What is it about the holidays that once mid-November arrives, we are just plain crazy busy?! For me, that also means hunkering down and getting all my handmade Christmas gifts done in time to either mail out or deliver. This year I also took on the extra task of creating this DIY angel Christmas card using my Cricut Explore Air 2 machine.
If you recall both my mother and my mother-in-law passed last year. That was when I really focused in on learning how to use my Cricut machine. I used it to create so many elements of my mothers service like this DIY Keepsake Funeral Memory Board. Their passing is also why I wanted to do an extra special Christmas card this year in their memory. My mother always loved angels and so that became the theme for this card.
This project had so many different parts to it that I’ll list each step in the design process along with some details. I’ll also run through the problems I encountered during some of the steps because this is an excellent project to show how no craft goes perfectly as planned. I went through numerous errors to get the final result so I’ll detail for you the good, the bad and the ugly.
The cards I used were blank cards in a 5.5″ x 8.5″ size. I had received these cards free with an order some time ago and after all the cards were written in, I realized I didn’t have envelopes for any of them. So dealing with the envelope issue would have to be put to the bottom of the list. I was on a time crunch now to get these cards done, assembled and in the mail –before Christmas!
Before we even dive into the details. Let’s take a look at ‘the ugly’: dust on my Cricut Explore Air 2 machine!
01. Use Cricut to Write In Card
Writing in the card using my Cricut seemed like a much easier idea than handwriting out each card. My goal was to write a personal message on the inside-left of the card and then a holiday greeting on the inside-right. This meant I had to set it up in Design Space to do both sides and get the print centered. This step was definitely a learning curve.
Let me be up front on this step; the final cards….the wording was not perfectly centered on either side. But sometimes good enough is well, good enough. In all, I only waste two cards before accepting this imperfectly centered writing.
I used what supplies I had on hand which meant the pen I used was a black .4 Cricut pen which is what I think came with my machine (years ago!). I thought the writing was a bit heavy but (1) I didn’t have any other size pen and (2) I didn’t even realize until recently that there were different size pens.
02. Emboss Scrapbook Paper
For this project I wanted to try and incorporate the colors that each mother liked. One liked blue, the other liked pink. I decided to use blue for the snowflake embossed paper which was put on the front of the card (pink is shown above as an example).
I cut down squares of blue paper to 3.75″ x 5.25″ and used my Cricut Cuttlebug to emboss each square with a snowflake pattern. This step was by far the 2nd easiest of this whole project!
I then used double sided tape to adhere the embossed paper to the card. The reason I used tape was because I feared with the embossing that a glue wouldn’t grab to the card good enough; and I wanted to be sure this paper didn’t move since every other element was going to be attached to it.
03. Cut Silver Angel Wings
The next challenge was to get the angel wing die cuts in a shape that was close to what I had envisioned for this card. I ordered some die cuts online (shown above) but they never arrived until after the cards were already mailed out. Which ended up being okay because they were all completely too small for this project (so glad I didn’t wait for them any longer!).
My first attempt at using Cricut to get angel wing die cuts didn’t yield usable die cut wings. I wanted to create a 3-D affect by layering two different size wings (representing one for each mother). On the first attempt (shown above on upper left side) the image was cutting out all the “feathers” for each layer. This just made the die cut unstable for creating a 3-D look.
The next set of wings I tried looked great on screen but when they cut out it just looked like a giant heart (shown above on upper right side). The angel wings I ended up using came from an Etsy shop and I think they worked perfectly.
Prior to finding the wings I wanted to actually use, I had already cut down the fine silver glitter paper (Michaels) into smaller squares. Little did I know this actually made my job harder because I had to keep taking the mat out, removing the cut pieces and putting a new piece of paper back on for the next cut. The final size of the silver wings were 3.509″ x 2.592″.
04. Cut White Angel Wings
To keep things easy at this point of the project I just used the same cut file for the white wings. I used a textured piece of 12 x 12 scrapbook paper and sized the wings to 2.69″ x 1.987″.
My first go ’round with this cut ended up cutting into my mat. This was not cool.
I didn’t realize until almost the 3rd time trying to cut these white wings out that I could move around the images on the “Make It” screen so that I could get as many wings as possible cut in one sweep -and on the same piece of big paper. Lesson learned.
05. Create Tiny Hearts For Dangle
By far, this was the easiest step (next to #2 above). All it took was a simple small heart paper punch and the scraps of silver glitter paper. I cut out two hearts for each card, then used glue to place a small piece of white embroidery thread between them. Press together and viola’ -done.
When it came time for assembly, I made a few wrap arounds of the thread onto the center of the white angel wings. Then it was just a matter of adhering the white wings over the top of the silver wings using double sided tape.
When creating a large or very detailed project, I always pull out my Happy Planner project sheets to keep me organized. Once the project is complete, I archive it into my projects binder. Want to see my craft and home project Happy Planner notebook? Drop a comment below.
06. Cut Silver Message Tag
Back to my Cricut Explore Air 2, I used their free shape to create the silver glitter message “tag” that measured 2.5″ x .728″. I then used double sided tape to adhere this to the embossed paper.
07. Write and Cut White Message Tag
I used the same shape as in #6 above and just decreased the size to 2.1″ x .611″ and used the Cricut gemstone blue pen in .4 to write out “warm wishes”. To keep things uniform, I used the same font as inside the card. Once it was cut out, I used double sided tape to stick this down to the silver glitter tag.
I really do love the double sided tape because I can put it precisely where I need it and it’ll stick to most mediums.
When I was originally thinking about this tag area and the colors I wanted to incorporate, I was going to do the writing in a pink color but it just didn’t look right. Keeping the cover to all blue just looked more uniform to me.
08. Add a White Bow
The final step that completes this card was to simply add a small white bow to the top of the angel wings and this project was complete.
09. Find or Create Envelopes
Luckily while out Christmas shopping with my daughter, we found envelopes that were the perfect size. This was really helpful and allowed me to get our Christmas cards in the mail -just 2 weeks before Christmas.
It felt sooo good to get these DIY Christmas cards done and in the mail! Now on to my next holiday project.
If you are inspired to create a DIY card using Cricut don’t forget to share by tagging me on Instagram and using #btdinspired, I’d love to see your work (and I just might repost your photo)!
I would love it if you subscribe to the newsletter at the top of the page in order to receive emails of all the latest blog posts and get the first scoop about any digital printables and freebies.