DIY Christmas Cards from Your Homestead
December 9th is National Christmas Card Day and what better way to celebrate than to create your own DIY Christmas cards from the Homestead!
Make your holiday eco-friendly by using natural materials from your homestead, scraps of twine or ribbon, and salvaged wrapping paper to create your cards.
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A Brief History of Christmas Cards
Before you get started, you might pause a moment to wonder how we ever got started on the Christmas card tradition to begin with. It’s easy to get ‘wrapped’ up in the hustle and bustle of the season…so let’s take a moment to reflect on those bearers of cheery tidings, the Christmas Card.
Henry Cole is credited with sending the first Christmas card in 1843. Due to the introduction of the Penny Post (a 1 cent stamp could now send a card or letter anywhere in England) Mr. Cole’s numerous friends were overwhelming him with letters.
Not wanting to offend his friends and unable to respond to each letter personally, Mr. Cole paid an artist friend (J.C. Horsley) to draw out his idea for a post card. The card depicted a Christmas scene of a family enjoying a festive meal in the center, with images of people helping the poor on each side.
The illustration was printed on a stiff card with To:_________ for the recipient’s name, and included the greeting “A Merry Christmas and A Happy New Year To You.”
It is believed that the first Christmas card printed in the United States was created by Louis Prang, the owner of a print shop near Boston. A painting of a flower graced the front of the card with the salutation ‘Merry Christmas’.
As the custom of sending a card for the Christmas holiday spread, publishers competed for best designs and people collected their cards for display. (Source)
As they say, the rest is history!
Make A New Tradition
Our modern society has, perhaps, overwhelmed us with the sheer volume of choices in Christmas cards. You may purchase cards with a variety of designs, sentiments, and price points. Some are printed on recycled or sustainably harvested paper. Family photos may be inserted into cards with frames. And, in the time saving tradition of Mr. Cole, you can even have cards printed up with your personalized greetings inside.
It can be tough to choose a favorite to send our family and friends. Perhaps you’d like to try a more hand crafted Christmas tradition this year.
If you have time to make your own cards, there are plenty of sites with inspiring ideas, printable images, and step by step instructions to guide you. Here are some favorites…
DIY Christmas Card Ideas
- Snowflake cutouts
- Recycled wrapping paper in a frame
- Potato print penguin cards
- Recyled paint chip cards
- Recycled aluminum foil cutouts
- Photos in a cut out frame
- Hand drawn images on recycled paper
- Print images with soy ink
- Cookie cutter cutouts
- Ribbon scraps
- Recycled Christmas card cutouts
- Glitter glue silhouettes
- Handmade paper
- Rubbed leaf card
- Magazine or book page trees
- Confetti cards
- Hand print or thumb print cards
Remember the Spirit of the Season
Don’t get so focused on creating the perfect card, decorating to the nines, or going overboard on gifts and cookies that you forget to enjoy time with your family and friends this season.
Remember the reason for sending cards is to let others know you are thinking of them this season. Pare down your Christmas card list, if it will help save your sanity.
Enlist the help of your children to make snowflake cut outs or reindeer thumbprint cards. Your extended family will be thrilled to receive them!
Use environmentally friendly materials and recycle old cards and wrapping paper to create unique cards this year. You might even save a little cold hard cash to tuck away for the New Year!
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