December 25th is fast approaching, and many families are looking for ways to reduce their Christmas budget. Many people fear that this means cutting back on the festivities, but saving money doesn’t have to mean sacrificing seasonal spirit.
Creating Xmas cards with the kids is one of the easiest ways to save money – and is really fun too! Getting crafty can be cheaper than purchasing pre-made cards, and keeps the kids entertained for hours, so you don’t have to splash the cash on an activity at the weekend.
Plus, all the lucky recipients will feel extra special knowing so much effort has been put into their Christmas card. Just choose your favourite idea from our options below and get crafting! We suggest starting in November so that your cards are ready to send once December arrives.
1. Printed Cards
Firstly, get your hands on card blanks and matching envelopes: your card is unlikely to stand properly if you simply fold a piece of card or paper in half. Hobbycraft stocks a great selection of card blanks and envelopes for a professional result.
Create your Christmas list beforehand so you know how many you need. Make sure your card isn’t any bigger than A5 size, or it won’t fit into your printer when unfolded, and consider a basic white card, which will be easy to print any design onto.
Then the fun part: the design. Let the kids go wild drawing on a programme like Microsoft Paint, or have them pick their favourite festive image online – FreeDigitalPhotos.net has over 2,000 Christmas-themed photos you can download for free.
You could even conduct a Christmassy photoshoot with the kids, dressing them up and taking snaps in front of the decorated tree. Use software such as Microsoft publisher to arrange your picture and a message, and get printing!
Just make sure to use branded printer ink such as Canon cartridges, as these provide a more professional result. Shop with a retailer such as Cartridge Discount for the biggest savings.
2. Handprint Cards
Handprints are a super-cute way to show your family how much your little one has grown since last Christmas, so incorporate them into your design! Making handprint cards is easy and fun for even the smallest children, and is extremely cheap.
All you need are card blanks, envelopes and paint. Your little one then has an excuse to get messy and start stamping. A white, upside-down handprint makes for a fantastic Santa beard, while two brown handprints work brilliantly as Rudolph’s antlers.
Fingerprints are ideal for making snowmen, wreaths, baubles or penguins – just use your imagination. All that’s left is to add details; this can be done with a paintbrush, or simply through finger painting. Just leave to dry and let your little one add a merry message at the top.
3. Papercraft Cards
There are an endless number of papercraft cards you could make. Just kit yourself out with card blanks and envelopes, scissors and glue (supervision is a necessity!) and whatever paper you require – the materials could be lying around your house.
You could create paper snowflakes and stick them to your card, create collages using Christmassy images from magazines and catalogues, cut out Christmas characters and add details with pens or pencils, or simply get the kids to draw or paint straight onto the card.
Need more inspiration? You can find more kid-friendly Christmas card craft designs on the Channel 4 and Martha Stewart websites. Don’t forget to also look out for Christmas editions of card-making magazines like PaperCrafter, which often come with great free gifts and plenty of ideas.