Festive Embellishments: Adding Sparkle and Shine to Your Holiday Cards with Glitter and Foil

6 minute read

Last Updated: February 3, 2024

A "Winter wishes" card with snow skates bedazzled with glitter cardstock

The holiday season is upon us, and it's time to deck the halls, sip on hot cocoa, and of course, send out those heartfelt holiday cards! 

While a simple card is always appreciated, why not take it up a notch this year? Let's talk about two magical elements that can transform your holiday greetings into sparkling masterpieces – glitter and foil.

Glitter: Turning Ordinary into Extraordinary

Ah, glitter – the tiny flecks of joy that can instantly elevate any festive creation.

A snowflake card design created with glitter cardstock and a heartfelt sentiment

When it comes to holiday cards, a touch of glitter can make all the difference. Going for a subtle shimmer? How about an all-out sparkle fest? There are countless ways to incorporate glitter into your cards. Let’s list some of them below:

Glitter Cardstock and Paper

Worried you’re not dexterous enough to handle glitter and afraid of it spilling out and ruining your crafting space? We highly recommend using glitter cardstock! They’re a no-mess solution for glitter enthusiasts, as they already have the sparkle, without the danger of glitter getting everywhere.

Altenew’s Glitter Cardstock, in particular, already comes in color-coordinated sets within similar color families. This takes away the guessing game of which shade of glitter pairs well with which color. Your dazzling projects end up even more dazzling!

Altenew's fan-favorite glitter cardstock and glitter paper products

Glitter Borders

Frame your holiday message with a glitter border. Choose a festive color that complements your card's theme and gently apply the glitter along the edges. It's a simple yet effective way to add a touch of glamor.

Sparkling Snowflakes

A green-motif holiday card full of snowflake designs made by glitter cardstock, with the sentiment "Winter wishes and snowflake kisses"

Embrace the winter wonderland theme by creating glittery snowflakes on your card. The card above, for example, was created with snowflake dies from Altenew’s Layered Snowflakes 2-Die Set and Layered Snowflakes Die Set, cut from glitter cardstock. The glittery snowflakes will catch the light and evoke the magic of a snowy holiday season.

Glitter Accents

Highlight specific elements of your card with glitter accents. Whether it's a tree, a star, or a jolly snowman, a hint of glitter can make these details pop and add a festive flair.

Check out how you can add glittery accents in this video:

Glitter Die-Cuts with Adhesives

Invest in holiday-themed dies like trees, stars, or ornaments. Then, with double-sided adhesive sheets, die cut your holiday designs, then generously sprinkle glitter on one side of the die-cuts.  It's a unique way to add glittery motifs to your cards, plus it lets you use more of your adhesive supplies!

Glitter Polka Dots

For a playful and cheerful design, apply glitter in the form of polka dots. Use a round stencil or the end of a paintbrush to create uniform dots across the card with glue and add over glitter or foil. Vary the size and spacing for a dynamic and festive look.

Foil: The Elegance of Metallic Shine

If glitter is the life of the party, foil is the sophisticated guest that adds a touch of elegance to the celebration. Foil-stamped cards exude a luxurious vibe that instantly captivates the recipient.

Foil Lettering

Upgrade your holiday greetings with hot foil lettering. Whether classic gold or chic silver, foil adds a metallic sheen that catches the eye. It's a timeless choice that radiates opulence.

Hot foil typography and embellishments on a scrapbook entry page

Hot Foil Plates

Elevate your cards and create gorgeous designs with hot foil plates! Our hot foil plates, for instance, are designed with beautiful and distinctive patterns—perfect for your holiday paper crafting projects and more. They are also compatible with the majority of hot foiling and die-cutting systems available in the market.

Not familiar with hot foiling and embossing? Learn about it here!

Mixed Media Magic

Why choose between glitter and foil when you can have both? Combine glitter accents with foil-stamped elements for a holiday card that truly dazzles. The contrast of textures adds depth and visual interest.

