I always have a hard time finding the perfect piece of “art” to add to our frames. I never want to spend big money because I find that I’m often sick of it in a few months & don’t want to change it out because of the money I spent on it.
I love Etsy, but find myself feeling overwhelmed trying to find a print that is inside of my budget and one that I feel I can live with for awhile. Plus, I’m pretty awful at online shopping. Unlike Casey, I need to be in.the.store- touching the product, holding the product, hmmming & hawwwing on whether I should actually buy it or wait for something better to come along.
Enter today’s amazing framed art, which magically seems to answer all of these dilemmas for under five bucks…
Framed greeting cards. Yup, they fit my criteria perfectly and solve all of my wishy-washy art dilemmas.
1. Affordable – check
2. Able to be changed every few months without feeling guilty – check
3. Able to be picked up at a store so I can hmm and haww as to whether I should really buy them -check
I bought this white frame at Target and scoured their greeting card section for a card that shared a message/design that I loved. Target has a great selection of greeting cards, but I’m sure any store that offers greeting cards could be a winner. (Especially those trendy gift shops that seem to have THE BEST cards. Typically those cards are out of my rookie budget, but for a piece of art that could cost far more than a couple bucks if I purchased it on Etsy- I feel less guilty splurging on a $4 card).
I picked this winner in the “engagement” section at Target. The color scheme was exactly what I had in mind, the watercolor trend has recently stolen my heart and I just loved its simple message.
This was my runner-up. See a trend here?
I added the greeting card to the frame and just like that, my framed art was ready to be hung!
I absolutely l.o.v.e. everything about it, but most importantly, I love that I’m not “married” to this design. If I’m out & about and see another card that begs me to buy it, I’m going to pick that bad boy up and not feel bad switching them out. And who knows… Maybe I’ll pay this adorable card forward. Maybe not though… would that be weird?
Either way, I don’t foresee taking this one down anytime soon. It just works. And for $3 a card, it really, really works for me.
I added it next to another very special frame in our home (a new addition as well)…
The frame to the right is my wedding gift to Matt on the morning of our wedding. To make a long story short, Matt and I are both high school teachers. After a weekend retreat with our students (where we met and got to know each other thanks to a variety of high school aged team building activities), I found this crumbled up note in my mailbox.
E239 is Matt’s classroom. Of course this old-fashioned note stole my heart and sealed the deal early on (although I didn’t leak that information to Mr. Matkovich). The funny thing is, I never responded on the note itself, but instead, saved the note without him knowing. Right before our wedding, I dug out this old treasure and finally gave him my official answer with a bold check mark. I framed it, and on the morning of our wedding, Matt unwrapped this frame and was shocked to find that I still had the piece of paper that started it all….
The greeting card message seems like the perfect neighbor to such a meaningful treasure. I love how they work together to spread love and simplicity. Tune in tomorrow to see where these two darling frames are currently hanging in our home. Spoiler alert: I spy an IKEA hack, milk painted chair and lots of color popping!
Oh and how could I forget my Rookie Tip for this project? I would advise to skip the singing greeting cards. They just don’t seem to have the same charming affect when they’re stuck behind the glass… but hey, it’s up to you.
It may be February, but we’re still chugging along on that organizing train. With the big ticket Hallmark holiday on its way and a whole year of celebrations in store over the next 11 months…. let’s get those greeting cards organized!
Everyone can appreciate a cute card every once in awhile, but if you’re anything like me, you canNOT appreciate the price tag that comes inside that envelope. Rookie budgets do not support $4+ greeting cards, regardless of how fabulous the celebration is. My solution? Stocking up on greeting cards on sale so when the time comes to celebrate- I’m ready (and don’t have to break the bank)!! You’d be surprised, I have come across quite the selection of cards at going-out-of-business sales, estate sales and even the occasional garage sale. Plus, there’s a local card shop where I check out post holiday sales.
Now that you know my secrets, let’s get down to business. To kick off this project, I bought this polka dot box for $3 at JoAnn’s (bring your coupon!) and picked up a few pieces of HEAVY card stock. If you want more than 8 categories of cards, I’d advise buying MORE paper.
I used some grid scrapbook paper (note: the stains are part of the design) to create a template for my dividers. I measured the size of the box to make sure the dividers would fit and I made three tabs on top so I could use this same template for each of the dividers.
I traced the template and simply cut along the lines.
Before long, my dividers were ready to greet their counterparts.
Cards… lots & lots of cards. Holiday cards, birthday cards, valentine’s cards, cards just because, blank cards, animal cards– you name it, I got it.
Before you jump right into adding your cards to the box, I have one tip for you. Rather than wrapping the envelope around the card, tuck the envelope INSIDE of the card instead. This will help you see each card in the box more clearly and will help reduce paper distraction while flipping through your cards.
