I've really gotten into making my own cards for special occasions. It gives me a good impetus to get creative, it keeps costs down and its a chance to give someone a one-off piece of art.
For my Christmas cards this year I experimented with masks. Not the kind you wear over your face, but the kind that help keep areas of your page clear.
I used very low adhesive scotch-tape for my masking. For this batch of cards I just used the one thickness of tape, but placed the tape in different configurations to get different compositions. I also cut circles into paper so I had a stencil I could make round shapes with.
I did a few quick initial sketches to get some ideas for compositions, and then just went for it straight onto the cards. Each card was different for the other; and most were abstract and improvised on the spot. But the general feel I was aiming for was candy cane, so lots of stripes. And some circles to represent baubles or holly. Soant for water colour paint.
Colours were typically Christmassy - greens and reds. I wanted to keep the colours simple, but alternate them on each stripe to get the candy cane effect. I used a mix of felt-tip pens of different thicknesses. The nibs of some of the pens were a little worn, so lines weren't always solid and even. But I quite liked this as it gave the cards a hand-printed feel.
Some were more successful than others. They tended to be the ones I didn't overload with elements; leaving lots of white space. The scotch tape worked very well as a masking agent and was very easy to work with; though it did get grubby after a few uses and smudged the pen work a little (I actually didn't mind this as it just added to the hand-printed look).