More Tips for Sparkly, Shimmering Cards

1. Quality Materials Matter.

Invest in high-quality glitter and foil materials to ensure a professional finish. Cheaper alternatives may provide a different level of sparkle and shine.

Or, if you want less mess, opt for glitter cardstock as your base instead for an instant touch of glamor. Glitter cardstock provides a sturdy and festive backdrop that enhances the overall impact of your cards, even with little to no glitter and foil!

Discover how glitter cardstock makes things a whole lot easier when it comes to adding shine to your cards:

2. Seal the Glitter.

To prevent glitter from shedding and leaving a trail of sparkles everywhere, seal it with a clear, spray-on adhesive. This not only secures the glitter in place but also adds a glossy finish, giving your card a polished look.

3. Precision with Foil.

When working with foil, precision is key. Luckily, hot foil machines make foiling more straightforward. Also, hot foil and letterpress plates allow you to create intricate patterns and designs without the struggle of manual foil application. Read our step-by-step guide to hot foiling HERE

4. Experiment with Colors.

A non-traditional holiday color scheme card created with the Jolly Ornaments Hot Foil Plate

Don't limit yourself to traditional holiday colors. Experiment with a variety of glitter and foil shades to create a unique and personalized card. Consider mixing metallic tones, pastels, or even iridescent options for a modern twist.

Check out this Non-Traditional Holiday Color Scheme Card with Jolly Ornaments Hot Foil Plate!

5. Less is More: Embrace Negative Space.

A "hello" greeting card created by Jennifer McGuire with glitter cardstock from Altenew

Glittery greeting card from Jennifer McGuire

While it's tempting to cover every inch of your card with glitter and foil, sometimes less is more. Embrace negative space to allow your embellishments to shine. Consider leaving some areas untouched for balance and visual interest.

Remember that a little goes a long way when working with glitter and foil. Subtle accents can be just as impactful as bold, glittery statements.

A "hugs" sentiment card created by Jennifer McGuire with glitter cardstock from Altenew

Glittery "hugs" card from Jennifer McGuire

6. Be Mindful of the Cleanup.

Crafting with glitter can be a joyful yet messy affair. This is why we highly recommend using glitter cardstock—it gives you more of the crafting and creativity, without the mess! 

But, if you still want the dazzle of traditional glitter, then we suggest you keep a lint roller or sticky tape on hand to easily clean up the excess. This helps maintain a tidy workspace and ensures that your glitter doesn't unintentionally end up on other parts of the card. 

7. Test and Learn.

Before committing to your final design, test your glitter and foil techniques on a small scrap of paper or spare cardstock. This allows you to perfect your approach and avoid any surprises on your actual holiday cards.

A "To my fabulous friend" card with gold foil floral designs created by hot foiling

8. Personalize with Handwriting.

Add a personal touch by incorporating handwritten messages. Use a metallic pen or marker that complements your glitter and foil choices. Your handwritten notes will complement the craftiness of your card and make each one feel truly special.

9. Share the Joy Responsibly.

Keep in mind that glitter can be challenging for the environment. If you're sending your cards through traditional mail, consider placing them in protective envelopes to contain any loose glitter. Alternatively, opt for eco-friendly glitter options made from biodegradable materials.

10. Patience is a Virtue.

Finally, always remember to allow each layer – whether it's glue for glitter or adhesive for foil – to dry completely before moving on to the next step. Patience will be your secret weapon for a flawless finish.

A Season's Greetings card with gold foil designs and embellishments

Sparkle All the Way This Holiday Season

This holiday season, let your creativity sparkle and shine with glitter and foil embellishments. Whether you're crafting cards for family, friends, or colleagues, these festive touches will undoubtedly make your greetings stand out. 

So, grab your crafting supplies, put on some holiday tunes, and let the glitter and foil magic begin! And don’t hesitate to visit us In the Craft Room for more magical and festive ideas and inspiration. Happy crafting!


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