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Cheap Cards at Staples
Christmas bargains competition
Member Name: assethound
Christmas bargains competition
Date: 24/12/00, updated on 26/12/00 (160 review reads)
Advantages: Cheaper than shop bought cards, with the personal touch
Strolling through town today, I popped into Clintons Cards, hoping to find out their opening hours for Christmas Eve. Apart from finding out nothing about their plans for tomorrow, I was horrified to see about forty people in the queue, all clutching bundles of Christmas cards.
This late in the day the cards they were buying had to be the kind you hand-deliver. I have been in card shops before, looking for cards for my immediate family, and this year I decided to come to my senses and make my own, like we did last year, when we made the family cards with my toddler. Shop bought cards are hideously expensive at this time of year - the year before last not one of the cards I bought for my family came in at under £2.00!
Where do you buy the materials?
Forget art shops - they are often too expensive and don't carry huge stocks of the kind of items you will need.
Staples is yer man. Any big stationary shop should supply all that you need to make your own cards, but I have always been able to find the ideal materials at a reasonable cost in Staples.
We drove to Staples, which is on a local retail park five minutes from town, and on the way home for us.
Inside I headed straight for the kids section. There I picked up four packs of A4 holographic card. It is white on one side, and comes in blue, silver, red, gold and green, with a mixture of colours in each pack. The cost - 99p for a pack of three pieces of card.
Racking my brains for an idea I wandered around - then it hit me!
I would make the cards look like Christmas pesents. This could be achieved using minimal effort and anyone could do it.
Next stop the pen aisle. I bought a medium metallic gold marker pen to write the greetings bit in the middle - but this was just an extra - you can just as easily do it without. The marker pen cost about £2.00.
Then I headed for the sticky-tape section, where I picked up a roll
of double-sided tape on a dispenser - so much easier than glue, and the dispenser makes it easy to use. The cost £1.79.
The finishing touches - a pack of 20 gift-tags, which cost 99p, and a pack of purple metallic gift ribbon, which also included 10 ribbon rosettes and 10 gift tags, which I didn't use, and which will go into the cupboard for next year. Cost £1.79.
Finally two packs of pearlescent white C5 envelopes at £2.69 each.
When I got home I measured the card across its longest side and then scored a line just under half the distance along on the white side of the card. I used a table knife to score along the line, and then folded the card in two, with the holographic side on the outside. It now resembled a greetings card.
Next I threaded one of the pieces of gold twine that came with the gift-tags through a gift tag, and tied a knot in it. I then stuck the gift tag together with a piece of double-sided sticky tape so that it could no longer be opened.
The next stage was to assemble the card - it is that simple!
First I pulled a piece of double-sided tape about 2 cm long off the dispenser, and then cut it so that I had two pieces about 3mm wide - a little narrower than my gift ribbon. I then cut a piece of ribbon a little bit wider than the card and stuck it down horizontally so that it was attached to the card by the two small pieces of tape, and had a long section in the middle that was not stuck down.
Next I threaded the gift-tag onto a piece of ribbon a little longer than the card, passed the ribbon underneath the ribbon already attached to the card, and stuck down each end to the top and bottom of the card. All that remained was to tuck the gift-tag under ribbon near the point where the two pieces crossed, and to stick the gift-tag down to the card with one last piece of double-sided tape.
I used the gold pen to write a greeting in the middle of the card, and wrote them o
ut, putting each one in a rather glamourous pearlescent envelope.
I made 12 cards in all.
The cost per card:
33p for the holographic card
5p for the gift-tag
10p (approx) for the double-sided tape and ribbon
27p for the envelope
This made a total cost per card of 75p - a massive saving on a shop-bought card, and definitely more personal.
For 12 cards I paid out £9.00, instead of the £20 or so I would have paid out if I had bought them from town, ready made.
It took me about an hour to make the cards, and Chas is already out delivering his share to his relatives as I write this.
We didn't have to queue in Staples, as everyone else was in town feverishly shopping, and we have the satisfaction of creating something that no-one else will have this Christmas.
You don't have to be particularly artistic to create a card like this - you just need an idea, and the simpler the better. Buying the materials and making your own cards works out a lot cheaper, and a lot less hassle than braving the crowds in town, and paying through the nose just because it is Christmas.
I returned to Staples on Christmas Eve to pick up a few bits and pieces, and ended up buying a great little laminator. It cost just over £30, and I plan to use it to make flash cards for my three year old daughter, who will be going to school part-time from September, and other educational toys, like snap, which will help her with reading and writing.
Staples is my favourite off-line shop - there is always something in there that can be used creatively.
Top of the list for next Christmas will be a binding machine - for making our own books.