greenbackgrazers


Make your own greeting cards…
February 8, 2014, 2:18 PM
Filed under: Craft Ideas, Fun on a budget

These days everyone is talking about how to save a buck.  But there are certain things you hate to skimp on.  Gifts and cards are just two of them.  But good news homemade gifts are back with a vengeance.  Just check out any magazine today and you will see homemade businesses and craft kits through the mail.  Wait you say I don’t have the money to special order crafts and gifts.  Martha Stewart I am not.  Well hold on to your to your glue guns and pinking sheers, YOU CAN DO IT!

As promised in all my blogs; it is my goal to empower you to be independent and comfortable with your own talents.  I’ll share with you websites and examples of how to create and purchase one of a kind items for gifting.  We discuss the art of card making, gift giving, and supporting small businesses, and finally using friends and family talents.

The Art of Card Making

The origin of exchanging handmade greeting cards can be traced all the way back to ancient Chinese culture.  Today, card making is a worldwide hobby, especially popular in Australia, Canada, the United Kingdom, and the United States.  One in six U.S. households participates in making cards.  The top occasions/themes for making cards are: Birthdays, winter holidays (Christmas, New Year’s, etc.), thank you, Valentine’s Day, and Mother’s Day.  Card makers prefer stamps and rub-ons for use on their holiday handmade cards.   Creating a handmade card brings a special kind of joy. There’s joy in the process of creating, as well as in giving and receiving handmade cards.   It is energy, time, and love that says, “I really care about you” in a world of impersonal communications such as e-mails.  Beneath the cardstock and embellishments is emotion from the card maker–encouragement, celebration, commemoration, and love.  Instead of being thrown away, they are cherished and displayed.  It’s a RELATIONSHIP BUILDER.  They spark deep connections, express feelings, evoke laughter, and warm the hearts of friends, relatives, and co-workers.

Here are some that I have made they can be simple:

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Or more intricate:

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You can use stickers and pre-packaged cards with envelopes.  The prepackaged cards can be purchased at your local craft store for less than $10 for 50 count.  I use coupons at AC Moore and usually find them on sale for about $8 a pack.  I buy card and paper stock only when on clearance and sale.  Most times I buy after holiday and save.  Other places to find cheap supplies are dollar stores.  The one around the corner from me has great stickers.  I also check the $1 bins at craft stores like Joanne’s and Michael’s.  Hot glue guns and glue sticks are essentials for crafting.  If you are still feeling discouraged look to local library or museum that offers classes.  In our area the Mercer Museum in Doylestown offers card making classes at Valentine’s, and local community centers as well as churches may have crafting nights.  Calvary Church Souderton currently has crafting on Wednesday and Friday evenings.  Check the website or call the office for more information.  Or purchase from other folks you know have talent.  They’ll be encouraged by your support and you’ll be adding to his or her income:)

Gifting-  there are a few things to take into account when choosing a gift for someone.

  1. Think about what they like, but also what maybe an “inside joke” or a memory between you two. Never ask what they want, it sort of ruins the surprise. Just stay aware of things. Like brands, colors, styles, movies, music, things they collect, etc.
  2. Think about places you two have gone. For example: your cousin and you went to a concert, get her something from that band. It’s more personal than a gift card.
  3. Make sure to keep it a secret, and if you tell anyone make sure they keep it secret too! Most people say they don’t like surprises but they really do.
  4. Make sure the gift looks presentable. For example: if you get a book, wrap it, and add a card. Or if you buy a clothing item make sure it’s wrapped in a box or shopping bag.
  5. Personalize a gift, always. Even if it’s just a card.
  6. If you don’t have money or truly have no idea what to get the person. Make up coupons. Like “I.O.U. one shopping day to anything you want” or “One manicure & pedicure, just us!” for guys “One day doing anything you want, fishing, football, washing cars – you choose”. They are all personal and all something you can make memories while doing. You can even bring a camera or buy a disposable for the day.  Reserve this only for those closest to you.  I.E. spouse, sibling, parent, of best friend.

Frequent small businesses.  Often they have a unique selection and offer free shipping or pick up.  Sometimes they may offer gift wrapping.  This introduces the receiver of the gift to a new experience or place to find something that they enjoy.  This goes double for shopping for gifts while on vacation.  Try charity shops that sell all sorts of stuff, also get charms for a charm bracelet. I know it sounds dorky but it has been nice years later to of back through and have all your memories in one place.   Local businesses appreciate your purchase and you know you are spending wisely and purchasing quality.

Lastly, utilize people you know.  I recommend a cousin by marriage Sandra.  She was recently honored by having her creations added to the presenters bags at a Oscars.  She has an Etsy site:

I also have a friend Kelly, who enjoys knitting and crocheting She has made baby booties and baby blankets.  These make memorable and special gifts when you don’t know what to give.   If you are interested post a comment and I will put you in touch with her.

Another friend Kathryn who uses glass as her medium and creates her own ornaments and jewelry.  I purchased her ornaments as gift this Christmas.  It was in expensive and fast and once again no shipping.  Once again if interested please post a comment and I’ll put you in touch with this talented artist.

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