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Friday, 15 July 2016

How To Make Selvedge & Fabric Christmas Cards

Handmade Fabric and Selvedge Cards

Making your own cards can be economical and fun and is a great way to use up fabric scraps and selvedges.  Today I'm making Christmas cards but you can easily adapt the technique to make cards for any occasion.

How To Make Selvedge and Fabric Christmas Cards

Disclaimer:
This post is for informational purposes only, no payment or commission is received on click-throughs to links shared.
All materials are mbCD's own.

Materials
scrap fabric - I'm using 5" squares so Christmas charm packs are ideal, and if your scraps are smaller than this you can sew them together to make them up to this size.  I'll also give you details of how to work with other sizes too.
cardboard - I'm using bought blank card/envelope sets in 3 different styles/sizes but you can just as easily fold your own card stock and use standard envelopes.
water based glue stick

Optional Materials
thread and embellishments
printer paper for printing inserts
PVA glue (see later diagram for more info)

Cards
These are the 3 card styles I'm working with, you can buy these in packs from craft stores such as Michaels (US) and The Range (UK) and many similar outlets.  
Brown and Red cards - 5-1/2" x 4" (140 mm x 100 mm)
White card - 8-1/4" x 5-3/4" (210 mm x 147 mm)

Handmade Fabric and Selvedge Cards

Prepping Fabric
Let's talk a little about prepping the fabric before cutting - I'm a huge fan of raw edge applique so I've not prepped the fabric at all.  If you're not in love with a fraying edge then I have the answer for you.  
Many years ago when studying textiles I was taught to coat fabric with a 50/50 mix of PVA glue and water to prevent fraying.  Here's how to do it. 

How To Stop Applique Fabric Fraying

I cut (10) 5" squares ,so I'd have a range of prints to choose from and as you get 8 triangles from each square, this gave me 80 triangles.  This was too many triangles for my needs, though you may be making more cards than me, and I have lots left over for next year!

Handmade Fabric and Selvedge Cards

How To Cut Fabric Isosceles Triangles
This is how to quickly make fabric isosceles triangles that represent Christmas Trees.   I first saw this technique in a video by Katie @The Crafty Blog Stalker when she was cutting cardstock for bunting - How To Cut 8 Pennant Pieces Out Of 1 Sheet Of Cardstock.  I knew this would be really useful for cutting fabric triangles too - and it is.  If you'd like to see a video of how Katie uses this technique to cut cardstock here is is the link, I'm going to show you in photos how to cut fabric using the same technique.

Smaller print designs work really well and I'm using a 5" square which will give me (8) 2-1/2" high triangles.  You can use any size square to suit the height of your card and here's the maths to calculate your triangle sizes:

the height of the triangle will be half the size of the square:
10" square = (8) 5" high triangles
6" square = (8) 3" high triangles
4" square = (8) 2" high triangles.

NB: this cutting technique doesn't work well for directional fabrics - if you want to use a directional fabric or a particular part of a fabric design then I suggest making a template from clear plastic and fussy cutting each triangle individually.  

How To Cut 8 Equilateral Fabric Triangles From A Square
How To Cut 8 Equilateral Fabric Triangles From A Square

A 'No-Sew' Fabric Christmas Card:
Play around with layout designs on your card then glue in place with a water based glue stick - I love Elmer's Disappearing purple as I can see exactly where I've applied the glue and then it 'disappears' :D

Handmade Fabric and Selvedge Cards

Setting Card Glue and Flattening A Warped Card

So the fabric's in place - what next?
Well, you can keep things really simple and leave your cards just as they are or you can start to embellish your work.

No sewing involved I've glued a 'jewel' to the top of each triangle...  

Handmade Fabric and Selvedge Cards

and here I've glued sequins.

Handmade Fabric and Selvedge Cards

How To Sew A Fabric Card
On the card below, I've scribble stitched around the triangles using my free motion foot but you can just as easily use a straight stitch and pivot at the triangle corners.  

