“You can’t use up creativity. The more you use, the more you have.”
– Maya Angelou
The first week of December is almost over! How time flies during this holiday season, especially when you still have some gift wrapping to finish (like me ;)). Worry not, EndlessPens and I would like to propose a creative activity that you can do not just for Christmas.
So, put your Santa’s Little Helper cap on along with your friends and family — and make it a crafting date making your own gift cards!
Let me explain —
First, it is cheaper.
If you already have usable tools and materials on-hand such as fountain pen, inks, and paper, you are basically ready to go! Take stock of what you presently have, select your favorites, and gather them in your working area. Plus, this is a productive reason to lighten your hoard, erm, collection (yes, this applies to me too ;P). Personally, I would rather make some than wade through the last-minute shopping crowds in the stores.
Second, it is a fun activity.
Creating something on your own — and even better with loved ones — makes for a wonderful atmosphere that tickles the brain and warms the heart. It allows you to dip into your creative well and/or bond with others through a shared endeavor. Make it a crafting day with snacks and drinks to get those imaginative juices flowing!
Third, it is personal.
I think this is the most meaningful for both giver and recipient. For you as the giver, there is your own effort and care that are harnessed into making. For the recipient, there is a heartfelt charm when accepting something made by hand. That connection of intention is felt, even through a seemingly simple creation as a gift card. Unless you work with total machine-like precision and uniformity, each gift card you create will be unique to each person — and therefore more special.
How To Start?
All fired up and eager to give it a try? Before you begin, a little inspiration can be helpful. Take a few moments looking at samples across the internet, just to get a feel of what you would like to go for. Do not be daunted by how perfect almost all of them seem. Keep in mind that you are doing you, and that is what makes it more significant to that special someone who will receive it.
Here are some other tips that can help —
Know your skills and strengths.
If you have lovely handwriting, well and good. If you are familiar with calligraphy, even better. Harness that penmanship or decorative handwriting to make your gift cards more ornate or distinctive. If you have time and energy, this can also be an appropriate time to learn. Do not despair if you feel like your handwriting is not up to snuff — it is what makes your creation uniquely yours!
If you are more comfortable with doodling or sketching, make a tiny one the focus of your gift card. If swatching and ink blots are more your thing, then use those as decorative elements in your card. The possibilities are bound only by your imagination!
Tailor your gift card to your recipient.
Here is some next-level stuff — add an element that resonates with that particular person — and include that in your card. Ask yourself — What is their favorite color? Do they like flowers or leaves? What patterns do they like on their things? Do they like cats or dogs? Any favorite authors or quotes? This requires you to know a bit more about that particular person — but if you do, you can include that to make their card even more memorable.
Make use of what you have.
Crafting your own gift cards focuses on the experience of letting your creativity flow. There is also that added challenge of making what materials and tools you already possess go together. For example — without cardstock, fountain pen-friendly paper can be folded into a tiny letter and affixed to your gift. Fountain pen inks can be used with paint brushes or cotton swabs to create ink washes or swathes of rich color. And do not forget your shimmering inks! This is also the perfect time to play with those fountain pens with flex nibs.
Let’s Get Cracking!
Making your own gift cards is creating joy. Allowing yourself to explore your crafty, imaginative side can be a fulfilling process in itself. Add to this that heartwarming feeling experienced by your loved one, when they receive a handmade Christmas message made especially for them.
It is likewise an enjoyable way of using your favorite fountain pens and inks in the spirit of the season.
If you would like additional pointers about making your own gift cards, please check out this article for Handmade Gift Tags using Fountain Pens additional details.
I hope you have fun! Happy Creating!
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Written by @lekzumali
Check out her musings on Instagram!