Categorize the cards and label your tabs. My labels were:
Just for Fun
(Rookie Tip:I know a label maker would make this project far more attractive, but I’m keeping it real here. As much as I’m all about a pretty label, I know that when I see pretty labels on the blogosphere, I often feel intimidated and don’t complete the project because I don’t have the tools/machines to create the pretty label. Anyone else guilty? You have no excuses here! Just a plain pen and paper is all you need to get this done. You can do this!!)
In the back of the box, I put some random stationary and tiny cards that wouldn’t quite fit like the others. I used the bottom of one of the old stationary boxes to hold the notecards and tiny thank you notes. I also added stamps to the box to make sure I had all of my snail mail essentials in one place.
Last but very not least, a tiny little label. Like I said before, a label maker would make this far more attractive. But for the sake of keeping it real (and not having the equipment to make those professional labels) my 5th grade art skills will have to do. So, I slapped on an envelope (a rectangle plus a triangle… I know you can draw that too) to complete the box o’ snail mail.
See, organizing isn’t so bad is it? Paper, scissors, and a pen can really do some damage around these parts. No label maker, professional glitter machine, or high end slicer necessary. #inmydreams
Any organizing resolutions out there? Any New Year’s diets kicking off today? Anyone putting the Christmas decorations away this week? Any I-love-these-cards-but-have-no-clue-what-to-do-with-them kind of people tuning in? Well, we have almost ALL of you covered today with this Christmas Card Organizing Tutorial. I can’t help with the diets, but the organizers…. I have your back!
The organizing train is about to leave the station…. ALL ABOARD!!!
Here’s your chance to save those adorable cards, stay organized, and create a coffee table conversation piece that will take you and your guests down memory lane year after year after year.
… full of lots and lots of holiday cheer! I definitely did not want to discard all of these adorable family photos and merry wishes, because let’s be honest here, looking back at those old school christmas card photos is the BEST! My solution?
Last year I started the tradition to bind all of the Christmas cards I received throughout the holiday season as a lil’ holiday flip book. This is definitely not an original idea (I see it all around the blogosphere) but I selfishly wanted to blog about it just to motivate myself to DO IT. Putting in a few extra minutes to create this book was not on top of my to-do list but I pushed myself to suck it up because I loved looking back at last year’s memories (and it’s only been a year!). I also loved setting this little cutie out for my holiday guests to enjoy. I can only imagine how much more my guests and I will cherish these books as time passes.
I just used whatever holiday paper and letters I had lying around the house to create my 2012 masterpiece. No need to go out and spend a lot of money on this simple project; heck, you could probably even repurpose one of your holiday cards as a cover if you’re really creative!
This year, I went with the same motto- no buying, just making do with what I had around. If you do need to buy material, here’s what you’ll need:
– about 4 large scrapbook pages (double sided offers more combo opportunities!)
– numbered stickers
– hole punch
– ring (or two) to hold the book together [you can find these at office supply stores]
Rookie Tip: Make sure you purchase a ring(s) that fits the size of the stack of cards you want to bind together. Go with the larger ring if you have lots and lots of cards and a smaller one if you’re still new to the holiday card scene. I used a small ring and the cards fit perfectly.
To kick off this simple project, I stacked all of my cards by size (approximately). This is completely personal preference, but to me, it helped organizing the book by size.
I then hole punched each card and fished it through the hoop. #helloweddingnails
I repeated that two-step over and over and over again until all of my cards were clipped together.
I then used some light weight cardboard (almost like extra heavy cardstock) I had laying around the house and cut out a front cover and a back cover. I just eye-balled the size to make sure all of the cards would be hidden by the front & back covers.
I traced the cardboard pieces onto two sheets of paper. (one pattern for the front/back covers and another pattern for the inside of the front/back covers).
I glued the paper onto the cardboard, this way the front and back cover would be BOTH decorative and more sturdy.
I did that once again on the opposite side of both covers…
… and hooked the sheets onto the clip. Now all that was left to do was cut out some extra paper and add the 2013 number stickers.
To finish off the very non-traditional Christmas look, I added a pop of red washi-tape and called it a day.
In honor of the big wedding in ’13, I had to add a little “&” trademark onto the back of the book.
Now that all of my cards are bundled and organized, I’m excited to pack them away and pull them out next year as a quick reminder of how lucky we are to have such amazing friends and family in our lives.
Plus, I can’t wait to lay both of my flip books side-by-side for my holiday guests to peek at as well.
I suspect organizing your x-mas cards may not be on the top of your priority list, but trust me when I say, I’m very grateful I pushed myself to get ‘er done. If you’re anything like me, let January be the kick in the pants you need to climb aboard that organizing train & get rolling…. it’s time.