Handmade Fabric and Selvedge Cards

As I start and end sewing I create a machine knot then snip my threads away against the card surface.  Your machine may have a machine knot function - mine does, but it likes to take a stitch forward before creating the knot, here's how to create an 'On The Spot' machine knot without using this function.

Sewing An On The Spot Machine Knot

If you have a straight stitch only machine you can turn the straight stitch length to 0 to create this knot.

Handmade Fabric and Selvedge Cards

If you've used a large card and have a small sewing machine harp/throat take care not to damage your card against the machine when stitching your fabric in place - free motion stitching eliminates this potential problem totally.

Never sewn paper or card before?  It's super easy - just like sewing fabric but here are my tips to make keep life simple:

Tips For Sewing Through Paper And Card

This is how the inside of the card will look after sewing.

Handmade Fabric and Selvedge Cards

I'm happy to leave my cards looking like this but you may want to glue a piece of paper over the inside card front to cover the stitches.

Making A Selvedge Fabric Card
I've shared how I make selvedge fabric with you before - you'll find my tute here:

How To Make Selvage/Selvedge Fabric

This time, I'm using all Christmas fabric selvedges and some red and green selvedges too and I've used a piece of muslin as my foundation rather than batting to reduce the thickness.

How To Make Selvage/Selvedge Fabric How To Make Selvage/Selvedge Fabric

I've trimmed my finished selvedge fabric square down to 8" so I'll be able to make (*) 4" high isosceles triangles using the technique I shared above.

How To Make Selvage/Selvedge Fabric How To Make Selvage/Selvedge Fabric
How To Make Selvage/Selvedge Fabric

I glued a triangle to the centre of one of my white cards which have a framed outer section.
I free motion scribble-stitched the triangle to the card and added a sewn trunk to the tree.

Handmade Fabric and Selvedge Cards Handmade Fabric and Selvedge Cards

This is a 'no-sew' version of the same card with a glued silver star.

Handmade Fabric and Selvedge Cards

Be careful not to make the same mistake I did on this card - I'll think this one will have to go to a left-handed friend, the opening is on the wrong side!!!

 Handmade Fabric and Selvedge Cards

A final version is half fabric and half stitching using a scrap section left over when cutting the 8 triangles from the selvedge fabric square.

Handmade Fabric and Selvedge Cards

Adding A Paper Insert
I’ve created paper inserts for my cards by printing holiday phrases onto white standard printer paper and using Free Style font to create text.  For the 5-1/2" x 4" (140 mm x 100 mm) my paper insert is 5" x 7-1/4" (127 mm x 184 mm) folded in half.

How To Make A Card Insert

I ran a line of glue stick down the fold line on the reverse of the text side - you can just about see the purple line of glue down the left side of the white paper below -

How To Make A Card Insert

and pressed the paper insert and card fold lines together.

How To Make A Card Insert

Handmade Fabric and Selvedge Cards Handmade Fabric and Selvedge Cards

  Today I shared the simplest fabric card technique possible with you so you can see how quick and easy this can be.  Obviously, there are many ways you can take this technique and develop it further to create stunning individual cards that no-one will want to throw away when Christmas is over!

Handmade Fabric and Selvedge Cards

Tips For Developing Your Ideas

So now you know 
How To Make Selvedge & Fabric Christmas Cards
Isn't it easy?!  Will you be making your own Christmas and Holiday cards this year?


Handmade Fabric and Selvedge Cards

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Disclaimer: 
This post is for informational purposes only, no payment or commission is received on click-throughs to links shared.

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31 comments:

  1. Hi, I hopped to you from Sarah, and these cards are a super way to give a handmade gift as a card. Lots of time to get the technique perfected before the Christmas season arrives.Love your additions , they make the cards so special.

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  2. Comment #2, I forgot to write... that your header photo, with a quilt in front, superb, one set of colours echoing the others , the way you draped your quilt, and the background for your photo shoot.

