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Simple and Creative Handmade Greeting Card Ideas

As a teacher at all levels and mother of five children, Bronwen has been interested in a variety of crafts for both children and adults.

Handmade card featuring a photograph of a pretty scene

Handmade card featuring a photograph of a pretty scene

Handmade Cards

Handmade greeting cards are fun to make and a delight to receive. They can range from very simple cards that young children can make to more complex ones.

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 Easter, baptism, confirmation, get well, new baby, welcome home, graduation, new job, sympathy, 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.


Note: 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
  • Quilling tool and quilling materials, PCV wood glue (water-based)
  • Purchased sheets of sticky greeting labels
  • 6B pencil for sketching, water-colour paints, felt-tip pens, a calligraphy pen
  • Printer for duplicating your cards
  • Lots of creative ideas

Handmade Card Ideas

  • Photographs
  • Photographs with stickers
  • Cards with quilling
  • Using quilling and calligraphy
  • Sketching, drawing and painting
  • Homemade gift tags

Using Photographs

Probably the simplest cards to make are those that use photographs. Almost everyone has some photos hidden away somewhere that could be just perfect.


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 glue sticks are fine for photographs), and a pair of scissors.


  1. Measure with the ruler and cut the card to about a centimetre larger than the photograph, remembering to make it twice as wide for a horizontal card and twice as long for a vertical card.
  2. Fold the card in half. Spread the glue on the back of the photograph and place it on the front of the card.
  3. 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.

Photograph with purchased sticker greeting

Photograph with purchased sticker greeting

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.
Quilling is fun.

Quilling is fun.

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.


A card cut to a suitable size and folded over, quilling strips, a 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.


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 and 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.
Quilling with homemade greeting

Quilling with homemade greeting

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.

Hand-painted gift card

Hand-painted gift card

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.

Variety sheet of handmade gift tags

Variety sheet of handmade gift tags

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 above, 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 and folded, a hole must be made in each with a hole punch, and a bright ribbon or length of tinsel can be tied through the hole to finish them off.


Bronwen Scott-Branagan (author) from Victoria, Australia on November 15, 2015:

aesta1: That must be so frustrating. I wonder if talking to someone in an artists' supplies shop would help? I do hope you get that problem sorted out, so you can be happy with the results.

Mary Norton from Ontario, Canada on November 14, 2015:

Started making cards but the card stock I got was not really the qualit I want. It was prepackaged so I could not see inside. I have a hard time looking for just the right paper to use.

Bronwen Scott-Branagan (author) from Victoria, Australia on November 23, 2012:

ishwaryaa22: Thank you for your lovely comments. They are better and I love receiving handmade cards, too. I'm making some of my own now for Christmas.

Ishwaryaa Dhandapani from Chennai, India on November 23, 2012:

A wonderful hub! Your suggestions and instructions are helpful. Your creations are beautiful. Handmade cards are so much better than store-bought cards as they are created out of love. I like creating handmade cards for my family on special occasions. Belated congrats on the hub of the day. Way to go!

Thanks for SHARING. Useful & Awesome. Voted up & pinned

Bronwen Scott-Branagan (author) from Victoria, Australia on September 29, 2012:

shiningirisheyes: That's great. I'm so glad that you found my hub interesting. God bless you.

stillwaters707: Wow! That's a lovely surprise. They're such fun to do and they don't really take a lot of time, either. Thank you for your message.

stillwaters707 from Texas on September 28, 2012:

Blossom! You won't believe this. A recipient of one of my cards is placing it at the top of a collage in memory of her neice. I used the myscrapnook site YOU recommended. I was touched! You've set a trend alll over.

Shining Irish Eyes from Upstate, New York on September 28, 2012:

This is fantastic. My Mom and I were just discussing making home made greeting cards with the computer. I find your hub interesting and creative as well as the many selections from your profile page.


Bronwen Scott-Branagan (author) from Victoria, Australia on August 24, 2012:

bettynj: Thank you for your comment and welcome to HubPages. I'm sure you'll have lots of fun. Enjoy making some cards for your friends, too.

Faith Reaper: Thank you. I do have lots of photos, but I don't always get around to using them. I made two this week, though. GBY.

