I know, I know, it’s not December yet. But if you make your cards by hand, you need to start before then. It takes me months to create enough Christmas cards in time to send by the last posting dates. Not anymore though – not with the Christmas Craft Bundle from Design Bundles. They kindly sent me the The Christmas Craft Bundle to play with and I am already in love.
Ideally, you require a papercutting machine of some sort but quite a few of their designs can be used without one, in all honesty. I used the Silhouette Cameo to create the papercuts in this blog post.
How to cut the files in Silhouette Cameo:
Cutting the files is the first step. You can use any papercutting machine you have – or do it by hand, if you need to. I used the Silhouette Cameo. Some of them might come with cut files already, which you can use but for those that don’t – or if the cut files aren’t compatible with you then this is a very simple way to cut them out using the Silhouette software – Silhouette Studio.
- Insert a copy of the image into the programme.
- Select the ‘Design’ tab at the top.
- Open the ‘Trace Panel’.
- Select the trace area to include the entire image that you just added.
- Use the “Trace Style” of your preference. I used “Trace” for all of the papercuts in this post.
- I then deleted the original image so I was left only with the red lines.
- Going straight to ‘Send’, I set the red lines to fully cut through the cardstock and voila!
Paint and Papercuts:
I created four cards rather quickly using this technique. Each of them is slightly different but they follow similar steps, for the most part. What I love about this technique is that it is very easy to adapt to what you have at home. Any paint mediums – oil paints, watercolours or acrylic for example – would work. You could also use colouring pens, chalks, pencils, crayons – anything. The idea is just to add some colour into the background. So without further ado, here are the steps.
- Take your paper and cut it down to size. I chose watercolour paper, cutting them down to A6 sized.
- Paint your heart out. Using a few different watercolours, I painted. I mixed up the colour combinations and added ‘glittery’ watercolour to them too. You can use any colours or paints you would like. Leave them to dry.
- I cut out a variety of files from using designs from the Christmas Craft Bundle, from a piece of white card using my Silhouette Cameo.
- Stick down the papercuts directly on the dried panels.
- Resize the cards, if required.
- Add embellishments, if required.
Step five and six, as required:
I resized two of the cards in the end. The ‘Merry Christmas’ Papercut that I chose was a square, so I decided to cut the watercolour panel down to a square to match. I also cut down the ‘Happy Holidays’ card as I felt like the original background was a little too much for the papercut that I chose. On this card – and on the ‘Merry & Bright card’ – I opted to add a ‘stitching’ line around the edges. This can be done with your papercutting machine, a diecutting machine or by hand. I used a diecutting machine, as I had one to hand.
For the ‘Happy Holidays’ card, I used the sleigh papercut on it’s own at first. But I realised it looked a little bland without stars. Luckily, a few of the other papercuts that I was using cuts out some stars – like the two designs below. I used these leftover stars to create the starry sky. You could also cut your own stars but since I had them, this allowed me to make the full use of the design!
The Reindeer and ‘Merry Christmas’ cards look a little different but I used the exact same steps in them. For the reindeer, I just adhered it to the card base as it was. The design file itself is so intricate that it does all of the talking for me. It looks so much harder than it was to make.
These intricate designs actually do a lot of the talking for you. They are so beautiful that it looks like you spent hours on them but if you have a Silhouette Cameo, the whole process is much faster.
The ‘Merry Christmas’ card is perhaps one of my favourites. The panel itself is so cute. All I had to do was stick it down and cut off the excess edges. It looks way more impressive than it actually was. This file comes with a version that you can print out and cut by hand. This will, of course, take longer but if you enjoy papercutting by hand then it’s definitely worth giving it a go!
Creating Shaker Cards:
Shaker cards are cards with something on the inside that you can shake. You can fill the inside with glitter, sequins or beads for example. I created a very simple shaker card using three baubles from the bundle.
You can easily remove the outer cut line from the design and cut them on a single card front without having to stick them back in. However, I quite like the outline that the cut file leaves so I kept it. This card is really easy to make. These are the steps I used:
- I picked my three favourite bauble designs from the bundle. There are a few similar ones – like multiple snowflake options – but I wanted each to be different. So I picked one with reindeers, one with a tree and one snowflakes one. I cut these files with my Silhouette Cameo.
- Taking a laminating pouch, I laminated it without anything inside it. This is because I wanted a clear sheet of material. You can easily use anything you have – clear acetate sheets or plastic packaging from something – that is transparent and can hold. I stuck the card panel and the baubles directly onto the plastic.
- For this card, I decided to write the greeting “happy holidays” on there myself but you can easily print one of the designs from the bundle onto the card. I also drew lines for the baubles to the top.
- Adding double sided foam tape to the back of the panel, I blocked out the area I wanted to put something inside.
- Using my Silhouette Cameo, I cut up some little crosses to go into the shaker. You could use stars, trees, reindeers or anything else. Here, you could also add sequins, beads or glitter instead if you prefer. It might be nice to add colour into it. If I was to redo it, I would probably add some red and green instead.
- Once you have filled the inside of the shaker card with your desired item, peel back the film from the foam tape and stick a folded piece of cardstock directly onto it. Make sure it’s secure before you turn it over. And voila! You’re done.
