DIY Christmas from Simple Stories

Good morning everyone!
It’s Nat here back to share another round of Christmas cards in the run up to December.
It’s never too late to get your Christmas card groove on, in fact I tend to get much more “in the zone” come November thanks to Christmas being around you everywhere you look –  beautifully decorated shop windows, Christmas music and ads, the Starbucks red cups, and well the realisation that “Aggghhh! It’s December next month!”.
So with that last thought in mind I wanted to share some products and ideas that can help you get the most out of any crafting time you still have available right now.
The DIY Christmas line from Simple Stories is totally designed to help you create a handmade Christmas – whether journals, gift albums, decorations, gift wrapping and tags – there are lots of fab items that you can use especially on your Christmas cards.
The colours are totally on-trend for that handmade look too – classic red, green and black.
Simple Stories - DIY Christmas
Here are the items I picked out to use:

So to get started I took everything out of its packaging, cleared a space near my desk and laid everything out so I could quickly see what I had. I then went through the die-cut card layers pack and grouped all the items by shape into little piles – so a pile of banner elements, a pile of circular elements, and so on. Armed with a stack of card blanks I got to work!
All the papers used on these cards are from the 12×12 pack. I absolutely love the bold designs in this collection – it’s why I chose the bigger patterns of the 12×12 paper pack over the 6×6 pad.
You could very easily take a production-line approach to your cards using just the die-cut card layers and papers in this collection – keeping the design of your cards basically the same, but I wanted to show you some different looks mixing up the various elements.
This first card features something from all four products: paper, die-cuts, chipboard, and enamel dots.
Simple Stories DIY Christmas - 'Tis the Season
Using a frame die you can easily create focal points on your cards and little scenes like this one. I punched a hole in the chipboard bauble with my Crop-a-dile and used twine to hang the bauble on the tree branch I die cut.
Simple Stories DIY Christmas - 'Tis the Season - detail
At the bottom of the frame I layered up the die-cuts from the pack and added a couple of contrasting enamel dots to make the greeting pop out.
While I still had my frame die out, I created another little scene (yep, I’m a real fan of scenes on Christmas cards!) – I had plans for that cute little chipboard Christmas tree and the spotty black paper makes for an ideal night sky:
Simple Stories DIY Christmas - Christmas tree scene
And the chipboard greeting banner fit perfectly as a little hill for the tree to sit on.
Simple Stories DIY Christmas - Christmas tree scene - detail
As always I used 3D foam tape to make the frame and tree pop out.
And speaking of 3D foam tape (my partner in crime for cardmaking!), it was time for another aperture frame card. The circular greetings in the card layers pack can be showed off in a few ways – this one puts the greeting front and center as the focal point on your card:
Simple Stories DIY Christmas - Happy Holidays
To frame the greeting I die cut a circle in the front of the card that was just the right size for a gardland die I have in my collection – by using 3D foam tape under the front panel of the card and the circular greeting it just lifts everything and makes it more striking:
Simple Stories DIY Christmas - Happy Holidays - detail
Four identical enamel dots in each corner looked a bit boring, so in the bottom right corner I layered up some of the little elements from the die-cut and chipboard packs and added a contrasting enamel dot to bring it all together.
There was another circular greeting in the die-cut pack I really wanted to use. I think these circular greetings would also look great used as the centre of rosettes or snowflakes or both together like this snowflake rosette:
Simple Stories DIY Christmas - Snowflake rosette
I just loved that black chevron paper and wanted to use it in its full glory. I mounted it on my card blank so that it was more or less centered with the pointy bit going right down the middle of the front. The “ribbons” on the rosette are just a  couple of wavy banner elements from the die-cut layer.
Simple Stories DIY Christmas - Snowflake rosette - detail
I curled the ends and sides around a pencil to shape them a little before sticking them down. Where the enamel dots are I placed a little 3D foam tape under the die-cuts just to lift them at the ends. I love how you can use these die-cut elements to dress up rosettes and things.
Speaking of the die-cut layers – they’re also great used together to create even more layering:
Simple Stories DIY Christmas - We wish you a merry ChristmasHere I used a scallop strip, a fishtail strip, a double-ended banner strip, a circular die-cut and the label greeting all together – just imagine how you can combine all these shapes and patterns on your cards and gift tags.
Simple Stories DIY Christmas - We wish you a merry Christmas - detail
I also layered up a couple of chipboard hearts to accent the greeting and finished the card off with some contrasting enamel dots.
Finally I wanted to go all out with a big statement piece – this is actually a 5×7 card so you have an idea of the size.
Simple Stories DIY Christmas - Merry ChristmasI used some flower dies to cut a huuuge poinsettia from the spotty red paper in the pack, plus with those deep green leaves it looks fab against the darker papers in this line. I used a pencil to curl and shape the petals and leaves and at the centre of the poinsettia I added one of the chipboard elements.
Simple Stories DIY Christmas - Merry Christmas - detail
And again the fishtail greeting is layered up with another of the die-cut heart elements and enamel dots. Like the leaves and petals of the poinsettia I curled the end of the fishtail element up as well for a bit of lift.
So those are just a handful of ideas for creating different looks with this collection.
There are something like 40 greetings in the card layers pack, so even if I don’t use them all on cards I am definitely going to be making Christmas tags from them and the smaller paper scraps that I have left-over after these card projects. Just imagine how nice they’ll look with red or green or even black striped baker’s twine on those presents under the tree.
Happy Christmas crafting until next time!

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