Faith Reaper from southern USA on August 21, 2012:

What a great idea, Blossom, and with your many travels, you would have a bounty of beautiful cards. Great hub. In His Love, Faith Reaper

bettynj from Nanjing, Jiangsu, China on August 17, 2012:

very beautiful and interesting, I will try and send my wishes to friends.

Bronwen Scott-Branagan (author) from Victoria, Australia on August 16, 2012:

Suzettenaples: Thank you for your congratulations. Yes, quilling is fun. Hand stamping greeting cards is a good idea, too.

Mico: I'm glad you enjoyed it. I'm going to try to make a couple today with miniature paintings in acrylics, one for a fortieth wedding anniversary and one for a lady turning 100. Should be interesting.

Mico on August 15, 2012:

Great hub! I love creativity. Congratulations on HOTD...

Suzette Walker from Taos, NM on August 14, 2012:

What a delightful hub! Congratulations on HOTD! I must have missed this when it was featured. I love the quilting on the cards. That is something I have never seen before. I hand stamp greeting cards and I love doing it. It is true, people love to get handmade cards! I love your hub and you are so talented and creative. Thanks for sharing your ideas and knowledge with us!

Bronwen Scott-Branagan (author) from Victoria, Australia on August 14, 2012:

prairieprincess: It's great that you have found this hub is so helpful. Thank you for your congratulations, too. It was such a lovely surprise that I'm still enjoying it.

Sharilee Swaity from Canada on August 13, 2012:

Blossom, I love these ideas and your explanations. I am definitely saving this (pinned) for further reference. These are such great ideas. And also, congratulations on "Hub Of The Day!"

Bronwen Scott-Branagan (author) from Victoria, Australia on August 13, 2012:

teaches12345: I'm glad you enjoyed it. Receiving homemade cards can be such a delight.

prasetio30: Thank you for your comments and vote. It was fun writing about them.

prasetio30 from malang-indonesia on August 13, 2012:

Very creative and I really enjoy reading this hub. Good job, my friend. Voted up and thanks for share with us. Cheers, Prasetio

Dianna Mendez on August 12, 2012:

Lovely hub and card designs, Blossom. I always enjoy receiving homemade cards, they mean so much to me and the giver.

Bronwen Scott-Branagan (author) from Victoria, Australia on August 12, 2012:

That's great! I'm glad you came and visited.

Maria Magdalena Ruiz O'Farrill from Borikén the great land of the valiant and noble Lord on August 12, 2012:

You gave me such a good idea here. Thanks so much for sharing!

Bronwen Scott-Branagan (author) from Victoria, Australia on August 11, 2012:

heidimedina: That's a great idea. I guess you could make collages from bits of photographs, too.

oceansnsunsets: My parents used to do that. I still have one my Dad did. Happy memories.

stillwaters707: I'm glad you found the ideas useful.

rebeccamealey: The quilling is fun and quite easy once you get the knack of winding the paper around. Have you done it before?

davenmidtown: Thank you! It was such a lovely surprise. I'm not sure about deserving it, but I'm glad I did.

Bronwen Scott-Branagan (author) from Victoria, Australia on August 11, 2012:

flashmakeit: Thank you for your positive comments.

Lauramaryscott: Yes, making our own gifts for people is great, too. I often make knitted articles as gifts for the family.

Movie Master: Thank you! That was a great thrill. I was so surprised.

pstroubie48: It gives pleasure to both the one who made the card and the one who receives it.

nmdonders: They're fun to make, too. Thank you for the congratulations. It was a lovely surprise.

Thelma Alberts: Thank you! I'm really chuffed. Hope you're enjoying your weekend, too. I've been enjoying watching the Olympics.

bridalletter: It is exciting. Your idea of using children's school photos is a good one!

RTaloni: Thank you! I'm so glad it has been so useful.

David Stillwell from Sacramento, California on August 11, 2012:

Hello Blossom! I just wanted to say Congratulations on Hub Of The Day... you truly deserve this my friend!!!!

Rebecca Mealey from Northeastern Georgia, USA on August 11, 2012:

These are really nice card recycling ideas. I love the paper quilling!

stillwaters707 from Texas on August 11, 2012:

These ideas are great. I'd like to try the photostickers.

