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Card sketches, Worth Your Time ? Inspiration - Card Making

Updated on July 8, 2016

How do they make those cards ?

You've seen them on blogs or some cardmakers friend of yours are waxing lyrical about card sketches but you never saw any potential using card maps. You like the greeting cards your fellow cardmakers have made and wonder where they've picked the craft ideas ?

Card made by Fabrizio Martellucci using HOTP paper pack and sketch by Pagemaps
Card made by Fabrizio Martellucci using HOTP paper pack and sketch by Pagemaps

Card layout sketches at the rescue !

Well, maybe just maybe, it's time to have a second look at card sketches/card maps to push you out of your creative comfort zone so you can find new ways of using your beloved crafting elements on your handmade cards. If you feel that your cards are becoming very samey or that you're stuck in a 'cookie cutter' rut then you really need to look at card sketches. There are a few cards blogs out there with weekly challenges following their maps or sketches.

My top card making tips using sketches :

  • Print out the sketch/map image that you find online
  • If the sketch image is in a book just scan it and print it
  • Scribble on the printed image to aid your memory
  • Write what paper or elements you want to use on the printed sketch to improve your craft ideas so that you don't forget.
  • Using your ruler to assess the proportion between the elements
  • Don't be coy in adjusting the proportion on the sketch you've picked to fit the handmade cards you've got in mind
  • Make different greeting cards using the same sketch to stretch your creativity

Trust me, cardmaps won't limit your creativity

Now don't get me wrong, if they don't really inspire you or you can't see how you can adapt your existing crafting supplies, no worries, it's totally natural to feel that way. It's almost like a creating handmade cards 'by numbers' in as much as there's one thing less to think about: element positioning.

Instead of finding it limiting, I believe it's quite the opposite, it frees me to use my own creativity on how I can combine my existing craft stash discovering new ways of using those sketches yet following my own taste for my greeting cards making. Obviously if any card sketches or maps don't inspire you then don't use them.

"...'limiting' your elements positioning options you'll create new opportunities for amazing creative outputs,..."

Card made by Fabrizio Martellucci using HOTP supplies and sketch by Pagemaps
Card made by Fabrizio Martellucci using HOTP supplies and sketch by Pagemaps

'Forcing' you to be more creative with your cardmaking...

Honestly, you'll be surprised how looking at these sketches intently for a few minutes your mind will start to consider the possibilities combining the various elements in your head just like by magic. Your greeting cards making skills will improve over time doing these mental exercises as in 'limiting' your elements positioning options you'll create new opportunities for amazing creative outputs, you'll soon discover that card sketches are definitely your friends and that, will undoubtedly show on your handmade cards.

"'s your handmade cards so don't feel pressurised to use exactly the sketch craft ideas: you don't have to..."

Poll time !

Have you ever thought of using Cardmaps/sketches in your card making ?

See results

Assemble your greeting cards according to the sketch

Once you've printed the image just follow the blank lines that create the elements and pick three papers, possibly from the same collection: one heavily patterned, one slightly less and one plain. You can also use white or black cardstock to your own advantage here if they contrast with the hues and colours of the papers you've picked.

After the papers, select the embellishments; you'll find that some sketches will show you that a brad, flower or other element is being used, don't be scared in changing that, after all, it's your handmade cards so don't feel pressurised to use exactly the sketch craft ideas: you don't have to. Here's the fun bit, start to cut the papers to fit the various sizes you see on the sketch/map image, don't forget to ink the edges or add extra thin mats to the background elements to make them stand out, especially on patterned papers so that they don't get 'lost'.

Remember to pick a few sentiments either with rubber/clear stamps or with rub-ons so that you choose the best fitting one for your greeting cards. A few craft ideas will pop up in your head as you sort and select your fave, jot them down on the card sketch, it might not be good for the current card you're making but it could be used for the next one. More importantly have fun with it, experiment and if something gets too much just stop and come back to it later, card making shouldn't be a chore but a relaxing experience.

Tell your friends about your 'secret' !

You'll notice after a while that you'll get the knack pretty quickly and the more you use these card maps the better you'll get. Then you'll have your friends and blog followers asking you ' Where do you get all your craft ideas ?' Just show them the way: Card Maps :)

It's over to you now, have you used card sketches/maps for your cardmaking ? Or have you participated in one of those greeting card sketch challenges blogs ? Leave a comment, please, just below so I can read what you think !


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    • stampinwithfab profile imageAUTHOR

      Fabrizio Martellucci 

      2 years ago from London, United Kingdom

      Good for you Fiona, enjoy your Christmas card making and thank you for taking the time reading my article. :)

    • Fiona Jean Mckay profile image


      2 years ago from South Africa

      I've seen lots of sketches and I keep wanting to try them for my cards but I get distracted and forget. I will be using sketches this Christmas though because I need to make a big batch of cards.

    • KoffeeKlatch Gals profile image

      Susan Hazelton 

      3 years ago from Sunny Florida

      This is a terrific hub. I can't wait to try out what I have learned.

    • stampinwithfab profile imageAUTHOR

      Fabrizio Martellucci 

      3 years ago from London, United Kingdom

      Thank you, I'm on the process of moving all my articles I had on another website of mine which is now defunct so hopefully I'll work on them and make these existing articles better adding images etc... Thanks again for your compliments it's really encouraging.

    • RTalloni profile image


      3 years ago from the short journey

      Mapping out a plan is so important for making a quality card. I'll be looking up greeting card sketch challenges to see what they are about. Thanks.

    • Stephen Kalu profile image

      stephen kalu 

      3 years ago from Nigeria

      Great hub. Just marvelled in this community what people are coming up with. Thats good


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