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Technique Thursday – Minimalist Holiday Card

December 4, 2014

MINIMALIST HOLIDAY CARD

So I had some ribbon and a couple hours to kill while watching junk TV.  I wanted to make something to counteract the endless in-store serenades of variations on “Let It Go” to which I’ve been subjected lately during Christmas shopping.  This is a good nondenominational card if you’re into that sort of thing, and is easy enough for even kids to make (or at least help).  I didn’t feel like dragging out the electronic cutter and setting up a computer just to cut a triangle, so I MacGyvered it old-school.

Note: All photos copyright Mary Thomson, with all rights reserved.

supplies

You will need:

Ribbon or ribbon tape/washi tape – in at least four or five coordinating colors.

Embellishments of your choice, baker’s twine, stick-on half-beads, Swarovski ™ crystals etc.

Cardstock.

Sticky notes (square or rectangular)

Various glues, glue runners, scissors, ruler.

sticky note

I’m crappy at drawing triangles and was not an A-student in geometry, so this is a totally coal-burning analog holiday tree template.   Start with the sticky note.  Fold it in half lengthwise.

folded sticky note

start of template

Using a ruler, and with the fold line of the sticky note at the top, draw a straight line diagonally from lower left corner to upper right corner.  Make certain you are going from point to point of each corner.

final template

Then cut along the line, and unfold the sticky note – voila, a tree template!

cut out card stock

Next, you will use the template to cut out a piece of scrap cardstock.  You don’t have to worry about the color, as long as you are not using transparent organza ribbon.

ribbon stack

Next, take a look at your ribbon supplies and play with the colors until it is in a stack that you like.

layers

Starting from the bottom of the tree, use adhesive of choice and carefully lay a strip of ribbon.  You want to have some extra on each side since you will be folding it over the edge for a neat finish.  Note: Some glues work better than others.  I started with a liquid fabric/paper glue but later changed to a heavy-duty tape runner which didn’t bleed through and also held better.  If you’re using washi tape or self-adhesive ribbon that won’t be a problem.  Another option would be hot glue, or to iron 1/2” Wonder Under or Heat N Bond interfacing.  However again: Minimalist and unfussy.  Keep your ribbon strips straight, or if you like you can layer ¼” ribbon over the strips and skew them.  It’s also possible to knot the grosgrain ribbon in a couple of strips to create a three-dimensional effect.  It’s up to you.  (Don’t worry about the tails at the bottom, those will be trimmed off.) backing

After I had finished all the strips, I cut another template piece from card stock, slightly smaller than the original tree piece, to create a neat backing that would take the next glue layer more evenly.  It will not show on the final card as long as you cut it smaller than the first one.

twining

Now the fun part!  Embellish any way you like.  I used baker’s twine, Swarovski™ crystals and stick-on half-beads to simulate ornaments.  This is a good project to use up little bits of trimmings.

cardstock

Cut a piece of background card stock to go over your folded card.  Take a look at coordinating colors, themes, etc.  I decided to go for an iridescent glitter white to simulate snow.  Remember you want to keep this clean and minimalist, so there shouldn’t be fancy edges, further decorations, etc.

star

More embellishing, this time with a Swarovski ™ for the star.  It’s okay to have a bit extra glue to create a ‘setting’ for the stone, the glue will dry clear and you won’t even notice it.  If you have hot-fix stones that’s even better, but I was using regular ones and didn’t want to mess with the hot-fix applicator, etc.  Again, I was going just for something easy and not involving a lot of fuss. final card

And here’s what I ended up with!  I’d do a couple of things differently if this were going to a friend or customer, but otherwise I’m happy with it.  Have fun!

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