Paula from The Midwest, USA on August 11, 2012:

What a great hub, full of great ideas for handmade greeting cards! I especially love to receive homemade greeting cards of any kind. Your example of a pretty scene, using a photo is stunning! It would very much make my day to get a card like that, and I might even frame it for later!

Heidi Dawn Medina from Denver, CO on August 11, 2012:

Beautiful cards and great ideas. I also make greeting cards using collages of pictures I make from saving pictures and words I cut from old magazines that I save. It's a great way to make personal cards.

RTalloni on August 11, 2012:

Congrats on you Hub of the Day award! Handmade cards speak love and care to the recipient and it's always nice to see the idea of making them being promoted.

Brenda Kyle from Blue Springs, Missouri, USA on August 11, 2012:

I make my own cards and tags, so much fun. I like your idea of using photographs too. I normally use those for digitally created cards, but it would be fun to use the kids school pictures and send those out on cards. Congrats on your hub, very exciting!

Thelma Alberts from Germany on August 11, 2012:

Wow! Congrats on the HOTD! This is definitely creative and you deserve the win. Thanks for sharing this very informative and useful hub. Have a great weekend!

Nira Perkins on August 11, 2012:

I love handmade cards. I have a friend that makes them for every occasion and I appreciate them so much. This is a great idea. Congratulations of Hub of the Day.

Patricia Scott from North Central Florida on August 11, 2012:

These are so sweet. There is nothing more personal and more loving than making a personal card for someone one. I have shared my fun with this here on hubpages too. It is so much fun to think of joy the little card you have spent so much time and thought creating will bring to the recipient. I feel as if I am sending a little piece of me along with the card. thank you so much for sharing with us.

Movie Master from United Kingdom on August 11, 2012:

Congratulations Blossom on Hub of the Day!

lauramaryscott from Boise, Idaho on August 11, 2012:

I enjoy the uniqueness of creating my own gifts. It gives me a feeling of accomplishment when I make something. Thanks for sharing your cards with us, BlossumSB

flashmakeit from usa on August 10, 2012:

Beautiful card and a gift bag to match a home made card is a great idea for Christmas or Birthdays. You can even try selling them together because people like unique gift bags for Christmas.

Bronwen Scott-Branagan (author) from Victoria, Australia on August 10, 2012:

stars439: Thank you for coming by and GBY, too.

bdeguilio: Do give it a try, it will be appreciated so much. Thank you for your comments.

Bill De Giulio from Massachusetts on August 10, 2012:

What a fun and creative way to add a personal touch to a greeting card. will have to give this a try. Thanks for sharing with us.

stars439 from Louisiana, The Magnolia and Pelican State. on August 10, 2012:

Wonderful ideas, and thank you for sharing them dear heart. GBY.

Bronwen Scott-Branagan (author) from Victoria, Australia on August 09, 2012:

always exploring: Yes. I have a friend who moved a distance away to live on a farm and when she sends a card it is a photo of the fields, mountains or animals around her that she sees every day and it is such a delight to share these things with her.

mours sshields: Thank you, Marcia. You probably have lots more ideas, too, than the ones I included in this hub.

Jackie Lynnley: Thank you for your vote. Yes, it is fun to share - and to share with grand-children in the making of the cards, too.

shara63: I'm delighted that my hub is so useful. I wish you a very happy time at the festivals.

MazioCreate: When I was living on the Gold Coast I did go to markets a few times and it was a lot of fun meeting the people there and talking about my cards. Now I'm in Victoria I haven't done it yet. Thank you for the encouragement.

Movie Master: Thank you for your lovely positive comments and vote. A personal touch is so important. Try quilling, it's fun and gets really interesting results. There are so many designs to try. Two bigger circles and five tiny circles makes a lovely baby's foot for a Welcome New Baby card.

davenmidtown: Aren't you lovely! Thank you for such a great response to my hub. As you write, a real letter or card is so welcome in this digital age.

David Stillwell from Sacramento, California on August 09, 2012:

Hi Blossom! Wow Wow Wow! What a great hub. Very well written, layout is awesome, and the power this brings to people is amazing. What I love about this is that you have put the personal touch of writing a greeting card back into sending letters. I much prefer to receive a real letter or a card rather than an Email, etc. This really made my day!!!!

Movie Master from United Kingdom on August 09, 2012:

I love to receive a homemade greetings card, it's such a nice personal touch.

