Hi everyone! Kim Ross here with a very important reminder: now is the time to get those Christmas cards started. Christmas is little more than five weeks away and you still need time to sign, address, and mail all your cards. And if they’re heading out to international or APO/FPO addresses, they need to be sent even sooner.

I created a few sparkly and speedy cards with the new Hero Arts Christmas rubber stamps and dies from their Handmade for Christmas Collection, using some of my very favorite products from Craft Warehouse.

First up, is Holly Jolly Christmas. I started with a tan panel attached to a dark brown card. The sentiment was stamped with Ranger Tim Holtz Distress Mini Ink Pad in Walnut Stain onto Paper Accents Toffee card stock. The holly was stamped with Ranger Jet Black Archival Ink on Paper Accents Leaf Green card stock. Then I very carefully cut out two of the leaves and attached them, slightly overlapping, onto the card.

My favorite thing about this stamp set is the versatility. Yes, it’s technically holly for Christmastime. But use your imagination. These leaves can be separated and used for any time of year. They can be red, orange and brown in the fall or a big, bold green in the summer.

Now it’s time for a little bling on the card. The Triveni Craft red 4mm gems are a great choice, especially when you’re making multiples. These are a great deal at only $2.99 for a whopping 560 gems! These are easy to use in a row, as these come already attached to one another in rows. However, it’s also very easy to snip then apart and use them individually.

Triveni Craft red 4mm gems

Speaking of bling, we see this versatile embellishment again on my next card, Merry & Bright. This card also features the Hero Arts Holly Jolly stamp set. I stamped the holly and the sentiment all at one time with the Tsukineko VersaMark watermark pad and then embossed it with American Crafts Zing! clear embossing powder. The Triveni Craft gems made great berries in little groups of three. I then mounted the Paper Accents Leaf Green card stock panel onto a card made from the Doodlebug Design holly-patterned card stock from their adorable “Santa Express” collection.

Hero Arts Christmas Cards

And one last sparkly card for today, Winter Sparkle. No gems this time for sparkle. This card uses American Crafts Zing! embossing powder in Silver Metallic Finish and Ranger Stickles glitter glue in Star Dust. The very precise Stickles applicator tip is perfect for small sparkly accents like the ones added to each snowflake on the Doodlebug Design patterned card stock from the Frosty Friends 6×6 Paper Pad. The sentiment and ornament are from the Hero Arts Winter Sparkle set and the matching ornament die is from the Hero Arts Ornaments Die-Cuts set.

Hero Arts Christmas Cards

Snowflake cards

Before we part, I wanted to leave you with some time-saving tips:

– Use your heat tool to dry ink. It’s faster than air-drying and reduces the chance of smears.
– When using a coordinating die to cut out a stamped image, stamp the image first and make sure the ink is dry. Then use small pieces of washi tape to place the die onto the image. Run through your Big Shot or other die-cut machine. The washi tape peels right off of the leftover paper and die, and doesn’t leave a mark!
– If your gem embellishments (bling) are packaged in a row but you only want single gems, cut or separate the gem before picking it up with your fingers or tweezers. Failing to separate it will result in the adhesive remaining on the plastic sheet and not on your gem.
– Especially when making multiples of a project, intricate cutting can get tedious (see card #1). The coordinating die is a great investment.
– Don’t feel like you have to make all your Christmas cards alone. Create an assembly line and allow the kids to help out on parts that are age-appropriate. If the kids are too busy playing outside, enlist a few friends and enjoy hot chocolate (carefully!) while you craft.

I wish the happiest and craftiest of holidays to you!