Happy holidays from the Cardstore blog

It’s been a great year for the Cardstore blog, and we hope you’ve enjoyed our content as much as we’ve enjoyed creating it.

We’ll be taking the next two weeks off for the holidays, and just wanted to take this opportunity to wish you and yours a very happy holiday season and all the best in the new year!

See you next year with more ways to celebrate creatively!

7 gift wrapping ideas for the holidays

It seems like each year the holidays sneak up on me quicker and quicker, and this year may have been the sneakiest yet!

Even though I tend to finish up my holiday shopping late, I still love wrapping my presents with a little extra love—whether that means special gift tags, making my own gift wrap from rolls of paper, or adding decorative elements (other than bows). It’s a little extra work, but it’s the part I enjoy the most.

If you’re in the same boat as me and still have wrapping to do, I’ve pulled together 5 of my favorite gift wrapping ideas to help make all your gifts look extra special (and in no way like you did it last minute—that’ll be our little secret).

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1. Patterned holiday gift wrap using items you already have in your house

I’m absolutely adoring all the different patterns Paper & Stitch came up and created using items she had lying around the house! What a unique and personalized way to wrap gifts.

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2. Homemade holiday gift wrap

If you’re like me, you’ve noticed an abundance of kraft paper wrapping—and that’s probably because it’s so easy to get your hands on! This homemade paper by Eat Sleep Cuddle is so festive and looks so good, it’s hard to believe it’s homemade.

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3. Inspirational wrapping paper

I’ve been hanging on to this goodness from Walk in Love since last year because every gift looks so spectacular! She took paper, markers, washi tape, and a few extra decorative items to make beautiful, handcrafted wrapping paper. I love that each one is different!

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4. Gift topper ideas

How about different gift toppers for your presents? The House that Lars Built has 5 adorable ways to top all your gifts.

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5.  Printable gift tags

If you’re all set with wrapping paper, but want a cute way to put the finishing touches on your gift, how about these free printable gift tags that we offered last year? Still just as good for this year… and, of course, still free :)

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6. More printable gift tags

Instead of bold and colorful gift tags, maybe you’re going for a simpler style. How about these free black and white printable gift tags from Jasmine Dowling instead? I absolutely adore her style, and it totally elevates a simple kraft and twine wrapping job!

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7. DIY photo gift tags

If you’re looking for a more personalized way to decorate your gifts, try these DIY photo gift tags that Kate made! They are the perfect way to finish off each gift.

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I hope these ideas inspire you to have fun wrapping the gifts you’ll be putting under the tree.

Happy holidays!

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Fun (and easy!) Christmas traditions for kids

To a lot of people, Christmas means traditions—but not all of them have to be a big deal. Some of the best ones are the little ones we start with our kids, that, eventually, they can pass on to kids of their own.

Here are some fun Christmas traditions for kids that people here in our studio have started with their own families.

1. The Very Special Ornament

Do your kids have a favorite Christmas ornament, or one that they just seem to gravitate to every year? If so, read on. (And even if not, you should still read on because it’s a pretty cute tradition.)

When Jessica’s husband Brandon was a little boy, his parents chose one ornament that the family especially loved and dubbed it the most special of all ornaments. Every year growing up, they would save that ornament for last, and either Brandon or his sister (depending on whose year it was) would get to put the last, most special ornament on the tree.

Even once they’d moved out, their parents still saved the last ornament for when they came home for the holidays. And now that they’re adults, the tradition has been passed on to the grandkids. Here’s Jessica’s son Carter doing his merry duty (with a little help from his grandma) for the first time:

Christmas traditions for kids that are cute and easy!

“Brandon and his sister love being able to watch their kids get just as excited about the ornament as they did when they were little.” -Jessica

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2. Christmas Scavenger Hunt

Every year on Christmas morning, when Elizabeth’s boys are done opening all the presents Santa brought them, they get to go on a scavenger hunt.

It starts with a single clue (stuffed into an ornament on the Christmas tree), but leads them all around the house until they find a second batch of presents—from Mom & Dad!

Elizabeth says another member of our team gave her the idea, and even though her sons are now grown, she still keeps the Christmas magic alive by doing this for them year after year.

Christmas traditions for kids that are cute and easy! Love this idea of a scavenger hunt to find the presents from Mom & Dad.

“The thing I love the most about this is that it adds one more fun activity (and a few surprises) to the kids’ Christmas morning. I’m looking forward to doing this for lots and lots of Christmases to come!” -Elizabeth

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3. Kids Leave Santa the Darndest Things

Santa delivers a LOT of toys to a LOT of kids.

Naturally, that means the jolly old elf probably consumes a BOATLOAD of milk and cookies. Why not look out for his cholesterol levels and let your kids pick something else out for him?

