I've ordered handmade holiday cards on Etsy.com the past few years and I like them so much more than the store-bought variety. A) they just seem nicer since more work went into them and B) you can find cards that truly fit your tastes, as Etsy has so many to choose from.
But why stop there? I used to scrapbook, but it's so time consuming that I had very few completed projects. But I figured I could successfully complete a tiny little card. And I was right!
So I set off for Paper-Source for supplies. Even there, the highest-priced store I allow myself to frequent, I think the materials ran about $1 per card for everything involved. The basics were blank cards, envelopes, and pretty paper to glue on the front.
I chose a gorgeous Japanese print and a cute little "thank you" stamp for the first card. First I cut out and glued a 4"x6" piece of the printed paper to the front of the blank card. I then used the stamp and turquoise ink pad to make the "thank you" tag on white card stock.
Using some coordinating turquoise ribbon, I glued down the thank you tag to the card. Bam. Finished card. I'll probably invest in some cream colored card stock for the next time I use this paper, though, since the white clashed a little bit.
Now onto card #2: Maneki Neko birthday card. I didn't know that the lucky waving Japanese cat was called that, but I just learned all about it on Wikipedia. Did you know, for instance, that a raised left paw supposedly attracts money and a raised right paw protects it? Now you do. (I guess this card protects your birthday cash.)
I didn't splurge on a "happy birthday" stamp, so I chose a fun font and printed it on white card stock. I wasn't sure how the colors would look once printed, so I tried a few options. (And then went with blue.)
Then I remembered some super glittery pink paper I have that coordinated really well. Can't resist glitter.
Annnnd a little something-something on the inside.
Honestly, this was super easy. Like most crafts, the initial investment seemed a little steep, but I'll be able to make 30 cards or so with the supplies I bought. Assuming I stay motivated.