I’ve been toying with the idea of hosting classes where people can make their own greeting cards or writing an e-book to guide people through the process of making or writing their own greeting cards. Every time I think about starting I get baffled. Recently I’ve helped two friends make cards for specific occassions (and by helped I pretty much mean I’ve given them free reign over my supplies). Both of those friends have looked at me and asked where do I begin?
I’ve brainstormed a few ideas of how to begin the greeting card process –
- Find a stamp, sticker, embellishment, or paper that reminds you of the person
- Choose a color scheme, or the most logical
- Choose an envelope size
I think all of those work well when you know your supplies well. But what happens when you don’t know the supplies you’re dealing with well? I handed over my scrap paper drawers just to get them thinking and that seemed to work better than talking hypothetically. Working with tangible paper and seeing how the colors go together seems to be the answer. Now how the heck do you write that in an e-book?
Let’s talk through my last card-making project and maybe I’ll be able to figure a bit more of it out. I recently got a request from a friend in Louisiana to make three sets of cards – one birthday, one encouragement, and one sympathy. So the first thing I did was set to work on finding something that inspired me for each one of those sets. Here’s what I ended up with:
The stamp was for the sympathy card, it’s one of my favorites because it’s so simple. The stickers were for the birthday card, I’ve loved these stickers and have been waiting for a good chance to use them. The file-folder-like dictionary cards were something I’ve had sitting around for a while and I knew I loved, but I couldn’t figure out what to do with them until I figured out that I could use them for words of encouragement to say you are real, you are sincere, you are thoughtful, you are truthful, etc. (Clearly I had the pack of cards that was R through Z.)
From there I found paper to use as the base of the card and to decorate the card. I knew that I was trying to make cards that were less than 4″ x 5″ so that they fit in the envelopes and the plastic sleeves I bought.
My favorite paper that I own is that brown color that looks like a brown paper bag, so I knew I wanted to use that for one of my cards – I decided it complemented the dictionary cards in color. I also decided that I wanted to stick the dictionary cards in a pocket to make it more interactive. The birthday sticker colors lent themselves to an entire coloring scheme, and the stamp could have gone with anything, but I decided that blue was a good color for sympathy (but not in an Eeyore-gray way, that’s why I added a pop of polkadot color).
Once all of the basic cutting and folding was done, this is what I was left with.
Once I get to this point, the next step is to take out a pen and ink and to start adding the details. The birthday card didn’t need anything except a Chrystina Noel on the back. The sympathy card needed the stamp part done. I was too nervous to stamp right onto the blue. (Actually, to be honest, I might have stamped directly on the blue once and messed up and then decided to put it on white paper instead.) The encouragement cards needed a lot of hand-writing on them. Oh, and the back of the encouragement cards had a really fun print on it (which I never got a picture of, oops).
Drum roll, please –
So other than the fact that the lighting in my room stinks on rainy/cloudy days, they didn’t come out too shabby, huh? (I made these cards over the course of 3 days, hence the different lighting.)
Maybe I just gave myself the answer to how to make greeting cards. (1) find inspiration, (2) set up the basics, (3) adhere everything together, (4) take out your pen – or something like that. What do you think, would this method work for you?