That’s what Meghan, our Sr. Social Media Manager, did with her daughter Lillian last year—and with pretty adorable results.

Check out Santa’s plate of parsley, half an onion, and bread below. The note you see was dictated to Meghan from her daughter :)

Christmas traditions for kids that are cute and easy!

“It’s been a challenge to let go of my former wedding-planner/loves to decorate-r mentality and let the girls have their Christmas, but it’s something I’ve made a conscious decision to do. Their glowing faces as they create what they see as beautiful are more magical and lovely than anything else I could have found on Pinterest or styled myself.” -Meghan

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Have any traditions of your own you’d like to share? We’d love to hear about them!

However you spend your holidays, we hope you find yourself making lots of merry memories with friends and family.

 

DIY gift tags – get creative with your gift wrapping

Add some fun to your Christmas presents with these DIY gift tags!

In my family, the gift wrap has always been half the fun of Christmas. Over the years, “It’s almost too pretty to open!” has become a reoccurring statement. (Almost being the keyword, of course.)

Incorporating fun colors and details is a great way to add to the anticipation of unwrapping presents and emphasize just how much care you put into each gift.

On that note, these DIY gift tags are a quick and simple way to add some personal flair—and a keepsake—to all your gifts this year!

Add some fun to your Christmas presents with these DIY gift tags!

What you’ll need:

  • Old and new photos printed on card stock
  • Scissors
  • Red and white puffy paint
  • Hole punch (preferably small)
  • Baker’s twine
  • Black felt-tip pen

Add some fun to your Christmas presents with these DIY gift tags!

Start by finding photos relevant to each person on your gift list. They can be sentimental or humorous, photos of the two of you together—even pets can make a great addition! You can use pretty much anything that you think will make your recipient smile.

I scanned and printed these photos on my home printer, but you can always take the stack of photos—or a flash drive full of digital copies—to your local Staples, Kinko’s or Office Max. Any of those places will be able to help with your scanning or printing needs. (Keep in mind that you may need extras in case something goes awry, so you’ll want to print a few copies.)

I chose to print mine in black and white to give the embellishments a little more pop, but that’s totally up to you!

Add some fun to your Christmas presents with these DIY gift tags!

Once you’ve cut out all your photos, you can snip the top corners off the ones that you’d like to have a traditional “tag” shape. Just cut one corner off, then use the excess piece as a guide for your second snip.

Add some fun to your Christmas presents with these DIY gift tags!

Add some fun to your Christmas presents with these DIY gift tags!

Now you’re ready for paint! Puffy paint can be a bit temperamental, so be careful and take it slow. I would make a few practice strokes on a spare sheet of paper to be sure all the air is out of the tip—otherwise, you may get a sudden spat of paint all over your image.

Let the paint dry for about an hour before moving on to the next step.

Add some fun to your Christmas presents with these DIY gift tags!

Add some fun to your Christmas presents with these DIY gift tags!

Once all your tags have dried, punch a hole in the top right, left or center of each tag and feed about an 8″ piece of baker’s twine through the hole. Use your black pen to add quotes and notes to the front or back of the cards.

Add some fun to your Christmas presents with these DIY gift tags!

Washi tape and ribbon can also make great additions to your wrapping technique, so experiment and have fun!

Add some fun to your Christmas presents with these DIY gift tags!

I’ve found that these are a great way to reflect on years passed and all the special people and moments we’ve shared together.

The pigtailed snow-queen pictured above happens to be me, age 3, and I can’t wait to see my mom’s reaction Christmas morning :)

Add some fun to your Christmas presents with these DIY gift tags!

And there you have it! Sweet little personalized tags everyone will enjoy.

Happy Holidays!

KateSignature

Homemade Christmas gifts for just about anyone {Friday finds}

There’s something about putting a little love and time into making homemade Christmas gifts for friends and family.

I love taking the time to make something unique for the people in my life, so I collected these amazing homemade gift ideas that you could give to just about anyone—even your mail carrier :)

The best part? Most are super simple, and inexpensive!

Looking for homemade Christmas gifts to give to all the people in your life? Here's a collection for everyone on your list!     Looking for homemade Christmas gifts to give to all the people in your life? Here's a collection for everyone on your list!

Looking for homemade Christmas gifts to give to all the people in your life? Here's a collection for everyone on your list!     Looking for homemade Christmas gifts to give to all the people in your life? Here's a collection for everyone on your list!

Looking for homemade Christmas gifts to give to all the people in your life? Here's a collection for everyone on your list!     Looking for homemade Christmas gifts to give to all the people in your life? Here's a collection for everyone on your list!

Looking for homemade Christmas gifts to give to all the people in your life? Here's a collection for everyone on your list!     Looking for homemade Christmas gifts to give to all the people in your life? Here's a collection for everyone on your list!

