Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Christmas Cards, Pt. 2: Tips on mass producing cards

I would say I owe it to not having Hallmark-type stores in Croatia for me to be interested in cardmaking in the first place. Even though I only started with papercrafting seriously and professionally less than 2 years ago, I was already making cards for many years prior to that with what little paper scraps, ribbons and stamps I had.

Because my husband and I are in full-time ministry, one of my main responsibilities is correspondence. And we have been blessed with so many friends and family who pray for us faithfully. So, I made a commitment to send them at least a Christmas card every year to let them know how much we appreciate all that they do for us.

This year, I made about 150 and, as you can imagine, that's no easy feat, esp because of the lack of craft stores here. I've learned some tricks and tips to accomplish this in the last few years.

Make a simple sketch to follow. I used the same sketch for all my samples below.

Mass produced cards

Use a paper collection to mix and match since they are already color coordinated for you. Use the collection's colors as a guide and limit the colors you use to 3. I used the Cosmo Cricket Jolly By Golly papers for these cards.

Mass produced cards 3

Utilize available tools like punches, stamps and stickers to get the job done. I used the GinaK Heirloom Ornaments set, which I punched using my 1-3/4" circle punch. I used the SRM Sticker Sentiments Happy Holidays on another set of mass produced cards on this post. This card design is also great to use ribbon scraps.

Mass produced cards 4

Computer-generate your note inside and print on white paper. For A6 cards, I print 4 in one sheet and just trim the papers to 4" x 5.25" then adhere inside the cards. Make room on the bottom for a personal note. I also computer generate the address labels.

Mass produced cards 2
More tips:
  • Start early. I start mine around September and do it slowly until about mid-November when I do most of them.
  • Pre-cut all your patterned papers. I can get 6 card fronts from one sheet of 12 x 12. I cut them to 4" x 5.25" and mix and match the papers for more variety.
  • I don't make all my cards look the same. Otherwise, I would get bored :-). I make 6-12 cards per design. You can see another set of mass produced cards I made in a previous post.
  • If you're in a DT, make Christmas cards with your DT assignments as early as possible. I had close to 50 cards by the time mid-November came. If you're not on a DT, think Christmas cards when entering challenges. You can see a Christmas card I made using fall colors on this post. I wouldn't have thought of doing that, but that's the fun of entering challenges.
  • I set a goal to send out our Christmas cards in late Nov/early December. It's not because mail takes longer here. We get many guests from the US and so I just plan ahead to send my cards through them. It's cheaper this way. I set the date goal because it's always better for the recipients to get your cards early on. The closer it is to Christmas, the more cards people get and more likely yours to be set aside.
I hope that helps.
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4 comments:

  1. I'll use my new iPhone app this year to send Christmas greeting cards: http://bit.ly/czhoY7 (iSendChristmasGreetings)

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  2. Nina, I truly admire and respect you for sending out all of these beautiful cards. We still send out holiday cards, as well, but each year, our incoming card quantity reduces in number. How sad it is that postage is climbing to the point that people feel unable to send greetings to friends and loved ones once a year! Beautiful work, and love your tips! Hugs... oh, and my mailing address is..... Just kidding!

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  3. Great tips, Nina! Thanks for sharing your process. I don't have as many to make as you!! but I do have quite an few to do because DH is an elementary school principal and we have his wonderful teachers and staff to make cards for.

    I love your ideas (esp. the one to start early!!) ;D

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  4. very pretty cards. thanks for the tips on mass production, too!

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Thank you for your kind comments.

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