Happy first Monday in November!

Have you started your Christmas cards yet? I’m not sure what your Christmas card giving type is, but I want to let you know that whatever way you go with Christmas cards is OK. Whether you mass-produce 50 handmade cards or opt for family photo cards or make a few special cards or purchase cards from the store, it doesn’t matter one whit. I think that sometimes as creators we put way too much pressure on ourselves, so I am giving you permission to slow down and do what’s right for you and what you enjoy.

A few years back, I decided to take the pressure off myself. I tend to send cards to friends and family on a weekly basis, so I felt less of a “need” to do it during the holidays. There’s enough stuff going on then, right? Instead, I make beautiful Christmas cards that I love, and I send these mini works of art to special friends and family. It isn’t a long list, but my cards are filled with love and sincerity. It’s what works for me.

Recently, I’ve been on a creative tear, and I’ve made a few special Christmas cards that I want to share with you. The common thread with the cards I’m sharing today is stencils from Simon Says Stamp and Therm O Web products! I once had a friend over who gravitated toward my stencil stash, and I had to admit to her that I was stencil challenged. But I finally figured out what to do with them!

Wishing You a Wonderful Christmas card by Susan R. Opel for Scrapbook & Cards Today

Therm O Web’s products make creating showstopping designs a breeze! I used their Pixie Spray to lock the stencil into position, and then I slathered on the Transfer Gel. After letting that dry (a couple of hours did the trick), I placed some gold Deco Foil over the dried design and ran it through my laminator in the protective pouch. Can I just tell you the IMMENSE satisfaction it gives me to pull back that foil?

Fun tip for this card… once I die-cut the rectangular panel from the finished square, I had some portions of the stenciled design left, so I fussy cut one of the poinsettias to add as an embellishment to place more focus on the sentiment! Use those scraps!

Graphic Merry Christmas card by Susan R. Opel for Scrapbook & Cards Today

I’m so proud of this one! One of my first stabs at using Therm O Web and Gina K Design’s Glitz Glitter Gel was a bit of a disaster. I missed the Pixie Spray memo, and a ton of the resulting design was seriously marred by the gel oozing beneath the unsecured stencil. I was able to find a portion of the design that was usable, so I cut it out and tossed the rest. I love how jaunty the design turned out!

Fun tip for this card… I used the same stencil to dry emboss the background of the main panel. LOVE how that looks. And it’s super easy, too!

A shout out to Cathy Zielske for her awesome sentiment stamps she designed for Simon Says Stamp and for her rad stencil tutorial on YouYube that taught me all about the importance of Pixie Spray!

Scarlet and Grey Merry Christmas card by Susan R. Opel for Scrapbook & Cards Today

This last card goes back to the Pixie Spray + Stencil + Transfer Gel + Deco Foil + Laminator technique. The foil I used on this design was iridescent. You guys, I am OBSESSED! It’s so fun and magical!

Fun tip for this card… Adding the glossy accents to the berries was JUST the right shiny finishing touch for my festive card.

Major shout out to our partner Therm O Web for their awesome designs and to Simon Says Stamp for gorgeous stencils!

Here’s to a wonderful and blessing-filled November and Christmas cards done any way you like!

~ Susan R. Opel, Editor-in-Chief