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Best Designs for Handmade Greeting Cards

Updated on May 19, 2011

Need ideas for making your own handmade cards?

I love making cards - in fact, I love making anything! But there's something special about greeting cards, they can be so easy to make, and at the same time, so beautifully effective!

My mum always said to me, "If you're gonna give someone a card, give them a handmade card!"

Whether you want to start a new hobby making cards, or you simply want to make a one-off handmade card for that extra special someone, there are thousands of designs to use on your cards, but which ones are the best and the most eye-catching?

Of course, it's all about opinions, and what I think is the "best" may be somebody else's worst! However, if you are in need of ideas for your handmade cards, read on for great tips about making and designing them!

As someone who has spent quite a few years designing my own handmade cards using my own ideas, and making quite a bit of extra money from selling them, I want to show you some of the top easy designs and ideas for making your own handmade cards.

Whatever you're looking for...Birthday cards, Mother's Day cards, Christmas cards, Easter cards, you're sure to find something to get you started making your own!

Picture by Etsy Ketsy from Flickr

This lens reached 100% in April 2011. Thanks to everyone who has visited and thanks to those who continue to visit.

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Background is important!

Make the most of the background on your card - this will give your card colour and will automatically make it more attractive.

You could leave the background plain and white, or you could base it around one colour theme. If you are using one main colour for the whole card, using a coloured background will really help you achieve this.

A really good quality product to buy is Papermania Colossal Paper Pack 180 sheets or Colossal Cardstock 100 Sheets from Papermania. Each sheet will cover 4-5 A6 cards.

Lots of people don't really just what background paper can actually do to a card. It can literally transform it!

Picture from gamene on Flickr

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Fabulous frames!

A really good way to make a great card using as little materials as possible is to use frames. You can put a background on your card, then a frame in the middle, and a "Happy Birthday" or message of your choice below the frame.

Inside the frame you can put a sticker or other item...flowers, musical instruments, cars, baby clothes, or whatever the theme of the card you are making is!

You can either make your own frames using paper or card, or you can buy pre-cut frames to stick on.

Not only are frames actually frames, you can also cut own blocks of card or paper and use them as shown on the picture.

Picture from Lauren Manning on Flickr

Martha Stewart Crafts Chipboard Stickers, Frame And Heart
Martha Stewart Crafts Chipboard Stickers, Frame And Heart

These gorgeous frame and heart stickers would look gorgeous on your handmade cards, and give a lovely touch to Valentines Day, Mother's Day, With Sympathy and Get Well Soon cards.

 
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Use one large sticker on your card...

Lots of people make the mistake of using 10-20 little stickers all over their card, rather than just using one main one. In my humble opinion, using one sticker in the middle of your card is far more professional-looking than using 10 little stickers all over the place and then a random "Happy Birthday" sticker somewhere in the middle of it all.

I always find that the best way to use a large sticker, or other large item, is to put it in the middle of your card (the same way as you would use a frame) and then your message underneath that. If it still looks a bit empty, you could add either corner stickers or a banner or ribbon going across the bottom. Alternatively, you could add some little stickers around the main one in the middle, but make sure they are all the same theme!

Picture: wordridden on Flickr

EK Success Puffy Dimensional Stickers - Hoot
EK Success Puffy Dimensional Stickers - Hoot

Being sold by a 5-star positive rating seller on Amazon, these gorgeously cute owl stickers with delight anyone on their birthday on other occasion.

You could create a night scene, using black background paper (not black card unless it's white inside) and make a tree out of brown and green paper. Oh, and don't forget the moon and stars!

 
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Decoupage and 3-D

Decoupage is a brilliant idea, and is quite unique. However, it takes quite a bit of skill and practice before you can actually do it perfect. It involves cutting out pieces of a certain picture and building it all up to make an amazing 3-D item to put on your card.

When you are sticking the individual pieces onto the other parts, use sticky tabs for best effects, as this will really build it up and give it that 3-D look.

Again, don't overdo the card when using decoupage. There is a lot in just the decoupage itself, and you don't want to waste it by making a card with far too much to look at.

3-D is another great idea, and is very popular especially with children's birthday cards. If you can't be bothered actually making all the 3-D stuff yourself, just cheat and buy some awesome stickers! (Well, it's not cheating, it's just having a day off!)

