The splendid Meredith at Merchant Ships recently wrote about Christmas gifts and budgeting. I love her blog, because she combines a frugal mindset and simple elegance with beautiful results. She expressed that while handmade gifts can indeed be frugal they don’t do anyone any good if they go unused in the person’s closet. I couldn’t agree more. While I love making homemade gifts it is important that you make items that speak to the person you are giving them to. No point giving someone who lives in Florida a hand knit scarf for example. It may be beautiful, but it won’t get worn.
Now I’m not going to pretend that stamping is a frugal hobby. I’m sure many that preach the frugal lifestyle would be horrified by my stamp collection, ink pads, and countless designer papers. But, for those that have already been bitten with the stamping bug a hand crafted gift card set can make a wonderful and frugal gift for someone you know that loves to send out cards. I actually made card sets for both of my grandma’s for Mothers’ Day last year, because they are always in need of cards, but aren’t always able to run to the store to get them.
Now, how do you make a frugal card set? You don’t do it by opening the stamping catalog and picking out paper, ink, and stamps just for that one project. That is a great way to start a stamping collection and build up supply, but it isn’t a way to stay on budget during the Christmas season. Instead, look at the stamp sets you already have, and pick out one that would make a nice elegant blank note card. Then look through your cardstock, and find a color that will work with the stamp set and you have five 8 1/2 x 11 sheets of (or mix up colors for more variety). You can make two cards with each of those sheets. Finally look through your ink pads, and select a few colors to stamp with.
Here is a simple note card I made.
Stamps- All I Have Seen
Ink- Certainly Celery, Lavender Lace, Basic Black
Paper- Certainly Celery, Confetti Cream
(all images © Stampin’ Up)
So what’s the total price of each card? Well, since I used cardstock I already owned and scraps from other projects for the confetti cream the cost of the paper was only twenty-five cents per page for a total of $1.25 for ten cards. I already had the ink pads, and have already used these pads for a year without a need to reink so I didn’t include that into the cost of the cards. I used our SNAIL adhesive to put the confetti cream onto the card, but you could also use a glue stick you already own. Include another dollar or so for ten envelopes and some extra ribbon from decorating, and you have a very personal and beautiful gift for under three dollars.
Be warned: Stamping is very addictive. I love it, but if you get started you will most likely find out about all the fun of glitter, brads, buttons, pretty flowers, and other things to add to your cards. They are beautiful, and add to the hand crafted feel of a card, but they also make the frugal gift card set a little less frugal 😉 Of course, you could be really frugal and earn those items for free by hostessing a party with a Stampin Up demonstator.