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Fun Holiday Crafts!

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Getting Crafty for the Holidays

Kid preparing for Christmas day

The holiday season is upon us once again. Whether you celebrate a religious holiday or you simply want to get caught up in the secular holiday spirit, it’s a common tradition to send greeting cards through the mail to let friends and loved ones know that you’re thinking of them and wishing them well. You can buy pre-made greeting cards, but these can get rather expensive if you have a lot of people in your address book. Store-bought greeting cards also lack the personal touch and thoughtfulness that homemade cards carry. A homemade card shows your friend or loved one that you not only thought of them, but took the time to create an original message just for them.

Choose a Greeting Card Template

Christmas Frame

If you’re artistic and creative, you may want to design your own holiday cards from scratch. You can use any medium, including color pencils, markers, crayons, and permanent markers, or you can create your own designs digitally on your computer.

If you’re not so artistically inclined or you simply don’t have the time to create your own holiday card design, fear not – there are a number of websites that let you use their stock card templates and personalize the greeting with whatever message you like. You can stick with the message that’s already in the template, adding the name of your recipient at the top and your name at the bottom. Or, if you prefer, you can rewrite the card’s text altogether.

Search around online for  free holiday card templates that you can customize and print quickly and easily. If you don’t see anything you like in the free templates you browse, you can always try a paid service. Some paid services even let you try their card designs out with a free one-week trial – just remember that most free trials start billing as soon as the trial period ends, so be sure to either factor these costs into your budget or cancel your membership before the trial is up.

Consider a Family Photo Greeting Card

Christmas Poster

It’s fairly common for families to include a photo with their greeting cards, with some families actually designing a greeting card that incorporates their family portrait on the card instead of a stock holiday image. Other individuals who don’t have a spouse or children often print holiday cards with their pets on them. No matter who is in your photo, if you decide to go this route, it’s important that you take a good photo that isn’t blurry and doesn’t crop anyone out. Have everyone in your family dress up in their holiday best, whether it’s a new set of dress clothes or a coordinated “ugly sweater” motif. You may decide to take the photo in front of a plain wall inside your home, or you may choose to pose outdoors in a festive or otherwise memorable/meaningful location. You should also brush up on your photography skills by reading our previous blog post,  The Basics of Digital Photography.

Print Out Your Cards

Christmas Card

To get the best results in printing your holiday greeting cards, it’s important to use the right tools. You can use any printer that you or a loved one already own, but if you’re in the market for a printer, now may be a good time to invest in one. Though printer models and their various specs and features change every year, some experts recommend getting an  all-in-one (or multifunction) printer. These inkjet printers are fast, affordable, and generally known for their ability to print high-resolution images as well as crisp, legible text with ease.

The paper you use for your card should also be a consideration. Plain printer paper will work, but if you’re printing an image on your card a regular sheet of printer paper may get warped and blemished from having too much ink in one place. If you want a quality card that will hold its form when it’s delivered to your recipient, it’s best to use greeting card paper. You can buy greeting card paper from most office supply stores, and this paper comes in a variety of different formats, including matte finish, smooth finish, watercolor-friendly finish, and even textured greeting card finish.

The printer and paper you use are only as good as the ink you print your cards with. At  1ink.com, we have a huge selection of compatible and remanufactured replacement ink and toner cartridges for all your inkjet and laser jet printer needs. We carry compatible/remanufactured cartridges that fit every major printer brand and model, all at a price that’s up to 85% below the original equipment manufacturer (OEM) retail cost. Our ink and toner will not fade, streak, or smear, and it’s guaranteed to produce exceptional printed images and text for the cards you send to your most treasured friends and loved ones.

Plan ahead and send your cards early.

Procrastinating can lead to late deliveries or missed holidays altogether. Even though you are probably very busy around this time of year, it’s important to plan ahead. Start making and sending your cards as early as possible. Take a day or even a whole weekend to stay at home and work on your cards, and be sure to make enough for everyone on your holiday list, plus a few extras in case there’s anyone you forgot. You should also keep in mind when a given holiday falls this year. Some holidays (like Christmas) fall on the same day every year, while other holidays (like Hanukkah) fall on different dates, depending on the given year. If at all possible, try to send out your holiday cards to domestic recipients at least one week in advance, thought two to three weeks will ensure on-time delivery. If you’re sending cards to an international recipient, including deployed military personnel, you may want to send your card even earlier – some people recommend sending these cards a full month in advance of the holiday you’re celebrating. For the 2016-2017 holiday season, holidays are observed on the following dates (in chronological order for this year):

Mawlid al-Nabi – December 11 through December 12

Winter Solstice – December 21

Hanukkah – December 24 through January 1

Christmas – December 25

Orthodox Christmas – January 7

Maha Shivaratri – February 25

No matter what holiday you observe and no matter how you celebrate it, remember that the most important thing this holiday season is spending time with friends and family members. Let your loved ones know that you care about them, either in person or with a delightful holiday greeting card that you print out at home.

Happy Holidays 2016-2017 from the 1ink.com family.