Simple Handmade Greeting Cards
Handmade Greeting cards are fun to make and a delight to receive. They can range from very simple cards that even quite young children can make to more complex. Greeting cards can be made when you have some spare time and kept aside ready for that special occasion, and that is for just about every situation you can think of, from the usual Christmas and Birthday remembrances to sending or giving cards for Easter, Baptism, Confirmation, Get Well, New Baby, Welcome Home, Graduation, New Job, Sympathy, I Heard You Were Ill, St. Valentine's Day, someone's Saint's Day or a simple Just Thinking of You.
Because you are making the card yourself, it can be very specific and personal. Homemade cards are always welcome because the person receiving the card knows that it was made with thoughtfulness and love.
Materials: You may not need all these; it depends on the types of cards you choose to make.
- Light card of various colours, a pair of scissors, glue-stick, ruler.
- A quilling tool and quilling materials, PCV wood glue (water-based).
- Purchased sheets of sticky greeting labels.
- A 6B pencil for sketching, water-colour paints, felt-tip pens, a calligraphy pen.
- A printer for duplicating your cards.
- Lots of creative ideas.
Ideas for Making Cards:
- Using Photographs
- Photographs with Stickers
- Cards with Quilling
- Using Quilling and Calligraphy
- Sketching, Drawing and Painting Homemade Cards
- Homemade Gift Tags
Probably the simplest cards to make are those that use photographs. Almost everyone has some photos hidden away somewhere that could be just perfect.
Materials: For a project like this you will need a suitable photograph, light card of a colour that will enhance your photograph, a ruler, some glue (most gluesticks are fine for photographs), a pair of scissors.
- Measure with the ruler, cut the card to about a cm larger than the photograph, remembering to make it twice as wide for a horizontal card and twice as long for a vertical card.
- Fold the card in half. Spread the glue on the back of the photograph and place it on the front of the card.
- You may like to 'frame' the photograph by using a fine-tipped pen to rule around it a little out from its edge, or you could mount it on a wider card before gluing it to the greeting card.
Add a neatly written message inside.
Photographs with Stickers
There are different ways to add a greeting to the front of a card when you have used a photograph (notice that here the photograph covers the whole front of the card):
- Add a purchased sticker
- Use a smaller photograph and use a calligraphy pen to write the greeting on the card. This could be above, below or at the side of the photograph.
- Suitable stickers for the inside of the card are available and you might like to add one of those inside. There are ones with words, but you could also use stickers suitable for the occasion such as some tiny hearts, butterflies, or a racing car. Some of the small items sold for scrap-booking could be useful here, too.
- Write your message inside the card.
Cards with Quilling
Quilling can be fun and once you learn how to slot the narrow strip of paper into the quilling tool and then twist it around, all sorts of designs can be made.
Materials: A card cut to a suitable size and folded over, quilling strips, quilling tool, a pair of scissors, a small amount of PVA wood glue poured into a disposable container such as a small lid, and a toothpick.
Instructions: You can make your own design. To follow the illustration:
- Small flowers: Use the slightly wider strips. Fringe a half length of the paper, wind it around the tool and use the toothpick to glue the end down. Hold it for a moment to dry. Then remove the tool, place a finger firmly in the centre of the flower and ease out the petals. Add glue to the flat base and stick it in position.
- Larger flower: Fringe a wider strip, glue a short piece of narrow paper to one end. Wind this around the tool first to make the flower centre. Complete as above.
- Tendrils: Use short pieces of narrow paper that have not been so tightly wound, leaving about a cm straight. Glue, edge-on, in position.
- Leaves: Fold wider paper in half, cut leaf shape, mark the veins, unfold and glue.
- You can add words, stickers etc. to the rest of the front of the card.
Using Quilling and Calligraphy
Quilling: Here the quilling is done in the same way for the flower, leaf and tendrils. The bud is made from a very short piece of narrow paper chosen to match the flower. Wind it around the tool, ease it off and allow it to unwind a little, add the dab of glue with the toothpick, then hold it firmly at one end to form the tear-drop shape. When it is dry, glue it to the card.
Calligraphy: It is best to practise first on a scrap of paper with a pencil, until you know how you want your greeting to look. Block it out on the card in pencil, ruling in guidelines to keep it straight. Then you can write the whole greeting with a calligraphy pen, or, as in the example, draw in carefully an illuminated letter, paint it and outline the letter with a fine pen if desired. Don't forget to erase the pencil marks.
Any - or all - of the cards you design can be photocopied as many times as you like and you can keep the original as the Master card. This way, they are lighter for mailing.
Sketching, Drawing and Painting Homemade Cards
Other ways to make homemade cards really personal is by adding sketches, drawings and small paintings such as this small, Chinese-style goldfish. If you look at the sheet of gift tags below, there are other ideas. You can print and add a sticker of your own design on the back to advertise your cards and then sell them.
Homemade Gift Tags
Now you have made handmade greeting cards, you can try making small homemade gift tags. You can even make them to match your greeting cards. On the sheet below there are two examples of tiny quilling. How to make the flower is explained above. The chicken's body is a tear-drop. Three of the gift tags are simple stickers; the rest are different styles of watercolour paintings.
The tags have been done in pairs on coloured card and then glued together to make an A4 size sheet. This can then be photocopied onto light card and you can make any number of tags. To complete them, they need to be cut, folded and a hole made in each with a hole-punch, and completed with a bright ribbon or length of tinsel tied through the hole.