Donna enjoys using her arts background to create fun craft projects with a special focus on using repurposed or handy household materials.
Quilt-Inspired Christmas Cards
The holidays should be filled with warm thoughts and special gestures. One of the sweetest ways to reach out and spread holiday cheer is with a handmade card. This cheery card features a Christmas tree inspired by quilt designs. This card can be made with any combination of scrapbook paper, washi tape, or gift wrap. This project requires no special equipment since the simple tree template is included in the tutorial below. This is an easy design to make multiple cards with, and you can switch the colors and papers around so that each card is different.
- Blank card and envelope. Available (usually in a package) at most craft or stationery stores
- Scrapbook paper, washi tape, or gift wrap. There is a huge selection of holiday scrapbook paper and washi tape available at craft stores. For Christmas projects, you can also use pieces of holiday gift wrap. Heavier weight gift wrap with smaller designs would be best for making cards.
- White printer or copier paper
- Glitter glue, sequins, and/or adhesive gems to decorate your card. These are also available at craft stores.
- Glue stick
Adding a Personal Greeting to Your Cards
There are a number of ways to add a greeting to the inside of your handmade card.
Some ways to add a message include:
- Handwriting your sentiment to give it a personal touch.
- Stamping your greeting. There is a great selection of holiday stamps at craft stores.
- Recycling old cards by cutting out the greeting and pasting it inside your card. You can hide the edges with a border of decorative washi tape.
- Printing out your greeting on stationary and pasting it inside.
I chose to print out my own greetings. I looked at some old Christmas cards to get ideas for a greeting, then I printed the greetings out on some resume paper, four to a page. I cut them out and trimmed them to fit in my card, then used a glue stick to paste them inside.
How to Make a Christmas Tree Holiday Card
1. Print out the tree template above onto some white copier or printer paper. You can choose to use some other tree shape for your card, but I would suggest using a simple shape for this design. The size of your tree will depend on the size of your blank card. My cards were 5 inches by 6 1/2 inches. For my cards, I printed out my tree template to be about 4 inches tall from the top to bottom.
2. Measure the width of the left-hand side of the first tier of your tree template (see photo and circled area above).
3. Using a paper trimmer or a pair of scissors, cut a strip of paper or washi tape that is the width of the measurement from step 2. If your washi tape is too wide, you can trim it down by adhering it to the edge of a clean piece of white printer paper. Be sure to position the tape so that it is straight and runs even with the edge of the paper. Then use scissors or a paper trimmer to trim down the washi tape lengthwise. You can use a glue stick on the paper backing to glue down the cut washi tape as needed.
When making this tree design, I found it helpful to arrange the colored strips to run from light to dark down the tree, so that the lightest color strip was at the top of my tree, and the darkest color was at the bottom. This creates a more cohesive look to the quilt design of the tree.
4. Using a glue stick, place your first strip of paper so that it lays from the peak of your tree down to the end of the first tier (see photo above). Cut your strip a little longer than what you need, then trim it to fit the shape of your tree after it has been glued down.
5. Following steps 2 through 4, measure and cut a strip of different paper to fill the right-hand side of the first tier of your tree shape. This strip should fit under the first strip at the peak of your tree (see photo above). Glue this strip in place.
6. Repeat steps two through five to complete the second tier of your tree. You will notice that I used slightly darker colors of green for the lower section of my tree.
7. Follow the same process to finish the bottom tier of your tree. I cut my strips to be the same width as I used in the second tier of my tree. As you fill in the bottom section of your tree, always place the left-hand strip first, then the right strip to continue the quilt pattern.
8. Continue filling in your tree with colored strips until you only have one small triangle at the bottom. As you work, you can repeat colors as long as they are not too close together.
9. When you are left with just a small triangle at the base of your tree, you have two options:
- You can fill in this space with a small triangle of paper as above.
- You can cut out this space, and replace it with a longer, rectangular piece of paper to form a trunk for your tree.
When your tree is complete, put it to the side and start working on the background of your card.
Adding a Background to Your Card
10. (Optional) You can add a background to the front of your card. A background is an easy way to add more color and interest to the design of your card. I used a piece of scrapbook paper as my background. I cut this paper to be 4 inches square to fit my card, and I glued it down using a glue stick.
11. Then I added some washi tape around the edge of my background paper as trim. You can also add a line of glitter glue as a border around the background.
12. Then I glued down my Christmas tree so that it sat slightly below my background. To finish my card, I added a plastic gem to the top of my tree. You could also use a little sequin or a star cut from shiny paper.
Although I laid out a specific design in the steps of this tutorial, you can choose to create your quilt-inspired tree in many ways. In the sample above, I mixed the light and dark papers throughout the tree. I also cut my strips to different widths and sometimes placed the right-hand strip before the left strip. The result is a more eclectic pattern of colors, but still a lovely design.
You can choose to make one of these changes, or make all of these changes, to create your own tree. I hope you enjoy making your quilt-inspired cards!
© 2018 Donna Herron
Donna Herron (author) from USA on December 08, 2018:
Thanks Heidi! These cards a quite easy to make once you set up an assembly line of paper strips. I hope you have some time to enjoy this holiday season!
Heidi Thorne from Chicago Area on December 08, 2018:
Again, you've reimagined one craft in another medium! Very cute. Happy Holidays, Donna!
Donna Herron (author) from USA on December 03, 2018:
Hi Sally - Thanks so much! These cards are quite easy to make once you pull together your materials. You can create an assembly line to make multiple cards if needed. Hope you have a great holiday season! Thanks again!
Sally Gulbrandsen from Norfolk on December 03, 2018:
Absolutely love this idea, Donna. I would love to make some of these for Christmas and hope to gather a few bits and pieces together over the next days so that I can create a few of my own.