Designs For Handmade Greeting Cards…Beat Crafters’ Block Today!
So you want to get started on making your own handmade greeting cards? Good on you! Sometimes you can find nice cards when you’re out and about, but sometimes they seem kind of generic. A close friend or family member is celebrating something big-time and just any old card won’t do.
We’re all at least somewhat guilty (myself included) of getting excited when we get a card in the mail…but a year later it ends up in, yep, the recycle bin. Making unique cards that are too cute to find their way there -sounds like a plan.
But then you run into something way worse than being confronted with a pile of generic greeting cards. You have no idea what you’re going to design. What now?
Need New Ideas For Making Greeting Cards?
I have a first cousin who works for a greeting card company…but she’s actually a writer..you know, in charge of coming up with creative inner messages, which I’m sure is no small feat. I imagine the writers have to know all about design, too!
Well there is some good news afoot (you knew I was going to say that…) You really can make cards that would blow away what you see at the drugstore, you just need to have a master plan. I’m going to tell you all about that plan right here! Before you get started, you have to understand a few things about the elements of design.
If you ever saw a beautiful card somewhere and wondered how the artist got the inspiration, chances are the design elements were really “in sync” with each other. Something on that card really pulled you in and made you look – it could be the way the card’s artist really followed the elements of design well.
Layout of Your Greeting Card
I remember being in art class and hearing the discussion about a “focal point” “complementing” “contrasting”, all that stuff. This even applied to abstract art as well, but I stink at abstract art. However I got a lot of great takeaways. One of them is when you’re creating anything, you have to have a design that is the “focal point” so ultimately, the complete design will click.
Without it, peoples’ eyes wander, or they glaze over trying to figure out what the heck they’re taking in. Here’s an example since this concept is better shown than told 🙂 I made these 2 “quick and dirty” layouts below to give you an idea of what a good-looking , well-balanced design should start with:
If the design is too “busy”…it can be off-putting. Ever seen a pattern somewhere that was so cluttered with elements as to be totally unappealing? Yep that’s what we call an out of whack design.
Should Your Handmade Card Designs All Be the Same Shape?
Cards themselves are many times a standard squarish-rectangle, but there are other different shapes: Vertical, horizontal, square and the really long or really tall shape (I always thought those odd shapes were cool) However, the design itself must follow the elements well.
Remember that once you understand design elements well you can become more carte blanche regardless of whether you are using circles, triangles, squares, etc.
Supplies You Need To Design Handmade Cards
First off, obviously cardstock, which is essential to have in various colors and patterns. It needs to be a certain quality and thickness.
You may also want to consider the use of other types of paper, like tissue, to make your card designs really interesting and more dimensional. If you’re mystified about the nuances of paper this post may help to enlighten you 🙂
But you’re going to want to have some handy embellishment tools as well. These suggestions include:
Gift wrap paper, ribbons, buttons, fabric, tiny flatbed gemstones, and stickers, so you can bling it up a little-or a lot. As long as you follow the guidelines of symmetry and focal points described above, you can get as creative as you want.
Some other tools may be important in the embellishment process:
- Die cutter
- Craft scissors
- Assorted stamps
- Cricut tool
You Can Make Envelopes For Your Handmade Cards Too!
You should also consider making envelopes too for the cards to go in. Something like that always struck me as hard – If you have a template to go by then it will be easy to replicate it more than once and make sure it is going to fit your card. There are several different shapes too, so if you want to make square envelopes you certainly can.
Choose the Right Kind of Adhesive For Your Cards
You do want to look for a good adhesive in your cardmaking endeavors too. I know from experience that choosing the right kind of craft glue is so important-the last thing you want on a beautiful card you plain to send to someone is to have glue bubbles or dark stains under some of the little elements like ribbons or scrap paper.
While we’re on the subject, consider the use of washi tape – which is a very popular tool for enhancing handmade greeting card designs today; if you come up with some unique designs it will be the only embellishment you need and you won’t have to fool with adhesive anyway since tape is a form of adhesive.
Save Money Making Your Own Cards!
Store-bought greeting cards aren’t always cheap…especially if they’re really “blinged up”. If you happen to use cardstock regularly for other things you’ll find that a bundle could go a long way. If you’ve got materials like gift wrap, tissue paper and fabric scraps just hanging around you’ll have a great new way to use them!
Never be set back by card crafters’ block anymore! Whether it’s birthdays, Christmas, congrats, you don’t have to be clueless anymore 🙂
Enjoy and have fun making one of a kind handmade cards!