You can create the panels – or the baubles – from coloured or patterned paper instead. You can also fill the inside with more colourful items for a completely different look. There is a lot you can do with this one!
All of the Paper Cards:
One of the easiest ways to use the bundle is to create a few papercuts from the Christmas Craft Bundle files, sticking them on top of a piece of paper. You could cut the files from coloured cardstock and add them onto white card, or do the reverse. If you have patterned paper, you could also cut directly from there or stick your papercuts to the patterned paper. It’s simple, yet effective. There are no waiting times – no paint to dry or fiddling around with foam tape. If you have a papercutting machine, you definitely have paper so this one is one that anyone could do.
Whilst you could stick the papercuts directly onto a piece of coloured or patterned paper – like I showed for the watercoloured backgrounds – I opted to try a few different techniques, to give you some ideas of other things you could do with this.
Paper strips –
This one is super easy. You just cut up small strips of any paper you want to use as the background. I used a few patterned pages that I already have but plain card works too. You could even do it on white paper and just colour each strip with a marker.
I opted for strips that were similar sized – around 1cm thick – but you can also mix it up. Try using different widths and see what results you get! Once you’ve gotten your strips, just adhere them to the card base and you’ve got your background sorted.
I added two papercuts from the files directly onto this. The first was a trunk carrying a candy cane and presents. I intentionally left the top of the papercut off the paper to give it a bit more dimension but you could also stick the whole piece onto the background. The digital files that you receive in the bundle are so versatile that you have that choice. You can even change the cut lines so it keeps the panel in tact as it cuts a tree out of the side of it, for example. After this, I added a simple “Merry Christmas” papercut onto the card as the sentiment.
My friend suggested doing a background piece by taking inspiration from Christmas quilts. This could be symmetrical but he wanted it to be random so, I went with the most random background I could. I cut the pattern papers up randomly, sticking them down as I went. You can spend ages piecing them together however you want. But honestly, the easiest way is to just stick them down and overlap them. Using a penknife, you can also cut away some edges to give it more of a nested look if you prefer.
Once I stuck the random background together, I added a Christmas bauble onto the cover. It’s such a simple design! Then, I cut a small thin piece to act as the rope and added that to the card front – and voila! It really is that simple. The hardest part is trying to decide what paper you want to cut up. Luckily, the Christmas Craft Bundle is versatile enough that a lot of the cut files could easily become a card cover.
Paper Weaving –
For this card, I used a weaving technique. I ‘weaved’ the red and green cardstock together to create the background before adding one of the papercut files directly on top. I learnt this technique back in primary school, as it’s really simple to do. It’s a great activity for children to do.
How to Weave:
- Fold a piece of A4 paper in half, to A5 size. I used red paper for this, this is the ‘base’ paper.
- From the folded side, cut strips down the paper. Do NOT cut all the way through. I left around 2 cm towards the end and made the strips around 2 cm each.
- Unfold the paper and you will get an A4 piece of paper with ‘strips’ on the inside – that is still attached at the top and bottom.
- Cut the other paper into strips. I used green card here and cut them to around 2 cm in width, with the length of an A5 piece of paper.
- Take a strip, feed it through the red strips by going over the first and under the second. Keep going over one and under the next till the end. Once done, push it tightly towards the end of the base paper.
- Take the next strip and feed it through the other way around. Start by going under the first and over the second. Continue this till the end. Once done, push it tightly towards the end of the base paper.
- Continue steps 5 and 6 till you’ve got enough.
You should end up with squares of the colours you chose in the end, that are ‘weaved’ together nicely that you actually don’t require glue to stick them down.
Once I created the weaved panel, I stuck it down onto a piece of card and resized it to fit onto my card front. I then added a very beautiful ‘Merry Christmas’ papercut from the Christmas Craft Bundle.
Design Bundles – The Christmas Craft Bundle:
The bundle itself contains a huge range of files. I spent hours looking through them all and barely touched the surface. There are some colourful images that could easily be printed onto a card front and used as is. I am working on setting up a December Daily and these images will likely feature in that in the coming months. I made a few different cards using cut files that I got directly from the Christmas Craft Bundle.
These items particularly stood out to me – they are all included in the overall bundle:
- Colourful calligraphy that could easily be printed and ready to use as a card, as is.
- A gorgeous reindeer papercut works so well on it’s own.
- Merry Christmas Greeting
- ‘Merry Christmas’ Frame
- More colourful calligraphy that work great
- This artwork would be a good card front too
- Christmas Laser cuts
- This mini bundle has some beautiful greetings and sentiments
I have used quite a few of these in the cards above. Some of them will feature in upcoming cards too. I plan to create a few more – without using a papercutting machine for people who don’t have one. The Christmas Craft Bundle comes with a huge variety of different options that would work for simple cards, as well as more extensive ones. I will definitely be making some more using them.
If you enjoy crafting, I highly recommend checking Design Bundles out. They have a huge variety of different products that are great – and often come with commercial licenses, if you intend to sell.
Disclaimer: I was sponsored by Design Bundles to play with their bundle and create some cards but all views are my own. I am excited to use this bundle on more upcoming posts, which is outside of the expectations of the sponsorship but I love it that much, that I want to.