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Scrapbooking Christmas Cards

Scrapbooking Christmas Cards - Christmas card layout with 2 rows of pockets

Create pocket pages on your layouts for scrapbooking Christmas Cards. The pockets allow more cards to be included on each layout plus the cards are easily accessible.

Includes a bonus coordinating card and 12×12 layout.

‘Tis the season of greetings! Those wonderful Christmas cards arriving in our mailboxes draw us closer to our family and friends, especially those we don’t get to see that often. We all have our special way of showcasing the cards during the season – whether we gather them together in a decorative basket or arrange them across the wall so everyone can see each and every one. But what do we do after Santa heads back to the North Pole and a new year has begun? Scrapbooking Christmas cards seems like a logical solution for us crafters!

Supplies used are listed at the bottom of this post, below the Holiday Showcase links. This post may contain affiliate links.

But, showcasing a couple cards on each layout seems like it will take forever, not to mention the number of pages it adds to our album. You could cut the cards apart and create collages on your layouts, but then you’re picking and choosing and losing part of the holiday greeting. However, another option is to create pocket pages to showcase the cards.

The pockets allow you to keep the cards and letters in tact while showcasing several cards on a page. For top-loading page protectors, this also allows you to easily access the cards when looking through your albums.

Note, the Christmas card layouts created for this project are 12″x12″. If you are scrapbooking Christmas cards with different sized layouts, you’ll want to adjust the number of cards and the number of pockets per layout accordingly.

Step 1: How many cards do you have?

The first step in scrapbooking Christmas cards is to start by taking a count of how many cards you acrtually have to scrap. If you have multiple years of cards saved up, take one year at a time. Any cards you don’t want to keep, now is a good time to weed them out, toss them and not include them in your count. It’s OK, don’t feel bad. The cards from the car dealership, gym and student affairs from my alma mater did not make the cut for the Christmas card layout.

Holiday cards in a messy pile
Gather all of your holiday cards together in 1 pile. If you have multiple years, do 1 year at a time.

Step 2: Determine the Number of Cards per Page

The number of pocket pages you create is dependent on:

  • How many cards you have to scrap
  • How many pages you want to create, and
  • How many cards you want on each page

A pocket page will create bulk on your layout and that is fine, but having too many cards on a page will create excess bulk, making the page heavy and not sit well in your album. A general rule of thumb is roughly 15 cards per page, spread out over two rows of pockets. But this varies with how small or large, flat or bulky the cards are.

Take the number of cards you have and divide it by the number of layouts you want to create. For the year I’m currently scrapping, I have 43 cards and would like to keep the number of layouts to 4 or less.

I have 3 options:

  • Two pocket pages with 21 to 22 cards in each
  • Three pocket page layouts with 14 to 15 cards per page
  • Four pocket pages with 10 to 11 cards in each

For my layout, three pocket pages felt right. However, I almost always create 2-page layouts, and that created an odd page. To fix this, I am scrapbooking the Christmas card and letter we sent that year.

A few things to consider at this point:

  • Having 2 pocket page layouts back-to-back in the same page protector will cause extra stress on both the page protector and the album. In these cases, opt to have fewer cards in each layout.
  • To avoid having 2 pocket pages in the same page protector, you can create a layout showcasing just a few holiday cards in same page protector as the pocket page. Or, you can scrap your own holiday card from that year.

Step 4: Sort the Cards into Piles

Once you’ve determined the number of scrapbook layout pocket pages to create for your Christmas cards, sort your cards into stacks by height. These do not need to be exact sizes. Piles of small, medium and large cards works fine.

Holiday cards in 3 piles by size - small, medium & large
Sort cards by height – small, medium and large

Once they are in stacks by size, take an equal number of cards from each stack for each layout.

Holiday cards sorted by size into 3 piles
Divide cards into equal piles based on how many layouts you are going to create.

Step 4: Arrange the Cards

Determine the backround paper you are going to use for scrapbooking your Christmas cards. Take these sheets of 12×12 background paper and arrange the cards in 2 rows. I had originally arranged it with the small cards in the bottom row and larger cards in the top row. That didn’t look right so I flipped the rows around so the small cards were in the bottom row and the big cards in the top row.

The medium sized cards are spread between the bottom and top rows – placed at the ends of the top row and in the middle of the bottom row.

When arranging the cards, try to keep the bottom edge of the cards in a straight line as much as possible.

Holiday cards arranged in 2 rows on 3 layouts
Spread out each pile on the scrapbook layout background papers

This is the time to make sure the layouts look balanced.

  • Does one layout look like it has more cards than the others?
  • Does one layout have more narrow cards while others have wider cards?
  • Is there too much of one color on a layout? For example, are there too many cards with the color red next to each other?

This is the time to make the card swaps between layouts and to make sure the layouts look balanced.

Note: When I arrange the cards in my albums, I will have as many faces showing as possible. Out of respect for my friends and family, I tried to hide all faces for the images in this post.

