Christmas Card Tutorial
Christmas Cheer by Godiva’s Dream
I have no idea where the time goes, but Christmas is very much around the corner now, isn’t it? Nevertheless, there’s still plenty time to create a beautiful festive card or a few! This week I decided to do a full step-by-step tutorial for you, I hope you enjoy it.
The process of every card I make starts exactly the same. I choose a bunch of materials which would suit the project I have in mind and then narrow them down to the ones that work together best. For this festive piece I picked a “Christmas Cheer” paper pad by Echo Park. It blends traditional Christmas colours and patterns with subtle 50’s kitsch - a pretty interesting combination, which initially drew me to this pad when I bought it.
I decided to use “Noelle” stamp by the artist Annie Rodrigue for Kraftin’ Kimmie Stamps. I’ve had it for a while now and I thought I just had to give it a chance to shine. Due to the candy canes on the girl’s dress, it suggested a more traditional colour scheme to me, so Echo Park collection was great for that.
I also chose some Christmasy red velvet ribbon to not only add a variety of texture to the card, but also some extra luxury. Velvet ribbons aren’t the easiest to work with due to how thick they are, but I just cannot resist their fluffiness.
Finally - some pure white guipure lace. This, again, will add more texture to the project and will make it more elegant.
Matting and Layering
I chose four coordinating patterns from the Echo Park paper collection and decided to matt them on textured Black Cat Core’dinations carstock. Black is not really a conventional colour to use for Christmas projects, but the snowflake pattern paper had that chalkboard look, so I really wanted to enhance it. I came up with the layout I was going to use and cut the cardstock and the papers to the size needed.
I then adhered the patterned papers to the black cardstock.
Assembling the Layers
Once the matting was done, I was ready to assemble the full card layout. I started with the largest piece, which will cover the front of the card blank and adhered the next layer onto it.
Then came that beautiful chalkboard snowflake pattern.
I adhered the white guipure lace and the red velvet ribbon to the top layer of matted patterned paper.
It was then ready to be attached to the rest of the layers to complete the layout.
I could now adhere the prepared layout to the card blank. I almost always tend to create 6x6 (15.2x15.2cm) cards, the surface space is large enough to express creative ideas, but not too huge that it becomes overwhelming.
Stamping and Colouring
With the layout fully prepared, I was ready to put it aside and move onto the next step, which was stamping and colouring. I know a lot of crafters who colour first and choose their papers and layouts afterwards, but that method simply does not work for me. I prefer to know what papers I will be using, so I could choose coordinating colours for my stamped images.
I use professional grade Daler-Rowney Bristol Board for stamping. It has a perfect weight of 250gsm, it is bright white, which means that the marker colours don’t get distorted and the overall quality is just brilliant. I stumbled across it completely randomly and nowadays I don’t buy any other cardstock for stamping purposes.
I was going to use the no-lines stamping technique, so I chose Memento “Desert Sand” ink. It is light beige and gets covered by marker ink in during the colouring process, giving the impression that the image was drawn by hand and not just stamped and coloured in.
I also used a stamping platform to make sure that the stamp impression was perfect. I’m so happy that I don’t have to waste expensive paper any more. If the image doesn’t come out perfectly the first time, I just re-stamp it on top - brilliant!
Once I stamped the image in “Desert Sand” ink, I used a Memento Dual Marker in “Tuxedo Black” to outline the eyes and candy canes. I used the marker directly on the stamp and stamped on top of the beige image. Yet another reason to love my stamping platform!
I always start colouring the images by doing the skin first. I used a mix of Promarker, Brushmarker and Copic alcohol based markers as usual. The shades were as follows: Coral, Sunkissed Pink, Soft Peach, Blush, YR00 and YR000. Everyone has their own style, but I build up the shading and intensity by colouring two or three layers most of the time.
When the skin was coloured, I moved onto hair. I decided to give this girl yellowy blonde locks, so the colour combination I chose were: Chestnut, Terracotta, Raw Sienna, Y26, Mustard and Buttercup.
