Collage Artist and Interior Designer

17/ The Art of Christmas With Ruby Kean

We're thrilled to introduce a new Journal mini-series - “The Art of Christmas”. We've invited a mix of PE artists and tastemakers to give us an insight into their Christmas rituals with their personal tips on how to make this festive season even more special. In this first edition Ruby Kean uses her exceptional collage making skills to show you how you can make your own versions of these beautiful Christmas cards.

Christmas for me is all about homemade. Making decorations, my own wrapping paper, and homemade Christmas crackers. The mood around you shifts and it just clicks into Christmas. It's a time when get an opportunity to get creative in those important details that make this time of year all the more special. I like my gifts and cards to be homemade too. There’s nothing more thrilling than someone loving something you made for them. This year I will be no acceptation, I’m already planning some sewn lace chain garlands and a hand-stitched table cloth, and gifts are more often than not a combination of personalised collages and my porcelain candlesticks.

This year I’m also preparing a lot more Christmas cards than I normally do since there will be so many more people I don’t get to see. Receiving something in the post any time of year is so joyful and nostalgic so I take a lot of pleasure in making personalised greetings cards and notelettes. 


Here are my tips for making homemade Christmas cards this year:

  1. 1. Play with texture - making a card that feels special or stands out is all part of the fun, I always think pretty textures are a sure-fire way to make your cards feel more homemade. A simple checkerboard weave or this fun hassle is a go-to for me.

  2. 2. Create a formula  - whilst you might want all your cards to feel individual and special I always try to create a formula for my cards, something that ties them together which makes for efficient making and creating - creating a little production line by having a theme running through your cards like these scalloped frames, for example, make the process of making multiple cards much easier. What’s inside the frames is what makes them individual. 

  3. 3. Unexpected details  - I love unexpected details when making people cards - a beautiful addressed envelope complete with a decorative box for a stamp is always a lovely touch. 

  4. 4. Come prepared - prepare your materials in advance - if like me you have a hoard of paper ephemera this is the perfect time to delve into your collection - make piles of craft paper or coloured paper you think will work together in a lovely colour scheme; if you’re buying new make sure all your papers are working together beautifully. Either way create a vision before you get to work.

  5. 5. Lean into tradition - I love those age-old classic Christmas themes and sayings - even though it comes round every year somehow the old favourites never fail to get me in the mood. Even if this year is going to be a slightly odd Christmas don’t let it stop you bringing out those traditional Christmas motifs and old hat greetings and sayings. 

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