From top left:

Happy gifting!

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4 of our favorite Christmas crafts for kids

Now that I’ve got a little one of my own, I’ve been scouring the internet to find some fun, super-simple Christmas crafts for kids. I definitely want to do something crafty with my little peanut to get her sensory skills developing.

I found some great Christmas crafts for kids that really emphasize the sense of touch, and I hope you’ll enjoy them with your own kiddos!

1. No Cook Cinnamon Ornaments

Here are some of my favorite fun, super-simple Christmas crafts for kids.

My mom used to make these at Christmas time to give out to our friends and family as a little thank you gift for having us over at the holidays. Hers were always pretty elaborate because she’s crazy talented, but I’ll tone mine down so my daughter and I can have fun with it together. I’m planning to make a hand print for her first Christmas, and I’ll use a Sharpie to write her name and the date on the back!

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2. Making Snowmen Inside

Here are some of my favorite fun, super-simple Christmas crafts for kids.

What’s more festive than making a snowman at Christmas?! With this great sensory developing craft, you don’t even have to go outside to build your snowman. This is a super-easy craft that will entertain your kids for hours.

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3. Decorate a felt Christmas Tree

Here are some of my favorite fun, super-simple Christmas crafts for kids.

I’ve seen lots of those big felt trees that you put on the wall for the kids to decorate, but if your place is anything like mine, wall space is a pretty limited resource. That’s why these little felt cone trees are so great! They take up very little space and are really fun for kids to decorate and re-decorate whenever they want.

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4. DIY Santa Binoculars

Here are some of my favorite fun, super-simple Christmas crafts for kids.

Your kids will love making these special Santa watch binoculars with you. They’re really easy to make, and tons of fun for your kids to use. Perfect for a Christmas Eve craft, these will keep your kids entertained all night, watching for Santa himself!

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What better way to celebrate the season than spending time together with your little ones?

I hope you enjoy these Christmas crafts, and I’d love to hear about any others that you and your kids might be doing this holiday season!

emily signature

Hello, December 2014 {a free desktop calendar download}

Celebrate December with this free desktop and phone wallpaper!

December’s here, and that means snow, snow, snow! We’ll probably feel differently about it come February, but in the meantime, we’re going to enjoy the fluffy white stuff and all the things that come with it.

In the spirit of winter and the upcoming holidays, we present the fourth installment of our Desktop Beautification Project. We hope this adorable scene (created by Melanie just for us) puts you in a happy, wintery, holiday mood for the whole month—we know it’s working for us!

Enjoy!

Celebrate December with this free desktop and phone wallpaper!

December 2014 Calendar

2560 x 1440 // 1680 x 1050// 1440 x 900 // 1280 x 800 // phone

For help on how to install, click here.

DIY card wreath – an easy & festive Christmas card holder

A simple DIY card wreath to display your holiday cards!

It’s officially the holidays, and I’m willing to bet your first few rounds of Christmas cards and family newsletters have already begun to pile up.

Luckily, we have an easy Christmas card holder DIY for you, so each and every friend and family member will have their spot to shine! Read More »

Thanksgiving Crafts {friday finds}

Can you believe it’s almost Thanksgiving?!

Besides making me wonder where the rest of the year has gone, this time of year always reminds me about the people and things I’m grateful for. With that in mind, I thought it might be fitting to share some thoughtful Thanksgiving crafts.

Whether it’s spending time working on a craft with the kiddos, or going out of your way to create extra-special place settings for family and friends, each of these crafts can be nice a way to show your loved ones that you’re thankful for them.

Thanksgiving is almost here! Check out these Thanksgiving crafts, including crafts for kids, place settings, and treats.      Thanksgiving is almost here! Check out these Thanksgiving crafts, including crafts for kids, place settings, and treats.

Thanksgiving is almost here! Check out these Thanksgiving crafts, including crafts for kids, place settings, and treats.      Thanksgiving is almost here! Check out these Thanksgiving crafts, including crafts for kids, place settings, and treats.

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Do you have anything special you do for friends and family on Thanksgiving? I’d love to hear about it!

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How to make a DIY advent calendar with your Instagram photos

Use your Instagram pics from the year to make a DIY advent calendar for Christmas!

When I was little, my favorite Christmas tradition was making paper chains with my dad. Ripping off a link every night before bed was so very exciting to 5-year-old me. Now that my son is old enough to understand the anticipation of season, I’m excited to start our own tradition together!

Since Carter’s favorite thing to do lately is look through pictures on my phone, I wanted to incorporate photos into our own countdown to Christmas. I came up with this DIY advent calendar, where we’ll turn over a photo each day and talk about the memory together.

Use your Instagram pics from the year to make a DIY advent calendar for Christmas!

What you’ll need:

Read More »