Before I moved on to the dress, I coloured the eyes in shades of brown and gave a bit of depth to the white parts by using some very pale greys.
The bottom of the dress and the bows were going to be green, so I tried to match the marker shades to the greens on the paper as much as I could. This is a beautiful Promarker combination of luscious vibrant greens that are neither too cool, nor too yellowy, just perfect for a Christmas card. The markers I used were these: Holly, Pine, Lush Green, Grass, Leaf Green and Green Shoot.
As you can probably guess, the top part of the dress, the ruffles and the candy canes were going to be red. I used Promarkers in Shale, Burgundy, Crimson, Berry Red and Lipstick Red to achieve a rich Christmasy red shade.
Finally, to finish colouring the details, such as the dress trims, the sash and the shoes, I went back to green markers. I used all the same shades as I used to colour the skirt part.
Showcasing the Image
Noelle is quite a large stamp, so in order to display her in the most effective way, I decided to fussy cut the image. I almost always leave a white narrow outline around the stamps I’m cutting out, this makes them pop against the backgrounds much better.
To showcase this Christmasy image, I chose quite a simple, but still rather decorative shape - a modified scalloped circle (Spellbinders “Lacey Circles” (S4-293)). I die cut the shape from red American Crafts cardstock, as I intended to glitter its edges.
In cases like these, I prefer to use cardstock of a similar shade to the glitter. You can use plain white cardstock, however, loose glitter tends to shed a bit and you might be left with bright white gaps, which doesn’t look great. If the cardstock is similar colour to the glitter, that unsightly effect is reduced.
I used Nuvo Pure Sheen “Ruby Red” glitter; it’s a red and black mix which creates a pretty dark red shade.
For the background, which is going to sit in the middle of the Lacey Circle, I die cut a stitched edge circle and inked it with “Fired Brick” Distress Ink. I started with a light application of colour in the centre of the circle and darkened the shade by applying more ink as I was going outwards. Once I was happy with the effect achieved, I sprinkled some water to create a more interesting pattern and also added some “Shabby White” Frantage Embossing Enamel to get a snowy effect.
With both circles prepared, I was now ready to assemble the whole focal point piece. I glued the inked background to the glittered Lacey Circle.
I then mounted the fussy cut image on 3D foam to create dimension and adhered it to the centre of the glittered and inked circles.
The whole piece was now ready to be attached to the middle of the card.
Embellishing and Final Touches
I’m an “all or nothing” sort of person, so having a simple card would just not do. Bring on the embellishments, I say! To decorate this card, I chose some mulberry flowers in various sizes and shades complementing the colour scheme of the project. I also picked some silver stamens, a couple of white frosted berries and a glittered pine cone to create a more interesting floral composition.
I tied a double looped bow using the same velvet ribbon I already used on the card for that extra special touch.
After adding the floral embellishments to the project, I decided that this card called for a festive wintry sentiment. I die cut a plain circle (Spellbinders) and a snowflake one (XCut) from shimmery silver cardstock. I then separated the snowflake circle into two halves and adhered them to the red circle by their edges.
I stamped the sentiment from the “Holiday Trinkets” set by Kraftin’ Kimmie Stamps in “Crimson Red” Versafine ink and then cut it out using a stitched circle die. I glued the sentiment to the snowflake circle and mounted it on 3D foam before adhering the whole piece to the corner of the card. I also coloured the words and the bow with some green markers for extra oomph.
The card was now ready for the final touches. I chose a pearl and rhinestone heart flatback embellishment for the centre of the double-looped bow. It complements the velvet ribbon perfectly and adds to the elegant and luxurious feel.
I tied an enamel and rhinestone Christmas tree charm to one of the loops of the Lacey Circle frame using some traditional red and white baker’s twine. The charm dangles freely creating movement and interest.
Finally, I added some red gems to the corners of the card and the snowflakes, because extra sparkle is always fun!
The result is a luxurious, somewhat traditional and a little whimsical festive card.
If you liked this Christmas card tutorial, feel free to share it with your friends and/or pin it to your Pinterest board(s). Thank you for reading and see you all very soon!