Merry Mailing: 10 Delightful DIY Holiday Cards

Gather some inspiration for a handmade approach to your season’s greetings, using materials from around the house—both inside and out.

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  1. Green Greetings


    Make these adorable mini wreath cards by twisting fresh greens or herbs like boxwood or a sprig of rosemary around a circle of wire. Then punch a hole in the center top of a piece of card stock and thread a piece of twine through the hole to attach the wreath to the card.

  2. All Thumbs (With a Little Paint)


    Here’s a fun, fast, and easy idea you can do with the kids. All you need is paper or card stock, acrylic paint in an array of colors, and a black Sharpie. Have your children make the thumbprint "lights" first; after they dry, use the pen to draw in the details.

  3. Letter Perfect


    Your friends and family will be delighted when they receive this card that doubles as a personalized tree ornament! You can decorate the initial with anything you like, such as recycled Christmas cards, wrapping paper, or newsprint. To make the personalized initials neatly, type them in and print them out at your desired size, then lay the photocopied letter over the decorative paper and cut both layers at the same time.

  4. Buttoned Up


    Anyone else have a box full of random buttons stowed away in a closet somewhere? Give them new purpose as the stars of this holiday card, created with nothing more than folded card stock (or even a manila folder), glue, and a couple of fine-point pens.

  5. 3-D DIY


    This card is actually simpler to make than it looks. The ornaments are made by cutting circles out of patterned paper with a paper punch, then folding and layering them to create a striking 3-D effect.

  6. All That and a Bag of (Paint) Chips


    Here's a wonderful—and easy—way to repurpose all those paint chips that didn't make the cut. Let your imagination go: trees, ornaments, and snowmen all work in lots of different color schemes. These make great gift tags, too.

  7. Tree-Lined Treats


    These eye-catching tree designs are created by wrapping embroidery floss around cards that have been notched to hold your handiwork. Top your trees with hole-punched stars, affixed with double-sided tape. View the tutorial here.

  8. A Bird’s-Eye View


    This mixed-media design by Marian Parsons uses layering to achieve its unique look. Your bird of choice can come from a greeting card, a calendar, or thick wrapping paper. The branch is made from the broken scales of a pinecone, glued to the card as a perch for your bird.

  9. Washi Wishes


    Washi tape—a decorated lightweight paper tape from Japan—is taking up some significant floor space in craft stores these days. Using a few strips to position a family photo on a holiday card is a simple and cost-effective way to add some rustic charm to your message.

  10. Stamped, Sealed, Delivered


    Rubber stamps let you create great-looking cards in a snap. These colorful leaping reindeer were produced by a hand-carved, folk art–inspired stamp from Green Garden Stamps; the pigment ink is by ColorBox.

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