How to Make Beautiful Christmas Cards

Create beautiful Christmas cards by hand when you want to send something more than a store-bought, generic greeting to friends and family. Each greeting card will be slightly different than the next when you print them by hand using a stamp that you carve. A handmade card that takes time to make is a gift on its own. These handmade holiday greetings will take center stage on the fireplace mantle.

Things You'll Need

  • Paper
  • Pencil
  • Printmaking block made from eraser material
  • V-gouge carving tool
  • U-gouge carving tool
  • Small brayer
  • Box of blank watercolor paper cards and envelopes
  • Acrylic ink in two or three colors
  • Iridescent mica powder complementing the ink colors
  • Large or heavy book
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Instructions

    • 1

      Draw a simple image for the beautiful Christmas card on the carving rubber. Any holiday shape will do, from a candy cane to a wreath or a holiday tree ornament. Focus on the outline first.

    • 2

      Carve out the shape with one of the gouging tools. Use the U-shaped gouging tool to make rounded edges. Refine the corners and edges with the V-shaped gouging tools. Decorate the inside of the design by carving out more the shape.

    • 3

      Test the design by brushing acrylic ink on the finished stamp with the brayer. Place a piece of paper on top of the ink. Place a large book on top of the paper to print the image. Remove the book and the paper. Examine the design. Recarve or fix any area of the design on the original stamp.

    • 4

      Brush paint on the rubber stamp using the brayer. Add a second color or details with a smaller brush. Place one of the watercolor paper greeting cards over the stamp. Place the paper over the ink flatly. Press a large book down on the paper. Lift the book and set it aside. Remove the printed card.

    • 5

      Sprinkle the iridescent mica powder over the beautiful Christmas card. Blow the excess powder off, or shake it off onto a piece of paper to reuse it. Let the card dry.

Tips & Warnings

  • Use the original drawing as a general guideline only. Carve away from you for safety. Remove the print from one corner and lift it off the stamp slowly.

  • Do not let children use the gouging tools, as they are very sharp. Do not over-carve the design on the first run. Do not use a brush to apply the iridescent mica powder.

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