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January 27, 2012

How to Create Handmade Cards in Minutes

Paper Creations magazine winter

Paper Creations magazine

Who doesn’t love receiving a handmade card? But then again, who really has hours to make them? Here are five tips for making cards in a flash.

Once I started making handmade cards, it became an addiction. I was so dedicated to sending handmade cards that when I ran out, I would put off sending a card until the occasion had passed–just to avoid the store-bought variety.

Clearly this was defeating the point of reaching out and showing someone they were loved. I recently came across a box of blank cards that were given to me as a gift years ago. I’ve started using those when I’m out of my handmade favorites. However, I still enjoy sending the homemade ones, so I devised a five-tip strategy for stocking my card box so I can get my handmade cards created in a timely fashion.

1. The interchangeable card: Often we get hung up on not having a card with the right sentiment. We stamp a few birthday cards, a few sympathy and a few thank yous. But what if you have five birthdays in a row and no need to send a thank you? You can make the most of that stamping time by making a handful of identical cards and leaving a block of space for a sentiment. Then, measure to fit several squares to fill that space and stamp multiple, various sentiments. That way you can just grab the sentiment you need and glue it to the card.

2. Poach your magazines for ideas: We often sit and stare at our workspace waiting for a muse to shake us into inspiration. Don’t hesitate to pull out your craft magazines and start copying what you see. This isn’t cheating–I promise. There is little chance you will exactly duplicate what you see anyway. Paper Creations magazine is a great place to go for just this type of jump-start, as all their samples provide a helpful guide.

3. Upcycle everything: There’s no reason you can’t cut and paste the front of that hilarious birthday card and either decorate it or send it right on. Don’t let a lack of fancy paper keep you from making your own card. Take a page from your magazine and create a humorous collage on the front. You really can make an amazing card from very little.

4. Don’t rule out digital: If you haven’t begun exploring the realm of digital paper crafting, you’re in for a treat. Many great programs and resources allow you to create a digital card and then have multiple copies printed by a professional printer or at your own at home. You can also use this method for creating hybrid cards that are half digital, half handmade.

5. The assembly line is king: When I’m really in need of filling my card box, I usually try to create one general card that I can use as a template and then measure all the elements on that card. Next, I cut all the paper for the card, do any stamping and treat the process like an assembly line. I fully complete each element and save assembly for the end. This also lets you include children in the process because you can delegate a job that suits them.

Most of all, remember that sending a card is about showing someone they are loved. Getting the card in the mail–no matter what it looks like or where it came from–is essential to communicating that love.



About the Author

Dana McCranie
Dana McCranie
Dana McCranie writes, prays, laughs, loves glitter and will hug you even if you try to shake her hand. You can often find her behind her camera, striving to build a photography business. You'll never find her as happy as she is dancing around her kitchen with her daughter, son and amazing husband.




  • Anonymous

    I love getting hand made cards. I got one for Christmas and everyone went right to that one on my mantle. Thanks for the tips.

  • Anonymous

    Thanks, Peggy. I think I enjoy getting them as much as making them as well!

  • http://www.holmetree.co.uk/kitchens/hand-painted-kitchens Handmade Oak Kitchens

    I am creating handmade cards as my part time job, it is really enjoyable thing and I can get a good profit as well.