Picture: digika on Flickr

DECOUPAGE VALUE KIT 11 - FULL OF GOODIES
DECOUPAGE VALUE KIT 11 - FULL OF GOODIES

Filled to the brim with great decoupage goodies, you can have fun creating your own beautiful creations all day long!

 
rabbit handmade card
rabbit handmade card

Pictures on your cards...

Don't get me wrong. I'm not saying draw pictures on your cards, or stick photographs on them, although, feel free to do that if you want to!

With your bits and pieces of paper, stickers, card, foam, and whatever else you may have, try to make pictures on your cards of things you would see in real life. I don't mean a big complex scene of people going shopping, although, again, if you have the patience and skill to do that, then by all means, do!

Flowers in a field, a little girl or boy stood on some grass, or a dog are some easy examples of interesting and unique things you could design and stick on your cards.

From past experience, I know that the cards that people like and will buy the most of are ones that are unique and special and can't be found in a card store.

Picture from Tini's art on Flickr

Square Colored 8-by-8-Inch Origami Paper, 500 Sheets
Square Colored 8-by-8-Inch Origami Paper, 500 Sheets

This extremely affordable pack of 500 pieces of paper will keep you busy for hours. All you really need to create some great pictures on your handmade cards is some coloured paper, a pair of scissors, and glue. So this should give you a great start!

Although it's origami paper, it can be used for anything, including making your own cards.

"I recommend it highly for practice paper and for "fun" paper." - Customer who bought the item

 
ribbon handmade card
ribbon handmade card

Ribbon!

There is an endless list of ideas for what you can do with ribbon on your cards. You could put a piece of ribbon right across your card, or you could put it across the bottom.

You could make a frame out of it, or you could put a piece across the top! There are loads of things you can do on your handmade cards with ribbon, including doing a bit of a cross pattern, as shown in the picture.

Oh, and if you have trouble sticking down ribbon (as I do), then you can buy packs of gorgeous sticky ribbon...just peel it and stick it!

Picture from saaleha on Flickr

Grosgrain Monochromatic Ribbon 6 Colors/1.09yd (1 Meter) Ea, Candy
Grosgrain Monochromatic Ribbon 6 Colors/1.09yd (1 Meter) Ea, Candy

Grab a bargain with this gorgeous pink and purple ribbon pack. Also available in greens, blues and other colours, so there's plenty there in Amazon!

 

Do you prefer handmade cards?

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Brilliant Bows!

Bows are the perfect thing to use alongside ribbon. You don't have to tie pieces of ribbon yourself and try and get perfect, neat little bows - you can buy packs of bows...all different sizes, all different colours, and stick them on with a bit of glue or sticky tabs.

They give the perfect finish, and are gorgeous on birthday cards, wedding cards, and new baby cards!

Picture by Terra Vermelha on Flickr

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A Washing Line

Yes, I'm serious. A washing line on your handmade greeting card. It's a really effective design which can be achieved quite simply.

Cut out two strips of paper or card (for the poles at either end). Use cotton for the actual washing line (or draw it in if you don't have cotton). Cut out some different shaped clothes, and stick them onto the card with sticky tabs. The sticky tabs will create a 3-D effect to make them look like they're blowing in the wind.

Stick on some of these adorable wooden pegs!

This designs works absolutely brilliantly for New Baby cards, if you use baby clothes. Also great for Christmas.

TIP: For the Christmas clothes, cut the shapes out on red card, and use white card or paper for fur around the edges.

Picture from Marc Falardeau on Flickr

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Say it with pressed flowers!

If you're the type of person that likes recycling things and using natural things to make your cards, then this is the perfect option for you. Get some flowers from your garden, or local park, press them, and glue them gently onto your cards.

This will give your handmade greeting cards a gorgeous natural look, and is a perfect design for Mother's Day, Birthday, and Get Well cards.

For best effects, get some leaves to create a full plant.

Picture: in pastel from Flickr

handmade cards
handmade cards

Picture: lindsaydeebunny on Flickr

handmade card flowers
handmade card flowers

Picture: lindsaydeebunny on Flickr

Endless possibilities...

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Of course there are many more designs for cards...the possibilities are endless! Even if these designs seem too difficult for you, or something you wouldn't really like to have a go at, you can always just take ideas from them...after all, this is what this is all about!

