the papercraft lab

Super Easy Christmas Craft: Tiny Christmas Card Banners


For holiday greetings, I like to either make my cards or use my stash of "regular" holiday cards, likely bought in a Dec 26 sale frenzy before I got crafty.  (I think I'm down to one box, finally.)

I also like to include a little handmade something with a photo in our cards, even if I'm sending the "boring" boxed variety.

My criteria for these little projects:

  • I can make it with supplies I have on hand
  • It will be easy to make 50+ of them
  • It has to fit flat in the card envelope without requiring additional postage
  • It has *some* usefulness - tree ornament, bookmark, etc.



In 2011 I made a tiny banner that I slipped inside the card. 

It spelled out JOY (nice and short) and had a tiny 1" square photo of my then 2-year-old daughter (by our favorite photographer Kristi Lloyd). I ended up making about 50 of them, assembly-line style in one evening.

I chose a few pieces of coordinating holiday-themed paper and cut all the banner pieces from that patterned paper using my Silhouette machine. I modified a scalloped banner design I found in the Silhouette Design Store to add 2 holes for the string so I wouldn't have to punch those out by hand. 

Letter stickers from my scrapbook supply stash spelled out JOY (turns out you need a lot of sets if you use the same word all the time!) and mounted the photo on a star shape I punched out from scraps of other patterned paper. (This hardly made a dent in my scrap pile!)

I printed the photos at home on 4x6 paper - I used Photoshop Elements to print several copies of the same photo on one sheet and cut them out myself.

Since I had a ball of bright orange yarn, I used that to string the banners, but baker's twine would be an excellent choice since it's flatter and would fit inside a card more easily.

Friends tell me they put my little banner on their trees that year.

You could also mount the banner on a blank card in landscape orientation for a super-easy holiday card design.

This year, I'm leaning towards making some kind of pop-up 3D ornament out of paper, using my trusty Silhouette again, but I need to find a design that allows me to add a photo. If you know of any, I'd love a link :)

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