Some of you may not know that I (Cord) make candles every Christmas for my friends and family. Maybe someday I'll share a tutorial! At any rate, I make my own labels for the candle jars, which are all saved and repurposed jars I collect throughout the year.
Similarly, I (Maddie) design a Christmas card each year to send out to friends and family. I write a message, select a few photos, create a layout, and then send the card off for printing. Then I design envelopes and print those myself.
Both of us prefer to print custom-designed tags at home, and attach those to our gifts. Because of these little traditions, we wanted to share some simple methods we use to do this ourselves. We find the DIY part of it satisfying and cost-effective, plus the finished product is just a little more personal.
- Color Printer We each have this color printer at home and get ink on amazon.
- Cardstock As the name suggests, this slightly heavier paper is perfect for cards, tags and labels.
- Scissors and Twine This caddy is super useful and attractive. You'll need to cut tags out, and attach them. This kit has all you need to do both.
- Hole Punch
- Something Personal - For the candle labels, Cord and Cale use their last name, and the year (this is their third year making candles, so it's Gathered & Poured: McClintock No. 3).
- Something Handwritten - While we are talking about printed pieces, it's nice to add a written component, even if it's just your signature, or a short message.
- Something Original - This can be an illustration, photo, or message, but it should be from you and only you.
- Something Borrowed - Like free printables from your favorite artist, or little icons from Noun Project.
- Font - We love using a serif typeface around the holidays, because it looks so classic. That's not to say a clean sans-serif can't work. If you want a more current, slick feel, that's perfect!
A few of our favorite CLASSIC fonts are: Adobe Caslon, Georgia and Baskerville
A few of our favorite CURRENT fonts are: Myriad Pro, Trade Gothic, and Lane.
- Image - For photo holiday cards, choose a photo with some negative space, an area of the photo without faces or any element, like a wall or window. This is the perfect area to put text.
- Embellishment - For tags, labels, or cards, a simple thin line can be a nice border, a clean way to separate information, or just a nice added something. Keep it simple, make the most important thing the largest (like the name or main message), and try images in black and white. Remember, newspapers and books were printed without color in serif typeface first, so that will always be classic.
- Pages - Finally, we like to use the back! Sometimes a pretty tag is so gorgeous, so we write to and from on the back. The same with Christmas cards. We like to keep the front simple and leave the message writing on the back.