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  3. Thank you for the Christmas card ideas & tips-I especially liked the selvages one-very nice!

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  4. I love making handmade cards for the holidays or for everyday notes and greetings. You've shared so many great tips, thank you!

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  5. These cards are too adorable!! Thank you for putting this all together for us! And thanks for the inspiration, I will be making cards this Christmas.

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  6. Thanks for the great tutorial! I didn't know that Michael's has the blank cards.

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  7. I love this idea! Thanks for sharing with us!

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  8. Thanks for the wonderful tutorial! I have been making cards with my scrap fabrics for a while, and this has given me some great new ideas!!!

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  9. HI,neat tutorial>love these cards! Thanks for sharing!
    msstitcher1214@gmail.com

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  10. Sewn cards look so effective, don't they, and I find the recipients always love them. I especially like the selvedge Christmas cards - great way to use up my selvedge stash. You've just solved a puzzle for me - Elmers glue is just plain old PVA glue.

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  11. These cards are a great idea Chris and I'm sure people receiving them enjoy them immensely. Nice to join you on the Hop!
    Marsha @QuilterinMotion

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  12. What an absolutely well thought out, complete and detailed tutorial. Although I don't see myself ever having enough fabric selvages to attempt this, I love your results.

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  13. Terrific ideas, so pretty and so simple. Thank you for sharing!

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  14. I love the simplicity of the design. Great.

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  15. Love stitched cards and those trees look so good

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  16. Love your card ideas! Going to try them out!mumbird3(at)gmail(dot)com

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  17. It's far too early to think about Christmas, but they look very stylish

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  18. Hi Chrissie, Indeed I'll be making my Christmas cards thanks to ALL of your tried and true methodologies. Love the selvage edge in particular. Thanks for sharing in the 12 Days of Christmas in July.

    schimmel(dot)db(at)gmail(dot)com

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  19. I like all of your tips and ideas. I am going to try this. One question: Where did you get your window cards?

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    1. Thanks Susan, I got them at The Range in England but they're available in many stores and online worldwide - they're called Aperture Cards :D

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  20. These are great Chris, I love how many uses you find for those fabric selvedges :)

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  21. Fantastic tutorial! I have got to get some cards and try these!

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  22. This is such a great detailed tutorial. Thanks for sharing all this great information.

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  23. This is one heck of a tutorial, Chrissie! So many handy problem-solving tips. Thanks for linking up with TGIFF @ A Quarter Inch from the Edge!

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  24. THis is a super handy tutorial - I have the perfect Christmas fabric scraps to use, too. Thanks for linking at TGIFF.

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  25. I love these! And impressed at how prepared you're going to be come Christmastime, lol!

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  26. These are so effective. We have loads of left behind items here, I might use use them to make fabric cards like this with the children here for our Christmas crafts. #TheRealCraftyLinkParty.

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  27. Those area really cute, and a great way to use fabric leftovers! Thank you for sharing at The Really Crafty Link Party this week!

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  28. Hi there
    Just stopped by to let you know that I featured this on my Saturday Spotlight post this week!
    Saturday Spotlight2
    Thanks again for linking up! Hope you have a great weekend!
    Jill @ Creating my way to Success

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  29. This is the perfect time to get started on Christmas cards (and tags!) - these are adorable :) This would be a great project to work on with some sewy friends ... of course with a side order of dessert and wine ;)

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  30. Wow, Chris! Lots of useful information here! Great to know how to stop my fabric fraying ..... and useful idea about changing the needle when stitching through card .... I rarely change my needle .... will now change my ways!
    Fantastic tutorial on making cards ... and I like Sandra's idea .... of adding the side order of dessert and wine, and stitching with friends!!! How enjoyable!
    I've enjoyed my visit and will be back again. Thank you for all the great ideas!
    Barbara x

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Chris Dodsley