There are ways in which you can take ideas from these cards shown, and create a much easier version of it, but still creating the same effect!

Picture by Etsy Ketsy from Flickr

Please let me know what you think!

Are you a card-maker? - What did you think of these ideas?

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    • aesta1 profile image

      Mary Norton 21 months ago from Ontario, Canada

      Came back to get more ideas and inspiration. Will try the paper you recommended.

    • profile image

      Abhinav reddy 2 years ago

      I'm

      A professional greeting card making

      And i won 5 prices in my school or by company

    • Srishti Gupta profile image

      Srishti Gupta 2 years ago from New Delhi, India

      hey i want to make card for school staff support day... can u help me out??? lizziehumphresn

    • profile image

      anonymous 3 years ago

      this cards are fabulous . i wish you all the best for your future start making another cards by your own hand by your choice to make any body special day a memoreable and wonderous from your heart

      thank you

    • profile image

      anonymous 4 years ago

      it is the best card..

    • profile image

      anonymous 4 years ago

      I think it is very nice all of them.

    • lizziehumphreys1 profile image
      Author

      lizziehumphreys1 4 years ago

      @anonymous: Actually, they're not made by me. If you have some professional cards of your own with great choices of colour, please feel free to message them to me and I'll add them to the lens if you so desire.

    • profile image

      anonymous 4 years ago

      Although you do offer some great tips for the novice, your cards strike me as a little unprofessional, poor choices of color...sorry.

    • profile image

      anonymous 4 years ago

      hi raheela ....me habib..i m making hand made pop up e.t.c cards ...so i need sameone help me..u di it???it's my cell phone numbr 03234471943

    • profile image

      KyraB 4 years ago

      I love to make cards and I think these cards are beautiful!

    • profile image

      anonymous 4 years ago

      I didn't really like them sorry :) I liked a few though

    • profile image

      anonymous 4 years ago

      i am a card maker and i think these are really good ideas......xxx

    • profile image

      anonymous 4 years ago

      nope

    • profile image

      anonymous 4 years ago

      Yup..... Gooood ideas.I like it :-)

    • profile image

      anonymous 5 years ago

      these were great really !!!

    • profile image

      anonymous 5 years ago

      these were great really !!!

    • profile image

      anonymous 5 years ago

      that is great very great...........................

      i like this very much........

      woooooooow.........

    • profile image

      anonymous 5 years ago

      this are awesomeeeeeeee

    • profile image

      anonymous 5 years ago

      this are awesomeeeeeeee

    • profile image

      anonymous 5 years ago

      its awesme....one can really get good idea..

    • profile image

      anonymous 5 years ago

      plenty of hints and ideas to stimulate the creativity. Still leaves plenty of room for the individuality of hand made cards.

    • profile image

      anonymous 5 years ago

      Just great.

    • rentinlondon lm profile image

      rentinlondon lm 5 years ago

      As usual, these are great. I've got a stack of lovely paper sitting around now I'm inspired to get started. Thanks!

      I often get the children's pattern paintings and use them as a background, or fold them into origami hearts and stars to stick on.

    • rentinlondon lm profile image

      rentinlondon lm 5 years ago

      As usual, these are great. I've got a stack of lovely paper sitting around now I'm inspired to get started. Thanks!

      I often get the children's pattern paintings and use them as a background, or fold them into origami hearts and stars to stick on.

    • profile image

      anonymous 5 years ago

      Wow!!!! One would think they were machine-made! They are awesome and I

      wouldn't mind getting a card myself !

    • profile image

      anonymous 5 years ago

      I like your ideas I have use some of them in my card designs. Lovely lens.

    • profile image

      RocklawnArts 5 years ago

      Very cool!

    • profile image

      anonymous 5 years ago

      lovely very very lovely!!!!!!!!!!!!!! :)

    • Serenity30 profile image

      Serenity30 5 years ago

      lovely designs.

      Beautiful lens.

    • aesta1 profile image

      Mary Norton 6 years ago from Ontario, Canada

      These are really nice designs. Thanks for sharing.

    • aesta1 profile image

      Mary Norton 6 years ago from Ontario, Canada

      These are really nice designs. Thanks for sharing.

