the size and you will need larger envelopes – you may be able to request a sample envelope for sizing or request the next size envelope with your purchase. Also, keep in mind the amount and type of embellishments, as heavier objects or a lot of them – will add weight to your card and may increase the postage. 

If you’re new to card making, hopefully you will find these tips for using embellishments helpful. Adding embellishments to pre-ordered photo cards will certainly add a personal touch without giving yourself too much like creating something completely from scratch. This also gives you the opportunity to gauge your level of craftiness and desire to spruce up next year’s cards. Or you might just find that ordering your holiday cards online and adding embellishments might just be the perfect compromise. 

Author Bio: Heather Hewitt is a seasoned writer and guest author who enjoys connecting people with thoughtful products, services and ideas as they relate to crafting, photography, gift giving and personal expression.


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