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Graduation Card Tips

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In the month of May we start graduation season. From the youngest to the oldest graduates, we want to recognize their accomplishments and celebrate their successes. With that comes cards! I've put together a few tips and ideas that you can use to create quick and easy graduation cards.

You have many great items already in your craft room that you can use for graduation cards without having to purchase all new supplies. If you have the following you can make stunning graduation cards:

-- "Congrats" or "Congratulations" stamps or stickers ("You Did It!" or "Way to Go!" also work)

-- Number stamps or stickers

-- Embroidery floss

-- Cardstock

General "Congrats" or "Congratulations" stamps or stickers work perfectly. You don't necessarily need one that says "Happy Graduation." Embroidery floss can be used to make tassels that can be added to a square of cardstock to make custom graduation caps. Also, number stamps can be used to stamp out the year. Using basic cardstock and folding it to create pockets for gift cards or cash for the graduate are simple and easy.

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Start with the "Congrats/Congratulations" stamps and/or number stamps and repeatedly stamp them on a piece of white cardstock. You are primarily creating custom-patterned paper for the background of your card. Coordinate the colors of ink to match school colors. If you don't know the school colors, black, red and gold or yellow tend to be good basics for any graduation card.

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Next, you can add a square of black or coordinating school-color cardstock to make the top of the graduation cap. Add a brad in the center of the cardstock square and attach a tassel made from embroidery floss as directed below.

To make a tassel, start with a skein of floss, pulling off the paper that keeps the skein together. Next, find the end and measure out 24 inches of floss. Try to keep the rest of the skein intact and neat. There are loops at both ends of the skein, cut across the middle of the skein, not at the loops. These will become two tassels. Cut the 24-inch length of floss into four 6-inch pieces. Slide one 6-inch piece under the loop in one of the tassels and tie in a small knot. Repeat for the other tassel with a second 6-inch piece. Wrap one of the remaining 6-inch pieces around the floss bunch about 1/2 inch from the top of the loop. Wrap as many times as you can and tie into a knot. This creates the top of the tassel. Repeat for the other tassel.

Attach the finished tassel to the graduation cap by sliding the open loop over the brad in the center of the cardstock square. If the string is too long, wrap around the brad a few times or tie the knot at the ends shorter and clip off the excess string.

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Finally, create a gift card or money card by folding cardstock to create an internal pocket.

For cash, start with a piece of cardstock that is 12 x 6 inches. Fold it into thirds; the folds should be at the 4- and 8-inch marks along the 12-inch length of the piece of cardstock. On the last panel, measure down halfway (3 inches) along the outside edge. With a ruler, connect the mark from the 3-inch mark up to the top of the 8-inch fold to create an angle. Cut along the line with scissors or a trimmer. Add adhesive to the bottom edge of the last panel and fold it toward the middle panel. This will create a pocket for the cash.

For a gift card, start with a 12 x 5 1/2-inch piece of cardstock. Follow the same instructions as for the money pocket to create a similar pocket for a gift card.

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As you can see, you can create wonderful graduation cards using supplies you already have on hand. It doesn't take long to whip up beautiful cards to celebrate those that have spent many years to reach one of their greatest goals in life.

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