    • profile image

      anonymous 6 years ago

      Nice lens. Lensrolled

    • Eighteen18 profile image

      Eighteen18 6 years ago

      yes I do sometimes make cards.. and enjoy doing so.

    • AnongLans LM profile image

      AnongLans LM 6 years ago

      Loving the ideas. I think it means much more because it's personally made for someone.

    • Rockett LM profile image

      Rockett LM 6 years ago

      I occasionally make my own cards ... you have some very nice illustrations and ideas here! Thanks.

    • AbhinavB LM profile image

      AbhinavB LM 6 years ago

      Like this article... some innovative ideas to use ... Thanks

    • Sylvestermouse profile image

      Cynthia Sylvestermouse 6 years ago from United States

      These are really great ideas! I love all of the cards! Angel Blessed and featured on "Squid Angel Mouse Tracks in Crafts."

    • Wedding Mom profile image

      Wedding Mom 6 years ago

      Gorgeous and they mean so much more knowing someone made them by hand

    • GonnaFly profile image

      Jeanette 6 years ago from Australia

      I enjoy card making too. Probably because cards can be made quickly (unlike the patchwork quilt I made which took two years to complete!)

    • Bercton1 profile image

      Bercton1 6 years ago

      Great innovation ..great lens

    • profile image

      cheyennedereck 6 years ago

      Good lens good ideas for the kids

    • profile image

      cheyennedereck 6 years ago

      Great lens good ideas for the kids

    • profile image

      capecodartandnature 6 years ago

      Lots of fun ideas here! nicely done.

    • profile image

      NinaChristie 6 years ago

      Great lens! I see what you mean about using more text modules. It looks very clean and flows well.

    • caffimages profile image

      caffimages 6 years ago

      I clicked into this lens as I love taking photos and would love some ideas on incorporating them into cards. Yours look so beautiful. What a good idea for a lens!

    • jolou profile image

      jolou 6 years ago

      Home made cards are extra special, because you can make them so personal. I think people really appreciate someone taking the time to make a card especially for them.

    • mattseefood lm profile image

      mattseefood lm 6 years ago

      These look great! Nice lens :)

    • LisaAuch1 profile image

      Lisa Auch 6 years ago from Scotland

      We love making our own cards, so I think we can get a few tips from you, these are beautiful

    • profile image

      tgnyc00 6 years ago

      Very creative! Continue with the good work!

    • profile image

      anonymous 6 years ago

      Lovely designs and a very useful lens. I also had a hobby of making greeting cards when I was in school but now I am not able to pursue my hobby. Thanks for sharing some great ideas for making hand made greeting cards.

    • tiff0315 profile image

      tiff0315 6 years ago

      I like what you've created. Looks great! Card making is pretty fun

    • profile image

      anonymous 6 years ago

      Very sweetly done, you have some good ideas. I especially liked your idea of maybe just one big sticker rather than a lot of small ones for the more professional look. One can get carried away easily.

    • profile image

      anonymous 6 years ago

      I like this lens, you have squidlike.

    • Sniff It Out profile image

      Sniff It Out 6 years ago

      I like to make handmade greeting cards too, it's great when you can come up with a unique design which is specially tailored to the recipient.

    • SandyMertens profile image

      Sandy Mertens 6 years ago from Frozen Tundra

      Great ideas to make handmade greeting cards.

    • John Dyhouse profile image

      John Dyhouse 6 years ago from UK

      Lots of creative ideas and nicely displayed. Many of these can be used to make artist trading cards, if you are unsure of what these are check out my lens, making artist trading cards I have lensrolled this lens to mine. THanks for some good ideas.

    • kathysart profile image

      kathysart 6 years ago

      Wonderful card ideas! I luv the creativity.. yay for you!

    • Lee Hansen profile image

      Lee Hansen 6 years ago from Vermont

      Cute and creative design ideas for hand made very special greeting cards. I love receiving a made-by-hand special card.

    • tandemonimom lm profile image

      tandemonimom lm 6 years ago

      Very cute and helpful too! April Fool's blessings today, and featured on Blessed by Tandemonimom!

    • paperfacets profile image

      Sherry Venegas 6 years ago from La Verne, CA

      Hello. I have sold cards since 2003. I have a good routine going now and a good fan base at the Farmer's Market. Welcome to Squidoo.