Holiday Spirit Mini-Blog #3: Homemade Holiday Cards

Happy five days until Christmas, for those of you who celebrate!  Dan and I have immersed ourselves in the holiday spirit by following up with a second year of a very fun tradition – creating an assembled list of holiday movies to watch in the weeks between Thanksgiving and Christmas.  This year, we cracked up at Planes, Trains, and Automobiles, got romantic during Love Actually, and reminisced about our childhood (25 years ago!) while watching Home Alone.  We’re saving Jingle All the Way and National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation as well as A Christmas Story for the next few days.

Unfortunately for us, our spirit was slightly dampened by our Christmas tree tipping over on Thursday morning!  The tree trunk was soft and rotting, so we had to take all of our ornaments down and get rid of the tree.  We’re prepping to put up a borrowed, four-foot-tall, fake tree and decorate it tonight – so we’re trying to bring the holiday cheer back up again.

In the meantime, it’s holiday card reveal day!  Oh, what fun it is to come up with a creative and fun Christmas card idea each holiday season.  Last year’s blog post was pretty epic, so I thought we would share our process for this year as well.  

It’s always fun to start this post by walking down Memory Lane.  Back in 2013, we used Minted to print our holiday cards, and I loved working with them oh so much – I even did a Minted giveaway on the blog last year in the spring!  These were a bit pricey at $58 for just 35 cards, so last year we got into the DIY spirit and printed our own.

Our 2014 card was my absolute favorite.  We headed to a local park and found a scenic spot to pose for our own photos.  Dan used his camera and tripod to get the perfect shot, so we didn’t have to pay for a photographer.  I knew that this card, with its fun scenery and bright colors, would be tough to beat.

This year, Dan and I chose to go with a similar theme of an outside woodsy location, but we wanted it to be different enough that it distinguished itself from last year’s card.  We also wanted to make the location more personal to us, so we headed to the Giralda Farms Preserve at Loantaka Brook Reservation in Chatham.  It’s a walking path with wide open spaces to explore, and we’ve been able to walk there from our house since it opened back in June (it was way warmer back then!).

For the photo itself, I knew that I wanted to use my favorite fall fashion accessory: the blanket scarf! It’s a long, wide scarf that I snagged at Target for less than $20.  Dan set up the test shot by placing me right in front of a big, comfy tree in the middle of the preserve.  You might see that there’s a cement drain all the way in the back, so we decided to adjust things a bit to cut that out of the picture before taking the final shot.

It was fun to watch Dan meddle with different settings and come running over to make sure he got into the photo and wrapped himself in the scarf just in time for the timer to go off.  For the photo, we chose to wear light, but complimenting outfits: he’s in gray and I’m in mustard, and we’re both wearing jeans and boots.

To print the card itself, we again used Vistaprint, but this time I ordered 100 cards for $34.62.  I actually ordered 50 at first and then ordered another 50 when I realized we wouldn’t have enough, so you could get an even better deal using the site in the future if you order 100 at once.  We selected the postcard option with a glossy front and color back.  The easiest way to order cards through Vistaprint is by accessing their holiday cards page.  They are completely custom and can be made to suit your specific needs.  I cannot recommend them enough – it’s so easy to make your card feel as personal as possible.

We used nearly the same back of the postcard as last year, but we changed the font to match.  The font for both “warm wishes” and “happy holidays” is called Scriptina Pro, and the font for “the Klein family” on the front is Javanese Text. We kept the snowflake for a little more detail, but the left side is where I wrote a personal message to each of our family and friends who received a card.  I like adding a little bit of a personal touch to our Christmas cards, and I have a feeling we’ll keep doing it that way for years to come.

While creating our own holiday card doesn’t exactly involve power tools or even scissors, it’s still one of my favorite projects of the year.  Happy holidays for sure!


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