Hand-lettered Cards & Gifts for the Holidays 2015


*tinsel everywhere*


It's definitely a warm one this year. 70 Degrees on the East Coast in the end of December? That must be a record (UPDATE: it IS!)! 

Not that I'm not used to it. Growing up in the Philippines all my life, a warm Christmas is actually the norm for me. 

What *is* new for me this year is the idea of handlettering my cards and presents! I've always loved making cards and designing them, but never had the principles or the tools to make them shine even better. This year, I discovered handlettering, calligraphy and embossing, and I can't believe I didn't take any of them up sooner. 

Many moons ago (around September, because as a Filipino that's when I get into Christmas Mode), I bought a large pack of eggshell folding cards, envelopes and red envelopes from Paper Presentation. I happen to pass it as I was walking from the gym to the East Side and I suddenly knew what accidentally walking into Narnia felt like. 


Later that month I bought embossing powders from my favorite store on the planet, Paper Source; and ordered VersaMark brush pens (OMG YAS) and a heat tool off of Amazon.

I put together a my first set of embossed cards for my friends back home. I was sending them early to get ahead of the Christmas traffic. Very proud, I was!


SECRET SANTA TIP: Anything that is personalized seems instantly more thoughtful and sentimental, because it shows you really thought of that person and that this gift is only for them. 

I bought a couple of amazingly simple gold-lined notebooks from HAY in the MoMa Design Store (these are GORGEOUS AF). To add that touch of personalization, I added her name on the bottom right corner so that it wasn't too obnoxious. I also designed her card! 


My co-workers know me to give handmade gifts every year. For two years, my gifts were illustration-based. Up to this day, other people from the office that aren't directly on my team still come up to me and ask for their own little illustration. 

This year, I thought I'd do something different. The cards themselves were my gift. I also added an extra touch (although not shown here) of shopping for charms for each of them. I went to the Bead Center in Midtown Manhattan and picked out charms that represented each of them for me. They all enjoyed it, and that made me happy!

So I hope that you found some inspiration this Christmas. With all honestly, it hasn't felt as "Christmas-y" here in the U.S. as it always does in the Philippines. But, as I chose to be happy, so do I choose to make my own Christmas cheer.