Simple Handmade Greeting Cards

Updated on May 26, 2016
BlossomSB profile image

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 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


Photograph of a Pretty Scene
Photograph of a Pretty Scene | Source

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.

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.

Instructions:

  1. 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.
  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 | Source

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 | Source

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.

Quilling with Home Made Greeting
Quilling with Home Made Greeting | Source

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 | Source

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.

Variety Sheet of Handmade Gift Tags
Variety Sheet of Handmade Gift Tags | Source

Questions & Answers

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      • BlossomSB profile imageAUTHOR

        Bronwen Scott-Branagan 

        3 years ago from Victoria, Australia

        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.

      • aesta1 profile image

        Mary Norton 

        3 years ago from Ontario, Canada

        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.

      • BlossomSB profile imageAUTHOR

        Bronwen Scott-Branagan 

        5 years ago from Victoria, Australia

        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.

      • ishwaryaa22 profile image

        Ishwaryaa Dhandapani 

        5 years ago from Chennai, India

        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

      • BlossomSB profile imageAUTHOR

        Bronwen Scott-Branagan 

        6 years ago from Victoria, Australia

        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 profile image

        stillwaters707 

        6 years ago from Texas

        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.

      • shiningirisheyes profile image

        Shining Irish Eyes 

        6 years ago from Upstate, New York

        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.

        Blessings

      • BlossomSB profile imageAUTHOR

        Bronwen Scott-Branagan 

        6 years ago from Victoria, Australia

        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 profile image

        Faith Reaper 

        6 years ago from southern USA

        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 profile image

        bettynj 

        6 years ago from Nanjing, Jiangsu, China

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

      • BlossomSB profile imageAUTHOR

        Bronwen Scott-Branagan 

        6 years ago from Victoria, Australia

        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.

      • profile image

        Mico 

        6 years ago

        Great hub! I love creativity. Congratulations on HOTD... http://www.micoequipment.com

      • suzettenaples profile image

        Suzette Walker 

        6 years ago from Taos, NM

        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!

      • BlossomSB profile imageAUTHOR

        Bronwen Scott-Branagan 

        6 years ago from Victoria, Australia

        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.

      • prairieprincess profile image

        Sharilee Swaity 

        6 years ago from Canada

        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!"

      • BlossomSB profile imageAUTHOR

        Bronwen Scott-Branagan 

        6 years ago from Victoria, Australia

        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 profile image

        prasetio30 

        6 years ago from malang-indonesia

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

      • teaches12345 profile image

        Dianna Mendez 

        6 years ago

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

      • BlossomSB profile imageAUTHOR

        Bronwen Scott-Branagan 

        6 years ago from Victoria, Australia

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

      • Lastheart profile image

        Maria Magdalena Ruiz O'Farrill 

        6 years ago from Borikén the great land of the valiant and noble Lord

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

      • BlossomSB profile imageAUTHOR

        Bronwen Scott-Branagan 

        6 years ago from Victoria, Australia

        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.

      • BlossomSB profile imageAUTHOR

        Bronwen Scott-Branagan 

        6 years ago from Victoria, Australia

        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.

      • davenmidtown profile image

        David Stillwell 

        6 years ago from Sacramento, California

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

      • rebeccamealey profile image

        Rebecca Mealey 

        6 years ago from Northeastern Georgia, USA

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

      • stillwaters707 profile image

        stillwaters707 

        6 years ago from Texas

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

      • oceansnsunsets profile image

        Paula 

        6 years ago from The Midwest, USA

        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!

      • heidimedina profile image

        Heidi Dawn Medina 

        6 years ago from Denver, CO

        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 profile image

        RTalloni 

        6 years ago from the short journey

        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.

      • bridalletter profile image

        Brenda Kyle 

        6 years ago from Blue Springs, Missouri, USA

        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 profile image

        Thelma Alberts 

        6 years ago from Germany

        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!

      • nmdonders profile image

        Nira Perkins 

        6 years ago

        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.

      • pstraubie48 profile image

        Patricia Scott 

        6 years ago from sunny Florida

        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 profile image

        Movie Master 

        6 years ago from United Kingdom

        Congratulations Blossom on Hub of the Day!

      • lauramaryscott profile image

        lauramaryscott 

        6 years ago from Boise, Idaho

        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 profile image

        flashmakeit 

        6 years ago from usa

        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.

      • BlossomSB profile imageAUTHOR

        Bronwen Scott-Branagan 

        6 years ago from Victoria, Australia

        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.

      • bdegiulio profile image

        Bill De Giulio 

        6 years ago from Massachusetts

        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 profile image

        stars439 

        6 years ago from Louisiana, The Magnolia and Pelican State.

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

      • BlossomSB profile imageAUTHOR

        Bronwen Scott-Branagan 

        6 years ago from Victoria, Australia

        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.

      • davenmidtown profile image

        David Stillwell 

        6 years ago from Sacramento, California

        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 profile image

        Movie Master 

        6 years ago from United Kingdom

        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 profile image

        MazioCreate 

        6 years ago from Brisbane Queensland Australia

        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.

      • shara63 profile image

        Farhat 

        6 years ago from Delhi

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

      • Jackie Lynnley profile image

        Jackie Lynnley 

        6 years ago from The Beautiful South

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

      • profile image

        mours sshields 

        6 years ago from Elwood, Indiana

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

        Marcia Ours

      • always exploring profile image

        Ruby Jean Richert 

        6 years ago from Southern Illinois

        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..

      • BlossomSB profile imageAUTHOR

        Bronwen Scott-Branagan 

        6 years ago from Victoria, Australia

        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.

      • kashmir56 profile image

        Thomas Silvia 

        6 years ago from Massachusetts

        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 !!!

      • aviannovice profile image

        Deb Hirt 

        6 years ago from Stillwater, OK

        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.

      • MarleneB profile image

        Marlene Bertrand 

        6 years ago from USA

        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.

      • Lipnancy profile image

        Nancy Yager 

        6 years ago from Hamburg, New York

        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 profile image

        Frank Atanacio 

        6 years ago from Shelton

        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 :)

      • Vellur profile image

        Nithya Venkat 

        6 years ago from Dubai

        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 profile image

        BeyondMax 

        6 years ago from Sydney, Australia

        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! =)

      • unknown spy profile image

        Not Found 

        6 years ago from Neverland - where children never grow up.

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

      • jainismus profile image

        Mahaveer Sanglikar 

        6 years ago from Pune, India

        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.

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