Step 5: Mark the Paper for the Top Row of Cards

Finally, it’s time to get to the fun part! Create the pockets one layout at a time. This will help to avoid confusion

Take the first layout and remove the bottom row of Christmas cards. Take the smallest two cards and set them off of the paper, but flush with the bottom edge of the paper, one to the left and one on the right. Next, stack the top row of holiday cards, but keep this centered on the page, leaving about a 1/4″ to 1/2″ border at the top of the page for the tallest card.

Green cardstock with large cards positioned center of page, close to top
Determine the placement for the top row of cards

Next, using a pencil and ruler, lightly mark a spot about 2 1/2″ to 3″ up from the bottom of the middle row cards. There is some balancing here. You want the second row of cards to have as much support as possible so they don’t fall foward or out when people are looking through the album. However, you also want the bottom row of cards to cover the slit for the second row’s pocket. If the smallest cards are too small, you can move their pocket up, so it’s not flush with the bottom of the page. You can also adjust the width of the slit for the second row pocket so it is not as wide as the bottom row’s pocket.

Cardstock with larger cards centered and ruler measuring 2 3/4
Make a pencil mark for the top row slit

For this layout, I marked the paper at 2 3/4″ up from the bottom of the second card row. Make note of the measurement you use as you will need it in Step 7.

Step 6: Create a Slit for the Top Row of Cards

For this step, use an X-acto knife and make sure a cutting mat is beneath your layout. Create a slit in the background paper along the pencil mark you made in Step 5. The slit should run parrallel to the top and bottom edges of the paper. It should also stop at least 1″ from each edge.

Quilting rulers work really well for this step. They are thicker so there is less chance of the knife jumping the ruler, which makes them safer. They also have grid marks, typically in 1″ increments, making it easy to align the ruler with the edge of the paper and to know where to start and stop cutting.

Make sure to hold the down firmly with one hand while gently pulling the knife across the paper using the ruler as it’s guide. If the cut doesn’t go completely through in the first pass, keep the ruler in the same spot and make another pass with the knife.

Green cardstock with quilting ruler and cutting with an x-acto knife
Use a ruler and X-acto knife to cut the slit for the pocket

Step 7: Create the Pocket for your Christmas Cards

The paper used in this step really doesn’t matter as it will all be hid. However, a medium to heavy weight cardstock works best as it will need to support the weight of your cards. You will also need a strong adhesive such as Scrapbook Adhesive’s EZ Runner Ultra or a double-sided tape such as Scor Tape by Scor Pal or Extreme Double-Sided tape by Scrapbook Adhesives.

In Step 5, you marked the background paper for the placement of the slit for the pocket. Take the measurement you used from the bottom of the cards to the slit, double it and add 1″.

For my layout, the slit was 2 3/4″ up from the bottom of the cards. Doubling it gives me 5 1/2″. Adding 1″ makes the width of the piece 6 1/2″.

For the length of the piece, add 1″ to the width of your slit. I cut a 10″ wide slit. Therefore, the width for my piece should be 11″.

Therefore, I need to cut a piece of cardstock 6 1/2″ by 11″.

Once cut, score and fold at the dimension from the bottom of the card to the slit, or, 2 3/4″ for this example.

White strip of cardstock folded
Fold the white cardstock strip. There should be 1″ extra on one side.

Step 8: Test out the Pocket

Before adhereing the pocket to the page, make sure the cards for the top row fit as planned. Use a temporary adhesive to attach the pocket to the back of the layout. Align the shorter side of the pocket with the slit. The taller side of the pocket should go above the slit. Place the top row cards in the slit. If the cards are too close to the top edge, move the cardstock pocket down. If there is too much space between the top of the cards and the top of the page, cut the front edge (2 3/4″ side) of the pocket down so the pocket can be moved up to the slit. Test again until you are satisfied with the placement of the top row of cards.

Holiday cards tucked into slit in paper
Test out the pocket before permanently adhereing the pocket to the page.

Step 9: Adhere the Pocket to the Back Side of the Paper

Once you are satisfied with the placement of the pocket, draw a pencil line on the back side of the background paper, above the pocket, so you know where to align the pocket once the permanent adhesive has been added.

Green cardstock with a folded piece of white paper and pencil line to show where to align the white piece
Once the pocket has been tested and adjusted, draw a pencil line to align the white cardstock to

When adding the adhesive, keep in mind how the pocket works. The short side of the pocket will be ahered to the back side of the paper below the slit. The tall side of the pocket, the extra 1″) will be adhered to the back side of the paper above the slit. Cards will be able to slide through the slit in the background paper and rest in the pocket.

Make sure to add ahesive along both sides of the pocket. This will help to prevent the slit from tearing, making it wider.

Step 10: Create the Bottom Border

Create a 4″ x 12″ bottom border. Create this as a separate piece and do NOT attach it to the layout at this point. If the smallest cards are tiny, you can make the border smaller or incorporate them into the border so they will be seen and not lost in the bottom pocket.

This sample uses the Color Vibes colored cardstock by Simple Stories and the Be Bold Color Block Merry Christmas and Christmas Blooms die sets by Spellbinders. A complete list of products used is included at the bottom of this article.

