Making Cutout Cards

Every year, we make cutout cards for our family members for Christmas. Also known as collage cards, these are homemade cards, personalized for each recipient. I thought you might want to venture into this unique form of art, invented (as far as we know) by my Aunt Peg in the 1980s.

Here’s how. First, gather your materials. You’ll need a variety of old magazines and catalogs, sharp scissors, glue sticks, construction paper, and envelopes in which to store the cutouts.

Next, go through the magazines and cut out pictures of things the recipient enjoys: foods, hobbies, flowers, animals, quotes, phrases, cartoons, travel destinations, art, etc. You can also cut out holiday pictures and greetings for the front of each card. Try not to make the pictures too big. Put on the holiday music and sip some hot chocolate as you page through the magazines. It’s OK to stop and read interesting articles, too. Note: while you’re trimming each picture, be sure to capture and recycle all the little “scrids” of paper you trim off, or you’ll find them all over your house.

Design a layout of the pictures and words, gluing them to the construction paper. You might want to group them in mini-themes, such as foods, hobbies, etc. We use the front cover of the card to display holiday wishes, like “Merry Christmas, Mom,” and seasonal pictures. If you can’t find the person’s name in a magazine, you can cut out individual letters in varying fonts.

After your first session of gluing, you’ll likely have gaps between pictures. Now you’ll go back through your stack of magazines (get friends to save them for you, so you always have fresh material) and fill in the holes. While thinking of the person, search for the right pictures for the spaces you have, then glue them in the appropriate spots.

When the card is full and looking lovely, you’re done! This process will take time, but it’s a lot of fun! If you have several cards to make, set up envelopes with each person’s name, so as you go through the first “cutting out” phase, you can save pictures for all of them. We keep separate envelopes for “holiday pictures” and “holiday words.” For me, this is like “art therapy.” It’s a fun process and creates a very special card tailored to each of your loved ones. Trust me, people will save these and cherish them for years to come!


Making Cutout Cards — 3 Comments

  1. I really like this idea! I hate throwing away magazines (I have just started making homemade paper so I can now use old magazines for that), but I love the idea of turning the old magazines into new art!

    Thanks for all the great ideas.

  2. You’re welcome, Tina! I hope you’ll try it, it’s really such a fun project. You can also do collages, vision boards, and other fun things with magazine cutouts. :)

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