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Creativity 101

Posted by Marsha Holler on

Christmas Holidays are over, you've taken down all the decorations and you're looking at the stack of Christmas cards you've received. What to do? Throw them into the recycle bin? Save for . . . what? I've always had a hard time just discarding them. Each is a little piece of artwork, so I turn them into thank you cards. It's really a study in creativity; rethinking each into shapes and colors.

Here's a step be step approach to my method. It's also a great project to share with kids, friends; something to do on a cold January afternoon.

First, cut 8.5 x 11 card stock in half so you have two pieces 8.5 x 5.5. Then, fold in half so you have a 4.25 x 5.5 folded card. This will fit into "Invitation" size envelopes, easily available at Staples or other office supply stores. 

Figure out how many cards you'll need, then cut half that number of sheets of paper.

Next, gather your materials. In addition to that stack of cards, you'll need scissors, paper glue, scraps of paper, (recycle some wrapping paper!), crayons, markers, color pencils; I like to use only dry media like pencils or markers because paint curls the paper too much.

Clear a work space, big enough to spread out a bit and protect the table surface with a large piece of paper. Don't want to get glue or markers on your dining room table!

Then comes the creative part. I can only describe it as disengaging the logical brain. "See" shapes and colors. Don't think about it too much. Cut out shapes to fit the 4.25 x 5.5 space, either vertical or horizontal. before gluing, lay it out to make sure it works the way you visualize. If you are a perfectionist, this is a good exercise is keeping it loose!

Glue in layers, weight it down for a few minutes between layers, protecting your piece with a layer of scrap paper on top. I've glued many a page together in my big thick books before I figured this out!

This year I used only paper, but you can also embellish your cards with markers and colored pencils. I've even hand written "Thank You" across the fronts in years past.

When complete, you have uniquely special cards. So now, go write those thank you's!

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