Organizing Holiday Cards: Christmas Card Book

Holiday Card Storage Book

Every year as I take down my holiday decorations, I take down the display of Christmas Cards, put them in a pile, and want to DO something with them. I love getting Christmas Cards each year (and I love sending them out, too), but after the season is over, I have no way to store them… until now! Several years ago I saw a similar idea to bind Christmas Cards into a book that can be enjoyed for years… and thanks to the inspiration brought on by this week of cleaning and organizing that I’m hosting with Angie from The Country Chic Cottage and Gina from the Shabby Creek Cottage, I have my First Annual* Christmas Card Book!

Holiday Cards

chipboard book coversTo make your own Christmas Card Book you need:
Chipboard Covers (with rings)
Mod Podge Hard Coat
Washi Tape (optional)
Scissors
Paintbrush
Hole Punch
Pen or Pencil
Ribbons (optional)
All your Holiday cards from this year
The Card you sent out this year
Your holiday letter (optional) shrunk down to size

I started by Mod Podging my card to the front cover. It was a little bigger than the cover size I chose. I could always go with a bigger cover, but I liked this size. After Mod Podging the card on, I just trimmed off the excess.

Mod Podge onto Chipboard

I had some of the chipboard showing over on the side where the holes were. I could have just left that part plain, but it felt… well… too plain. So I covered it up with some Washi Tape. Then I put Mod Podge over the washi tape to really secure it – Washi Tape has a habit of becoming un-stuck over time, and I want this book to really last.

Washi Tape and Mod Podge

I used the back cover as a template to mark where the holes needed to go on the cards.

Use cover as template

Then punched holes in the cards. I had fun with this part. I knew some of the cards were going to stick out – so I embraced it. I let cards stick out on the top, bottom, and right. Not all the cards are perfectly centered. I think it adds to the fun.

punch holes in card

I always think it is a shame that I don’t store a copy of our holiday letter somewhere. Sure, I could look it up on the computer, but what fun is that? I shrunk down our holiday letter to 60% so that it would fit on the back cover, then Mod Podged it in place. I used Mod Podge Hard Coat because I find it dries less tacky, and that will keep it from sticking to the cards as it goes into storage for the next 11 months or so.

Christmas Letter shrunk down

Once my covers were dry, I put it all together. For a little extra flair, I tied ribbons to the rings.

Store and Organize Christmas Cards in a cute book

I’m looking forward to keeping up this tradition each year, creating volumes of Christmas Cards from all of our family and friends that we can look back at.

 

*Yes, I know “First Annual” isn’t an actual “thing”. But I’m ok with that.

Organizing 2014: Simple Expense Sheet

Happy New Year! I’m ringing in the New Year with something super thrilling – expenses. Okay, maybe not super thrilling, but very much needed. Last year, I had little slips of paper spilling out of my wallet, my purse, glovebox… all over the place! I decided to fix this problem for 2014, and while I’m at it I thought I’d share my solution with you. Because all this week Angie from The Country Chic Cottage, Gina from The Shabby Creek Cottage and I are sharing cleaning and organizing tips!

Simple Expense Sheet

The expense sheet is super simple to use. Just tape it to the front of a 9×12 envelope. Tuck the Envelope in your purse. Each receipt gets recorded on the front, then tucked in the envelope. I can quickly enter all the receipts for a month, trip, or other time period into my bookkeeping software, and all my little slips of paper stay put!

If you want to print off your own simple expense sheet, you can find it here.

Come back tomorrow for another great tip to make 2014 your most organized year yet… I promise it’ll be a whole lot more fun than this one!

Organizing 2014: A Thoughtful Kit

About 4 years before I had my first kiddo, a co-worker told me that I was going to be a great mom. She had three little boys, and judged my mom-ness on my ability to focus on the details – baking Halloween cookies from scratch (and frosting them with scratch-made frosting), sending out cards and notes for special occasions big and small, and always wearing a clean shirt. As she said it I remember thinking that I had time for all of these things because I wasn’t a mom. And I was right. Although I get the clean-shirt thing down most days, I don’t have the time to do all the little things I used to. And I want to fix that. This Thoughtful Kit is one step towards a more organized 2014. And since I’m getting together with Angie from The Country Chic Cottage and Gina from The Shabby Creek Cottage this week to share cleaning and organizing tips, I thought I’d share this with you today.

Make a Thoughtful Kit

Before Facebook and Twitter, I actually sent out notes to people. Fun cards with a little note inside – nothing fancy, but always appreciated. Just because we have the electronic means to greet our friends doesn’t mean we have to forget the personal touches, right? This little bag has everything in it to whip out a quick note to a friend, celebrating a success, sharing a fun thought, or just because.

Here’s what goes into a Thoughtful Kit:

1. Some kind of folder or pouch to hold everything. Once filled, this will get tucked in the car so I can easily write a note while waiting at school to pick up the kiddo, or if the baby has fallen asleep on the way to the grocery store. Being organized will help me take advantage of these formerly lost moments.
2. Cards. I have a wide variety here, but the basics are Thank You notes, Birthday Cards, and cards that are blank inside.
3. Pens. Because you never have one handy when you need one.
4. Extra envelopes. Each of my cards has a corresponding envelope, but sometimes you find a magazine article that you want to tear out and mail, or find something at the store you want to send, or you want to mail off some photos (there is something awesome about printing off and mailing a photo versus texting it, don’t you think?).
5. Stamps. Because you can’t mail without them, and having them handy is key.
6. Address Book. If you have all your addresses saved in your phone, you can skip this part. I’m not that fancy. I keep an old-school address book. Actually, I have more than one. This mini one fits perfectly in my Thoughtful Kit.

TIP: Grab all the envelopes from the Christmas Cards you were sent, and double-check the return addresses for any updates so you can have an updated Address Book. If any of the cards you sent out come back returned, update the address in your address book right away so you never have to second-guess yourself when sending out a card!

7. Optional Stuff. I like to have fancy seals or stickers for sealing envelopes. If you use return address labels, tuck those in. Maybe you like sparkly pens or tucking a little confetti inside your cards… tuck that stuff all inside your Thoughtful Kit so you’ll have it ready to go!

What to put in a thoughtfulness kit

Now I’m organized and ready for a super-thoughtful 2014!

Oh, and in case you’re stuck for how to write a thank you note, I wrote a little post on how to write a thank you note that should help you out!