This step-by-step Christmas card uses the 'Holly Christmas' set to make a simple but effective card. The beauty of cards like this is that you can stamp and colour whole batches of these images to set up a production line, simplifying the whole process and making it really easy to make all your cards this year.
It's easier to take the inkpad to the stamp - especially if, like me, you are using an acrylic block that is bigger than your stamp.
Some acrylic stamps need conditioning before you use them. I didn't need to do it with these, but if you find that they are not stamping cleanly then lightly rub the stamp with fine sandpaper and clean with a wetwipe before using. This removes any residue from the production process so you can stamp a good clear image.
Stamp the image onto a separate piece of light cardstock - not your card blank.
These stamps work really well with standard card blanks. Cut a piece of background paper slightly smaller than the card, to leave a border. Ink the edge of the paper and stick it to the card.
Trim your stamped image, ink the edge and adhere this to the background on your card.
Stamp another image on the same coloured cardstock as before. You'll need two of these, so go ahead and stamp another one as well. We only need the holly and berries so you don't need to ink the whole stamp up again, just ink the part you need.
Colour in the holly leaves using a dark green pencil.
On the left is an image that's coloured using just a standard felt tip pen. On the right, the same image was coloured first with pencil, then a felt tip pen used over the top. You can see that this gives a much deeper green and better texture on the leaf. The shading in the centre of the leaf was achieved by lightly brushing the felt tip pen over the paper again. If you are too heavy-handed it can create ugly streaks, but do it gently and you can achieve subtle shading like this.
Once you have coloured in the leaves, cut out this part of the image from the background. You don't need to colour the berries, we'll do them on the next layer.
Use sticky pads or silicone to fix the leaves over the original image on your card.
On your spare stamped image, colour in the berries using a bright red felt tip pen. Use a white gel pen to add highlights. Cut these out and use sticky pads or silicone again to create the top layer of your decoupage image.
Take the greeting from this set, and stamp it onto a slightly darker shade of cardstock. Cardboard boxes and cereal packets are great for this kind of natural brown - you don't need to worry about materials being acid-free for cardmaking. Trim this into a rectangle and cut off two corners so that it looks like a luggage tag. Punch a small hole and knot some embroidery thread through it.
Ink the edge and use more sticky pads to adhere the tag to the card.
And there you have it! Nice and easy to make, but it still looks great. Perfect for Christmas.