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How to Make Christmas Cards and Stationery


Displaying Holiday Cards

So many cards...so little time to enjoy them. This year, instead of stacking them on a table or in a corner where you'll never see them, use the cards as part of your holiday decorating.

One of the easiest ways to display cards is to purchase a bulletin board and paint it with Christmas colors or a holiday motif. For a festive touch, glue decorative stars to the tops of flat thumbtacks and use them to hang the cards.

Holiday Cards
©2006 Publications International, Ltd.
There are many unique ways to
display creative homemade
holiday cards like this one.

Another idea is to fold an 8-foot-long, 2-inch-wide ribbon in half. Clip the ends to prevent raveling, and secure the folded top to the wall with thumbtacks or small brads. Tape your holiday cards down each piece of ribbon, leaving enough room in between to see the front of each card.

If you have a flat coffee table that will lend itself to displays, purchase a piece of glass cut the same size as the top of your table. Make sure the edges have been polished to prevent cuts. Then slip your cards underneath the glass to enjoy throughout the holiday season. You may even want to display your cards all year long!

If you would like to display your photograph Christmas cards all year, slip the cards into flat plastic frames with magnets on the back and display them on your refrigerator. You'll be surprised how much families change from year to year.

For a display across your mantel or buffet, take a piece of string and attach it to each side. Using paper clips or miniature clothespins, secure cards to the string, equally spacing to keep the weight balanced.

Handmade cards are especially charming. To display those with unique details or personal significance, find a small frame with a ready-made mat and slip the card inside for an elegant display.

Has receiving handmade cards get you inspired to make your own? Give it a try with the Christmas tree cards on the next page.

Christmas Cards: A History
The time-honored tradition of sending Christmas cards began about 150 years ago in Great Britain. Sir Henry Cole, a renaissance man who wrote and published books on art collections and architecture, was too busy to write customary holiday greetings to friends and family, so he asked a well-known painter to design a card with a single message that could be sent to everyone on his list.

Christmas cards popped up in the United States in the mid-1800s. In 1875, Louis Prang, who wrote and published architectural books, printed images in color with a series of lithographic zinc plates. The process allowed up to 32 colors to be printed in a single picture, with the finished product resembling an oil painting.

These cards were in such high demand that Prang couldn't fill all his orders. Demand increased each year that followed, and at one point Prang was printing five million cards a year. His efforts earned him the nickname "Father of the American Christmas Card."

The first Christmas cards featured flowers and birds, then snow scenes, fir trees, and glowing fireplaces. Today, everything from clever verse and holiday scenes to geometric designs and sports figures grace the fronts of cards.