How to Start a Handmade Greeting Card Business
Do What You Like
There were many days that I really wanted to do something, but I didn't have the motivation to do what I wanted. There I saw my procrastination at its best.
The days passed, and once I had to make a greeting card in a hurry to a very close friend who is a nature lover and an avid fan of handmade things, who really had an eye keen on natural things. There I decided to make a handmade card. This friend was so close to me and my family that I just didn’t want to give a gift as I felt giving a personalized card with a gift will be closer to the heart.
Always Loved Handmade Greeting Cards
I love making things on my own, fixing things than throwing away. It's the frugal part of me. Making different types of greeting cards made me happy.
Normally the card makers use die cutters, stamps, embosses, rulers, printers and lot of other fancy things. But, I had only basic ingredients such as a card paper, some poster paints and colour brushes; all belonging to my daughter.
I just drew what I felt using the poster colours in free hand and it came nicer than I expected. Everyone at home admired my hidden skill and said I should start doing it. I too thought I will start on it. But the procrastination in me didn’t take it further.
She Pushed Me to the Deep End to Actually Swim
After few weeks my daughter said she is learning entrepreneurial skills at her performance art class and she wants my help to work on it by giving ideas. She wanted to sell chocolate chip cookies. From experience, I knew it is going to be a losing business as my daughter would eat half of the cookies.
I suggested doing greeting cards and she was happy with that too. In the end, she wanted to start on both cookies and greeting cards and I was ok with it as both are sweet little things that make heart melt inside.
we have created about 20 cards and we have a social media page that we use for our marketing. The intention of this article is to help anyone who wants to start greeting cards as a side business.
I would share our secret recipe for Chocolate chip cookies also in another article in the future. We had a lot of variations of baked cookies after trying out many different recipes and finally we improvised a very good one.
What You Need to Start
You will need few basic things to start this. When you get the feel of it and when your imagination and creativity comes out you will end up needing many other things. But this is just the basics to start.
- A4 Board papers, (Ivory paper looks elegant)
- Good quality paint brushes
- Different colours of poster paint
- Cloth to wipe
- Watercolour tray
When you do it in large scale ordering bulk saves some money than buying from stores.
How to Start on Your First Card
- Watch some watercolour painting videos or get a simple design or just think of a small design like a flower bunch.
- Fold the A4 paper and make sure the crease is well ironed as it gives a professional look.
- Use your pencil lightly and simply draw a rough sketch. When you practice you will not need to do this.
- Start drawing patiently and remember to wash your brush when you change the colours and wipe carefully without disturbing the brush.
- Let the card dry for about 15 minutes
6. While its drying open your computer and load a document program such as MS Word or Openoffice Word.
7. Click on Page Layout -> Orientation-> Landscape
8. Click on Page Layout -> Columns -> Select 2 columns
9. Now in the 2nd column type your greeting.
10. Take a printout, fold in half and glue it to the inside of the card you drew.
Ta-Da. You have finished your 1st greeting card.
How to Sell Your Cards
Now that you have started making cards, how are you going to sell; of course you cannot open a store to sell your cards as the profit is not even close to pay a rent or even to pay the electricity bills.
Let’s focus on what we can do; absolutely with zero money.
- Create a Facebook page, add photos of your cards and share it with your friends. Remember to update at least weekly with a new card to create the discussion
- Create a Pinterest account and tag your cards.
- Check what local events happening close by, like pop up sales, farmers markets and try to sell few cards. Remember to mention your contact number/email back of the cards.
- There are online card stores where you can sell.
More Professional Look to Your Cards
Once you are comfortable with making greeting cards investing in these items will enhance your cards immensely and will give a more professional look. I bought the following items and my cards became so much better than store-bought ones.
- Metallic gold colour pen
- Metallic Silver colour pen
- Metallic watercolour set
- White colour metallic pen
- Bulk stock of Ivory papers
- Brush letter pens
Following Metallic colour set, I invested was value for money and was easy to use and good quality. The appearance of cards became elegant and professional. I highly recommend investing on a quality Metallic colour set if you are serious about making handmade greeting cards.
My Metallic colour set, reasonable, durable and nicely written
Pricing a Card
How much you are willing to pay for a handmade card ?
Skills You Need to Learn to be Better
- Brush Lettering
Lettering with brush pens is easier and flexible. There are various pens available for this one and investing in a good pen will do all your greeting cards writing. The letters are usually written in large size.
- Doodle Drawing
If you want to make fun cards with humour doodling is a must have talent. There are so many videos done on doodling and learn doodling is not hard at all. It's just that you need to have a mind of humour.
Doodling for Beginners, It's a Life Time Skill
© 2017 Ohla