Here’s a Clean and Simple (CAS) Christmas card that checks all the boxes: quick, easy, yet still textured and blingy. It goes together in a snap and provides a feast for the eyes. You can make a dozen of these golden snowflake cards in the time it takes to watch “A Charlie Brown Christmas.” And you’ll delight those lucky enough to receive one. What’s not to love?
Clean, simple yet glamorous – the golden snowflake is the key
Everybody expects snowflakes to be white because that’s how they fall from the sky. But sometimes you need to be different. Sometimes a traditional card calls for something non-traditional. The fact that you’re reading this blog says you agree with me, at least a little bit. Traditional is good – I love traditional. You should see my living room, all camelback sofas, Persian rugs, and Victorian oil lamps. But if you’ve read this blog for more than 12 seconds, you’ve come to realize that I’m allergic to the color white. No, really. I kind of panic when faced with a large white surface. Even that thing called “white space” bugs me. (And it doesn’t even have to be white, to be called “white space.”)
This is why I rarely make cards that fall under the Clean and Simple (CAS) label. They’re too, how shall I say it politely, “minimalized” for my taste. I like stuff on my cards. Glamorous stuff. Glitter. Ribbon, Sparkle. Texture. It’s how I decorate my home, and it’s how I decorate my cards. But SOMETIMES, especially when I play by someone else’s rules (entering a challenge, for instance), I have to come up with something CAS. So I try to fight the good fight and find a compromise. This is my compromise.
This glamour starts with snowy texture
I’ve kept the color scheme simple to let texture take the stage: red, white and gold. And not just wimpy gold but some delicious razzmatazz gold. But I digress – let’s start with the background texture first. I’ve used my favorite embossing folder of all time on white cardstock layered onto a red mat. There’s good news and bad news about this folder. The bad news is that it’s an old, discontinued folder which was, in fact, given to me by my good friend Kimie-kins. (The same darling gal who received my favoritest card in the world, the Christmas Side-step Card.)
The good news is there are some comparable folders on the market that will give texture every bit as good as this. Here’s a gorgeous all-over snowflake embossing folder with bigger, more decorative snowflakes. I think I like it better than the one I’ve got. Maybe Santa will put it in my stocking. Or how about this snowflake folder? It, too, has a variety of snowflakes wafting gently down. And the snowflake folder in this six-piece set most closely resembles the one I used.
Not that you need to copy mine exactly – this is your card, use the embossing folder of your choice to make it your own. As I often try to emphasize, my blog isn’t about copying my steps using the exact same products. I teach techniques that you can use with your own products. Otherwise, we’d have to keep shopping (and spending!) big bucks to keep up with the latest and greatest for the rest of our lives!
Bring on the glitter and shine
Now it’s time to add the glamorous details, starting with the band of gold around the lower third. The bottom layer isn’t actually ribbon, it’s handmade gold mulberry paper. Talk about luxurious, though extremely economical. This whisper-thin paper, with its textures and imperfections, is a touchy-feely delight with 101 uses. Sometimes you can find it by the sheet in craft stores, and Amazon sells it in 40-sheet packs in a rainbow of colors.
I topped the strip of gold paper with a strip of ribbon from my stash then added the two-layer greeting, which I embossed with gold embossing powder, and popped it up on dimensionals.
Tip: attach punch outs and die cuts with dimensional adhesive dots or squares to heavily textured backgrounds. The added strength of the dimensionals helps compensate for the uneven surface of the paper. Plus they add additional depth and character.~Shea McNaughton
There’s nothing flat about this golden snowflake
Let’s just get something straight right now: if you’re going the non-traditional glittery snowflake route, then “go big.” And that means don’t just stick with one snowflake die cut, go with three in graduating sizes and shapes. Because in this case, bigger IS better, even though we’re still (technically) calling this a CAS card. Yes we are.
Here’s a side view of the three snowflakes. They’ve each been popped up on teeny tiny bits of dimensionals, and I’ve topped the stack with a gold rhinestone. You could use a red rhinestone if you wish. Or no rhinestone at all, though that hole in the middle of the top snowflake begs to be covered. (I heard it.)
And that, dear reader, is my CAS Golden Snowflake Christmas Card. In the time it took to read this post, you could have had several made, they’re that quick and easy. Punch a bunch of snowflakes on your embossing machine (mine’s a Big Shot), run a bunch of base layers through the embossing folder and you’re good to go. This is an easy peasy card to mass produce, but it looks like you spent hours on it.
Now it’s your turn
What kind of non-traditional cards are you making this holiday season? Christmas? Hanukkah? Kwanzaa? Post it/them on the G&B Facebook page. Tell us the specifics. Better yet, share any stories about them. We love stories.
Happy holiday crafting!