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Handcrafted with love: Personalize gifts with paper crafting
Handcrafted Christmas cards are more meaningful than their store-bought counterparts, says Julie Ramos. - photo by Photo Contributed

Editor’s note: Those seeking to add a personalized holiday gift tradition this Christmas season are already gearing up.

Ten years ago Julie Ramos was looking for ideas to personalize a scrapbook she was making for her 10-year-old daughter. A colleague suggested Ramos try stamping. It wasn’t long before Ramos’ interest in scrapbooking turned into a passion for paper crafting.

“I went and fell in love with the stuff,” Ramos said.

Ramos now organizes a Meetup Group for stampers and scrapbookers called The Stamp Tramps; she writes a blog titled “Stamp Your Dream;” and she sells paper crafting products through Stampin’ Up!

Paper crafting isn’t just for scrapbooking — there are a myriad of gift ideas that are perfect for the holidays. The best part about paper craft gifts, according to Ramos, is the ability to personalize them for the recipient.

“It’s just a nice way to do something special and unique for someone,” she said.

The very first paper crafting gift Ramos made was a memory box. She started with a plain box from a craft store and decoupaged old photos, die-cut shapes and scrapbooking paper on it. She then stamped a few words to further personalize the box.

Framed art is another paper craft gift Ramos has often given. She starts with a piece of good card stock then cuts out shapes, like butterflies or hearts, on different colors and patterns of paper and lines them up. She adds embellishments and frames it.

Many of her ideas come from seeing things at home décor stores or antique shops.

“I see things all the time and think I can make that,” Ramos said.

Ramos said it’s often the simple things that people care about the most. Creating personalized greeting cards and holiday decorations can be easy and make a big impact.

“People love handmade cards,” Ramos said. “My mother has kept every card I’ve ever gave her on her mirror in her bedroom. It means more than a Hallmark card because you specifically make it for them.

 “I felt like I made a difference today and all it took was some ribbon and pretty paper,” she said.

Personalizing holiday decorations is easy with paper crafting, said Ramos. A handcrafted banner can hang across a wall or door, or be placed on top of the fireplace or a formal dining table.

To make a banner, Ramos starts with a simple design and color pallet and then adds a word, like “snow” on squares of card stock. She then strings them together on ribbon and adds embellishments.

Another holiday decorating idea is taking a simple candle in a glass holder (which Ramos said can be found at any dollar store) and wrapping it in scrapbooking paper, ribbon and die-cut shapes. The result is a unique candle that complements the décor.

To get more paper crafting ideas from Ramos, visit her blog at or sign-up to attend a Meetup Group with The Stamp Tramps at

— KRISTINA HACKER 209 reporter