Easy Handmade Cards with Collage and Stitch

My husband has six siblings, all with families, and they have finally decided it is time to stop exchanging gifts among the adults.

handmade cards by jeanelle mccall
Handmade card by Jeanelle McCall.

At first I thought, “Phew!” But then I got to thinking how much each person means to me, and how I would like to acknowledge that relationship in a special–but easy and not terribly time-consuming–way.

So I reached into my archives of ideas for handmade cards and out popped this little gem by Jeanelle McCall. It’s from the 2009/2010 issue of Quilting Arts Gifts, but definitely has a mixed-media collage bent.  You can make the focal pieces from scratch, but to save time, try using leftover screen prints, stamped fabric backgrounds, cut up pieces of paintings, squares of needle-felting projects, or even recycled holiday cards.

Holiday Gift Cards


  • Cardstock 6 ¼” x 9″, scored and folded in half
  • Focal images
  • Assorted fabric scraps, handmade paper, cut-up pieces of quilting experiments, paper embellishments, etc.
  • Sewing machine and thread
  • Optional: gel medium


handmade cards by jeanelle mccall
An easy way to make the focal images for these
handmade cards is to stamp or screenprint an
image over pre-made backgrounds.

1. Cut 3½” x 3″ scraps of fabric or handmade paper to use as the bases on which you’ll build your fiber or paper collages.

2. To build a collage, select an interesting assortment of fabric and/or paper card embellishments and sew these pieces to the base.

3. Open the folded cardstock. Place the collage on the card “front” and sew the top edge of the collage to the cardstock. Alternatively, you could glue the collage to the card with gel medium.

4. Sign your name and add the date under the collage.

Now you have a beautiful holiday (birthday, anniversary, etc.) card to send, and it is also a gift that can be framed.

Even though I’m not a quilter, I do love fabric and often source Quilting Arts for projects and techniques. Art quilters like to mix it up as much as mixed-media artists do, with paint, printing, paper quilting, embellishments, and more. Try out a subscription of Quilting Arts Magazine and see what good ideas you’ve been missing.

P.S. Do you have a fabric stash? Tell me why you love to collect fabric or mix it with paper art.


Blog, Collage, Mixed-Media Techniques


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