I love your examples, I have never tried quilling - thank you for your easy to follow instructions, voting up and shared.

MazioCreate from Brisbane Queensland Australia on August 08, 2012:

Great ideas BlossomSB and very easy to follow instructions. You have some excellent finished products. Have you ever thought of selling them at a market or online? I'm sure there would be a niche for these products. Voted up and shared.

Farhat from Delhi on August 08, 2012:

It's a festival time here in India.. Janamashtmi, Rakhabandhan, Edd and many made my job easy and your hub is going to be of great help this way & also to the students at their SUPW I have to assist my brother for his school's Arts & craft work. Thankyou BlossomSB!

Jackie Lynnley from the beautiful south on August 08, 2012:

These are really great for those we love most and a fun thing to share with other family members I am sure. Voting up.

mours sshields from Elwood, Indiana on August 08, 2012:

An interesting and fun craft! And, the ideas for cards are many.

Marcia Ours

Ruby Jean Richert from Southern Illinois on August 08, 2012:

I love getting homemade cards, esp. with photographs. Your cards are beautiful. I love the quilling too. You are so gifted. Thank you for sharing..

Bronwen Scott-Branagan (author) from Victoria, Australia on August 08, 2012:

jainismus: I do so agree with you: creativity matters, both to the creator and to the recipient of the cards made with thought and love.

unknown spy: Yes, it's a great way of showing how we respect and love other people. Thank you for the follow.

Beyond Max: Yes, it is heartwarming to receive homemade cards and they mean so much. I still have cards made many years ago.

Vellur: I'm so glad that you are going to try some of my ideas. I do hope that you have fun and receive lots of pleasure in the creation.

Frank Atanacio: So you know what a feeling of achievement and joy it gives the giver. Your Grandmother was a wise woman.

Lipnancy: I'm afraid I send quite a few greetings by email, too, and am happy to receive them that way, but, as you write, there's something special about receiving them through the mail.

MarleneB: Oh, dear! You will be quite good at calligraphy! My efforts aren't very professional, I'm afraid. I should practice more. Re quilling, try it, the materials are not expensive and it's lots of fun.

aviannovice: I do the same. They do come with so much thought and effort that they are greatly appreciated.

kashmir56: Thank you so much for your positive comments and vote. I hope those tips are useful.

Thomas Silvia from Massachusetts on August 08, 2012:

Many great and wonderful ways to make beautiful greeting card within this well written hub . Love all the ideas and tips !

Vote up and more !!!

Deb Hirt from Stillwater, OK on August 08, 2012:

I recently got a homemade card. I keep it on the coffee table, and look at it often to remind me of the person that sent it.

Marlene Bertrand from USA on August 08, 2012:

I took a calligraphy class and it was a lot of fun learning all the techniques. I like your idea about placing a sticker on top of the photograph. And, I never knew what quilling was until now. Great hub.

Nancy Yager from Hamburg, New York on August 08, 2012:

Even though the masses say that traditional cards and letters have been replaced by e-mail. People are still thrilled to get homemade cards and letters in the mail.

Frank Atanacio from Shelton on August 08, 2012:

You know blossoms we use to make our own cards when we were kids.. my grandmother wanted us to says it shows more feeling your hubs are becoming more useful to me bless you :)

Nithya Venkat from Dubai on August 08, 2012:

Great ideas and as you say receiving a handmade greeting card is a wonderful experience. I love the Calligraphy and Quilling ideas. The tags idea is also very creative. Enjoyed this hub and will try these ideas out.

BeyondMax from Sydney, Australia on August 08, 2012:

Awe, these are so heart-warming and so creatively beautiful! I absolutely love to receive hand-made cards and notes! They show you that people care and give you the piece of themselves, invest their soul in it. =) Great tips, you gave me lots of clever ideas! Thank you so much for sharing! =)

DragonBallSuper on August 08, 2012:

Great tips and really, this is beautiful. creative ways to get to the person's heart too. love your ideas.

Mahaveer Sanglikar from Pune, India on August 07, 2012:

Great Hub with beautiful handmade greeting cards. The tips you have given are very useful. Generally people buy greeting cards from the market, but when we make our own greeting cards, we get a joy of creation. Creativity matters.