Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Making Gift Tags: A Tutorial

Make these pretty enclosure cards/gift tags for next to nothing.

It has always bothered me the amount of money that is spent on greeting cards just to have them dropped in the trash. So, about 2 or 3 times a year my daughters and I take out all our greeting cards and sit and make tons of enclosure cards, reusing greeting cards which we have been given. Here is a tutorial on the method we use to do this. I hope you enjoy.

First, greeting cards are often made of beautiful papers, which if purchased in the craft store, would cost lots of money. Here is just a sample of some of the papers I have saved from my greeting cards. Some of the papers come from the sheer lining which is glued inside the actual card, some comes from the back of the card, you just never know what you'll find. I sit (usually while I watch a movie) and cut all the usable part off a stack of cards and throw away the rest. I have a small paper cutter which makes this job quick and easy. Be sure to look at the space on the back of the card, sometimes there is a little picture or writing on the back but the space above or below it may be nice usable paper. If there is writing on one side of the card it is o.k., you can just use that piece to glue onto another.Here is a picture of some of the adorable images I have saved from some cards. You are going to begin looking at the cards you receive in a whole new way. Each card is full of potential for these cards as well as other crafting opportunities. On the back of the two cards in the photo, you can see there are two little images. Many cards have these on the back. These are great for creating with also. I spend time (while watching movies) cutting images out and I have a good collection going of them at all times. You will need nice sharp scissors which are good for cutting detail work to do the cutting of the images. Keep them in a baggie and you'll be ready to make cards at any time. In the following pictures you will see the little snowman and the pine cone in the above picture used on cards.
Here is another item you'll need to make these cards, however, I can't remember what they are called. They are little squares of foam which are sticky on both sides. I purchase them at Walmart and they are in the section with the mirrors. I cut them up into itsy bitsy (I mean, really small) squares for use on the cards. Because I cut them up so small, one package lasts me quite a while. You will also need glue.

Here is the process I use.

I take a card and first decide how I am going to use it. I will be using the bottom piece of this card for the main part of the card which I am going to make. I will be throwing away the top piece and I will be cutting out the flowers on the middle piece for adding to the card which I am going to make. Sometimes the flowers or other images which I will add come from other cards, however, in this example, all of the images are from the same card.

Here is the bottom piece folded into the main enclosure card and the flowers which I want are cut from the middle piece. I then take some of my little tiny squares of sticky sided foam and put them on the back of some of the images which I cut out. You only need a couple on the back of each one depending on the size.

Here is the card with the flowers in place. The second image is taken from an angle so you can see the three dimentional effect created by the foam squares. I do not use the foam squares on all of the added images. In this example only two of the three flowers were raised.

You may notice in the pictures that the edge of my cards are finished with a decorative edge. I do this with a deckle paper cutter but you can also use fancy cut scissors.

Here are a few images of a Christmas card I did. In the first picture note that the image with the bird is almost the entire front of one card. The little separate piece of holly is from another card. See how an image you may think will look funny when folded actually looks very nice. Further below are some more samples.

Here you can see some of the finished cards I have made for Christmas, they are complete with their ribbons. If you look closely you can see that the three across the top do not have any added image, they are just mounted on heavier paper and then the ribbon was added. Also, if you look at the two cards in the middle and at the right end of the top row you can see they are from the same card. The top right card has an image of some people decorating a tree, I cut off the top of the image and used it for the card at the center top. For the card on the far right end, the carolers were added and are raised. For the card with the pine cone, here is a picture of the individual elements before assembly (aren't they pretty?). Another thing I do with these cards sometimes is water down some glue and paint it lightly on certain places and sprinkle with glitter. Here is a photo of the cards I have ready for this coming Christmas. I also try to keep an ongoing stash of cards going for all other occasions. If you want to see something I came up with for children's valentine cards, please watch here for another upcoming tutorial. I hope you enjoy making these cards as much as my girls and I do. Happy Crafting, Shelley


Maureen said...

Hi Shelley,
What good ideas you have. I have so many lovely cards inherited from my mother as well as my own stash. You have inspired me.
Cheers Maureen from N.Z.

Anonymous said...

Wow, what a great way to recycle as well as be crafty! Thanks for the inspiration.