Give Your Holiday Cards An Upgrade With These DIY Tips

The WTG Team consulted expert Grace Song.

Tired of shelling out money on the same commercial packs of Holiday cards that your friends and family will only read once and recycle? Ready to go out on a (creative) limb and knock everyone’s fuzzy Christmas socks off? This year, go all-out with unique DIY cards that will sit proudly on your grandma's mantlepiece until Easter. 

Making your own Holiday cards adds a personal touch to your well wishes, saves you money and gives you creative freedom to personalize the theme according to the recipient! 

But we know that diving into DIY territory can be intimidating, so we enlisted the help of Grace Song, an artist from California who started her own business crafting cards, called Parcels of Peace. 

"Opening an envelope and discovering a beautiful handmade card gives a feeling of warmth and a feeling that you are loved," said Grace. "A handmade card with a handwritten note inside shows the time and effort you put into making something special. I make handmade cards because they are like mini artworks, each unique and one-of-a-kind – just like the people who receive them."

Image courtesy of Grace Song

We asked Grace to reveal some DIY tips and tricks for crafting Holiday cards. She shared with us strategies for everyone from complete novices with limited materials to those who have a bit more to work with and want to kick it up a notch. 

Here’s the professional wisdom she had to offer:

First off, the materials. You will need:
Image courtesy of Grace Song

Grace's tips for a simple (yet beautiful) holiday card DIY:
  1. 1. If you don’t have fancy papers, don’t fear! I love the look of ripped edges of paper. Even if you only have printer paper, it gives the card a homemade and crafty feel. You can layer the papers and play around with creating folds in the papers. This creates texture and makes the design more appealing.

  1. 2. Got any old mail, maps or wrapping paper? Gather what you have and make the most of it. Stamps can be cut off their envelopes, everyone loves maps and bits of wrapping paper can provide ready-made patterns and designs.
Image courtesy of Grace Song

  1. 3. Add tissue paper into the mix! It creates a graceful, delicate look. 

  1. 4. Take out some old magazines and flip through them for inspiration. The background images you find (plants, flowers, wallpaper, etc.) can be very visually interesting and give your card a quirky, unique aesthetic. 

  1. 5. Delicate stripes and little stars are always a nice filler for empty space. 
    Image courtesy of Grace Song

  1. 6. You can use your computer to type out phrases like "Happy Holidays", "'Tis the Season," or "Merry & Bright”. Print them out, then cut and paste. If you don't have a printer at home, you can use tissue paper to trace over words in books or magazines. You can also look up fonts on your laptop or iPad, and copy or trace over them.

  1. 7. Washi tape is an excellent addition. If not, any masking tape will do! Use markers or Sharpies to draw some patterns on the tape, and then use it to accent your card.
Image courtesy of Grace Song

Got the basics down and ready to step up your DIY game? You will need:
Image courtesy of Grace Song

Grace’s tips for adding that special touch to any card:
  1. 1. Artisan handmade papers are beautiful and make any card look more special! There are many different textures that you can play with.

  2. 2. You can still create beautiful backgrounds without artisan paper! With a thick, flat brush, paint some horizontal brush strokes onto the card. Afterwards, you can add papers, drawings or a Holiday message.
Image courtesy of Grace Song

  1. 3. Take a walk outside and collect some fallen leaves from the ground, avoiding the ones that are wet or very curled. When you get home, sandwich the leaves in a thick book and leave them for several days. You can then glue (or sew, if you're up for the challenge) them to a pretty piece of paper. Finally, glue the piece to your card. 

  1. 4. Gold and silver metallic sharpies are great for Holiday cards. Another pen I love is the Sakura Pigma Micron pen. The ink dries quickly, which makes it perfect for card-making.

We wanted to try out Grace’s tips for ourselves, so we treated ourself to a DIY session at WTG's office in Paris.
Our contributor Anaïs concentrating intently on her DIY project.
Editors Amanda (left) and Francky overjoyed by the prospect of crafting.
And voilà, our final results!
Our copyeditor Alice with her gorgeous DIY card. We love the delicate flower and the burgundy crêpe paper!
Francky with her present-inspired Holiday card, topped off with a cutout of her cat, Momo. May your days be merry & meow!

Conclusion? DIY is bomb and DIY cards are the cat's pyjamas.

Happy Holidays, everyone!

Pick up one of Grace's handmade holiday cards (and more!) below. 25% of the proceeds go to 
organizations that work to empower girls and women worldwide!
Winter Wonderland Holiday Card - $6
Leaf Holiday Card - $6
Happy Holidays Card - $6
Leaf Holiday Card - $6
I Miss You Card - $5
Congrats Card - $6
Happy Birthday Card - $6
Custom Handmade Card - $7

Cover image courtesy of Grace Song. All images of the WTG team by Diana Liu.