Merry Christmas border
Merry Christmas border using Spellbinders Be Bold Color Block Merry Christmas and Christmas Blooms die sets and Color Vibes cardstock from Simple Stories

Design tip: Attach a strip of cardstock to the back of the border so only a small part, 1/8″ to 1/4″, is showing above the top edge of the border. This gives the pocket a finished look.

Once again, do not attach the border at this point. It will be attached after the bottom slit and pocket have been created.

Step 11: Create a Slit and Pocket for the Bottom Row of Cards

Repeat steps 6 through 9 to create the pocket for the bottom row of cards. The slit should be just below the top edge of the border so the border will hide it when it is attached. Make the slit 10″ wide.

Measure the distance from the slit to the bottom of the page, or, to the point the cards will be sitting. Double that measurement and add 1″, same as in step 7. Score and fold the paper at the first measurement, so there will be an extra 1″ on one side of the fold.

Temporarily adhere the pocket to the page and test the fit of the cards. Adjust the height of the pocket as necessary. Once satisfied with the placement, use the double-sided tape to adhere the pocket to the back of the layout. Make sure to add adhesive to the sides of the pocket to reinforce the slit and prevent tearing.

Step 12: Attach Bottom Border

After the bottom pocket has been finished, it’s time to attach the bottom border. Make sure to avoid adding adhesive above the slit for the pocket.

Scrapbook layout with Merry Christmas border and 2 rows of holiday cards
Scrapbooking Christmas Cards by creating pocket pages

Step 13: Finish the Layout

Finish the layout by arranging the cards in the pockets. Taller cards in the middle and smaller ones on the ends. Angle the end cards to give your Christmas card layout a finished cohesive look.

Once all of the cards are in place and arranged, if the layout feels a little flimsy, attach another sheet of cardstock to the back of the layout. Cut the cardstock to 11 3/4″ x 11 3/4″ so it doesn’t show. Add extra adhesive to the pocket areas to give it more support.

Rinse and Repeat

Repeat the same steps with the other Christmas card layouts. Keep the layouts coordinating. They do not need to be exactly the same, but they should use the same color pallette, paper line and/or embellishments.

Coordinating 12×12 Layout

Use the same border and color pallette to create a coordinating 12×12 layout. For this layout, I matted an 8 1/2″ x 11 photo. Create a slit in the paper behind the border and slide the photo down until satisfied with its placement and has an even border on the top and two sides.

Scrapbook layout with Merry Christmas border and picture of family
Use the same or coordinating border to create a scrapbook page. Create a slit behind the border and slide an 8×10 photo behind the border.

Matching Christmas Card

Use the border to create a coordinating Christmas card. The Be Bold Color Block Merry Christmas Die is perfectly sized to fit in a standard #10 envelope. To create a card this size, cut paper for the card base to 8 1/2″ x 7″ and fold along the 7″ side so the folded card is 8 1/2″ x 3 1/2.” Adapt the border to fit on this card size.

Card with Merry Christmas in a block font
Turn the border into a card. The Be Bold Color Block Merry Christmas die is perfectly sized for a slimline card.

‘Tis the Season

Holiday greetings are a special part of the Christmas season. It’s a great way to show you care and catch up with friends and family. Keep these memories all year long by creating pockets in your Christmas card layouts.

For supplies used, please keep scrolling.

Enjoy and happy scrapping!

Molly Q

Want even more holiday inspiration? Check out these holiday projects by some amazingly talented crafters – all for FREE!

Holiday Showcase with samples of holiday paper crafts

Gift Labels by Jen Swift of WellCraftedStudio.com

Christmas Village for Advent by Lucy of PaperGlitterGlue.com

Wood Door Hanger by Laurie Clayton of CraftRoomTime.com

Hand Lettered Holiday Cards by Maira Vial of Vial Designs

Flocked HTV Christmas Pillows by Natalie Desrochers of Nelidesign.com

Paper Poinsettia Flower Arrangement by Abbi Kirsten of AbbiKirstenCollections.com

Holly Wreath by Gjoa Crandell of SpecialHeartStudio.com

Holiday Explosion Card by Jennifer Stahr of MyScrapMenagerie.com

Handmade Christmas Cards by Sarah Edwards of CraftwithSarah.com

Christmas Explosion Box by Emily Minor of MinorDIY.com

Paper Craft Spinning Ornaments by Bette Daoust of BettesMakes.com

Christmas Church Box Cards by Nick of the Bearded Housewife

Hanukkah Dreidel Menorah Earrings by Amy Romeu of AmyRomeu.com

Scrapbooking Christmas Cards – Supplies Used

These links may be affiliate links which means I may earn a small commission from your purchase, at no additional cost to you.

Be Bold Color Block Merry Christmas Cutting Dies – Spellbinders

Christmas Blooms Etched Dies – Spellbinders

Gold Mix Self-Adhesive Gems – Spellbinders

Color Vibe Pine Textured Cardstock – Simple Stories

Color Vibe Cinnamon Textured Cardstock – Simple Stories

Color Vibe Cream Textured Cardstock – Simple Stories

Color Vibe Espresso Textured Cardstock – Simple Stories

Cricut Self-Healing Cutting Mat – 18″x24″

Acrylic Ruler – 6″x24″

Xacto Knife

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