- Arts and Design
Best Designs for Handmade Greeting Cards
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
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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
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
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.
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
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!
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
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
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
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
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?
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
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
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
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!