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How To Create Beautiful Handmade Greeting Cards For Every Occasion

Updated on January 10, 2012

The Beauty of a Handmade Greeting Card

There is something beautiful about receiving a handmade greeting card. It seems to carry more meaning than just mere words (possibly due to the work within it). Having made dozens of handmade greeting cards over the years, the response from people is always so overwhelming. I know people who will throw away other cards they receive, but keep mine, simply because they are handmade.

Whether the occasion be a birthday, a wedding, a congratulations, new baby or a sympathy card, somehow, when it has been handmade, it seems that much more unique and meaningful.

Getting Started

There are a few things you need to consider when getting started. If you are not sure about ideas or inspiration, there are plenty of card making and craft magazines out there to develop your ideas. You can also find many Hubs right here on Hubpages on this topic too. Here are some I particularly like:

Materials

1. Scrapbooking papers - These are 12x12 inch papers available from craft shops or online. I particularly like BasicGrey's range which I have mentioned in my previous Hub about creating personalised greeting tags for Christmas cupcake gifts.


2. Plain cards and envelopes - You can pick up plain cards from craft shops and again, online. There are plenty of plain types to choose from, with many different weights of card as well as textures, colours and shapes. I like to work with a good quality square card with a slight texture that allows for additional decorative options to be placed on the front of the card. If you plan to make many cards, you can often find better value for money by buying in bulk packets.

3. Tools - The basic essentials for any card making project includes a good quality paper trimmer, double sided tape and a sharp pair of scissors.

4. Decorative materials - In addition to your papers, you should have a wide range of brads (paper fasteners), ribbons, decorative flowers, fibres, stickers, wire, etc, that you can choose from when creating your card.

5. Photos or illustrations - If you have your own personal photos or drawings of which you are proud of, then by all means let that be the feature on your card. I have used various photos of our children or a pretty landscape snap that can be easily matched to particular scrap papers in order to achieve the desired affect. I have also used some of my more simple ink illustrations which you can see in previous Hubs:

Basic Steps, Tips & Hints For Card Making

1. Start Simple - If you are a beginner, then start small and simple. Begin by selecting a paper you like and trimming it down to a size that is slightly smaller than the plain card you are working with. Place this over the top of your blank card to see how it looks before taping anything down.

2. Try Different Ideas - Before you secure anything down, collect some pieces of ribbon, brads, flowers, etc, and place them loose upon your card to get a feel for your design. This is the part where you can really get creative and try different things without making mistakes. The more you do this the more confident you will become in your creation and you will also become aware of the types of ideas that sit well with you.

If you really have no idea where to begin, try using a card project from a card making magazine as a starting point, but complete it with different coloured papers or brads to give you more creative control. This may give you the confidence you need to have a go at your own the next time you create a handmade card.

3. Completing Your Card - Once you are happy with your design, secure the brads and ribbons to your loose piece of paper BEFORE applying the double sided tape and securing it to the card. The reason for this is that it is best to avoid the messy look that can occur when the other side of the paper fasteners come through the internal side of your card. If you only place it through your paper, when you apply this to your card, the mess of fasteners and ribbon ends can be neatly covered up out of sight, which adds a professional neat look to your card.

4. When Using Photos - If you plan to use a particular shot, often you can get them printed off on matt paper at your local photo shop or your own printer if you have one that prints good quality photos. I recommend a matt finish as this will result in less fingerprints upon your photo which will inevitably end up there with people picking up and looking at your greeting card. If you choose to have your photos printed at a photo shop, 2x3 inch is really the best size (of which you can get 2 printed onto one standard 4x6 inch print) to ensure you will have enough room around your photo to show off your chosen decorative paper. You can however also create square prints as I often like to use on my square cards.

5. Greetings and Labels - Some people prefer blank cards in order to write their own message, however if you would like a simple greeting such as 'Congratulations', 'Happy Birthday', or 'With Love' you can select a nice font from your computer and print some off onto either a plain piece of card or cut a light piece your 12x12 scrap booking paper down to A4 before printing directly onto that. You can also try using various quotes for different occasions rather than the standard greetings you see on mainstream cards in the shops. This will make your card unique, giving it that special something that stands out from the rest.

*Hint: dedicate a piece of blank computer paper to printing off some ideas/sample greetings with various fonts and sizes until you are happy before using your good scrap paper. This will save you time and money in the long run.

I also like to print off a small 'Handmade by' label to tape to the back of the card where I can sign my own name or print it if preferred. You also might like to include the year it was created to add to the sense of it being a keepsake for the person receiving it.

6. Finishing Touches - I like to get a nice piece of fibre or ribbon to tie around the fold in the card, which trails off the edge when the card is standing. This just adds a beautiful distinctive finishing touch to my cards.

7. Have Fun & Get Creative - Above all, have some fun and be as creative as you like. Practice and get a feel for what you like. Before you know it you will be your own expert and you will experience the joy of creating and giving someone you care about, something extra special. I often spend the time while I am making the card thinking about the person I am creating it for, and why they are special to me. So when my cards say 'Handmade with love', it really does ring true.

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