Casey recently disclosed her obsession with pillows. We support her, we love her, we accept her for who she is. Now it’s my turn…
My name is Bridget, and I am obsessed with estate sales. Like pull-this-car-over-I-don’t-care-if-you-have-to-change-4-lanes-make-a-U-turn-and-jump-the-median type of obsessed. I see that Estate Sale sign and immediately Matt knows that he has no prayer of getting out of a delayed detour.
Our most recent Estate Sale DIY was this gem…
…a $4 shutter board that I found rummaging through the garage of a darling little cape cod. She was mine, all mineeee.
I took her home and immediately cleaned her up! With a little soap and water, this shutter was ready for her makeover.
I propped her up on an old bucket and spray painted her pure white. The bucket allowed me to paint the sides of the shutter without it missing any spots or the shutter sticking to the drop cloth.
Two coats later, she was clean, shiny and finally taking shape for the holiday season!
Thanks to Matt’s suggestion, I sketched “tis the season” across the middle of the shutter. I then added some fabric glue on top of those pencil marks and eventually sprinkled glitter on top of that glue.
Now, she has a new home and a very important job. Our $4 project holds all of the holiday snail mail we receive. Because let’s be honest, ’tis the season of Christmas Cards, family photos, and festive holiday wishes from friends.
Matt was not sold on our $4 purchase when we left that little cape cod in August…but man, he is loving our new Christmas Hall-of-Holiday-Fame. I love that when guests come over, they are able to see all the JOY that our family & friends have shared with us this holiday season.
And as Christmas got closer and closer, the shutterboard starting looking like this….
Looking for a new way to add a little extra glam to your holiday cards this year? Look no further!! We have recruited Sydney from the fabulous Etsy Shop, Studio 255, to give us the details on all things holiday mail. Where to find the best postage stamps, when to send out those beloved cards, or where to buy the best envelope dressings <– she’s got us covered!
What is your etsy shop all about?
My Etsy shop, Studio255, mostly features address stamps and holiday cards (usually for the Christmas season & Valentines Day).
How did you get involved in this business?
I’ve been designing custom wedding stationery for 3 years now, and in the midst of that, I myself got engaged. By the time our wedding rolled around, my now-husband and I decided that we’d spent enough money on the big day, so our wedding presents to each other should be something thoughtful under $30. I got him a carved wooden box for his cuff links, watches and rings – and he had two rubber stamps made for me, one of my company logo and the other of our wedding monogram. It wasn’t until that point that I thought to enter into the world of rubber stamps, and I expanded my stationery company to include an Etsy shop full of stamps.
We love glamorous snail mail, but don’t always know how to dress up an envelope on a budget. What tips would you offer our readers as they prepare to send out holiday cards and want to step up their game in the process?
If you have the time to cut out envelope liners, I think a fun and inexpensive route to take would be using wrapping paper that compliments your holiday card design. I like to stick liners in place with scrapbooking squares, though double sided tape works just as well. Other quick tips would be to coordinate the color ink that you use to address your envelopes with the color of ink pad that you stamp your address in, purchase holiday postage stamps, and a roll of gold washi tape or some holiday stickers are a great way to make sure your envelopes stay shut.
Where do you suggest we shop for our creative mailing needs?
For ink pads my go-to is Paper Source, I LOVE the VersaMagic and Brilliance brand ink pads – I find that they leave the cleanest imprint. The wrapping paper that I used as an envelope liner (photographed) is from Paper Source as well. USPS.com has a large selection of postage stamps – way more than any single post office location has in stock – so that you can find the design that best compliments what you’re sending. See the difference in the below photo…
If you could only buy ONE item to step up your snail mail game, what would that ONE item be?
Outside of suggesting that you purchase one of my gorgeous address stamps, I’d say the easiest and most cost effective ways to jazz up your envelope is through the postage stamp that you select – the fun designs on usps.com don’t cost any more than the regular flag stamps. I’ll probably be stocking up on their gingerbread design for my personal holiday cards this year.
Any general tips or ticks to keep in mind?
When do we send out holiday cards?
Ideally, I’d aim for the first two weeks of December – this way you’re way ahead of the USPS’s busiest mailing day of the year: December 20th. If you’re swamped with holiday preparations, consider sending out a more generic holiday card (like my Happy Everything cards) or a Happy New Year card, and send those out as you’re working on your Thank You notes in the days following Christmas.
TRENDSETTER: Favorite pattern this holiday season: This year I have been all about the gold, I find that it instantly dresses up anything from paper to outfits.
One word to describe your shop: Snail-mail (if I hyphenate it does it count as one word?)
We’ll count it!! Thanks for giving us the 411 on all things snail-mail. We are honored to induct Studio 255 into the Etsy Shop Hall of Fame here on the DIY Playbook because we adore all of the fabulous-ness that this shop has to offer. Seriously, go check it out for yourself here and if Sydney inspired you as much as she inspired us to start sending our snail mail… make sure you sign up for the Holi-D.I.Y Card Exchange here!
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