Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Craft Corner - Greeting Cards

In this day of instant communication including email, IM, text messaging, and Tweeting, it is still nice to send or receive a handwritten note. It is even nicer if that note comes on a handcrafted card!
I like making cards and find that it is very relaxing. It's also very easy...oh, and I might add, addictive! There have been many evenings when I have crawled into bed very late because I had to make one more card, or add one more embellishment, or find the perfect paper to line an envelope. I do have some stamps and embossing powders; I have tiny embellishments that always seem to find their way into the carpet and make a terrible noise when I finally decide to vacuum. I have a variety of ribbons and some fancy scissors and punches. But, you don't need all of that to make a beautiful card.

Basic Materials Required

  • colored card stock - available at craft stores by the single sheet. 8 1/2" X 11" or 12" X 12". The smaller size can be cut in half to create two invitation size cards. The larger piece will make two cards, either invitation size or one invitation size and one larger. You will also have some scraps that come in handy for adding contrasting or coordinating trims.
  • decorative scrapbook papers - also available by the single sheet in both sizes. Many stores have color-coordinated thematic series.
  • photo paper or white card stock for the computer (regular printer paper could also be used)
  • computer and printer
  • a picture of your favorite horse or your favorite picture of a horse uploaded into the computer
  • one or more quotations or sentiments formatted in a pleasing color, size and font, possibly with a colored border and/or background.
  • glue stick - I find that the UHU stic has a nice, permanent bond, especially on photo paper, but there are many brands out there that will also work.
  • scissors - if you decide that you like making cards, investing in a paper trimmer helps make straight cuts, especially for cutting card stock down to size.
  • envelopes - invitation envelopes are available at craft and office supply stores.
  1. Cut the card stock to the appropriate size. For invitation size: 8 1/2" X 5 1/2". For announcement size: 6 1/2" X 10".
  2. Design and print your sentiments and photos. I put them on one sheet of photo paper but they could easily be printed on white card stock or white computer paper.
  3. Trim the decorative papers. I cut a rectangle for the background that is about 4" X 5 1/4" so that when it is glued on the card stock, a border of the card stock shows around the decorative paper. Cut your decorative paper smaller for a larger border, or experiment with tearing the paper, using strips of paper or a combination of several papers.
  4. Trim the photos and the sentiments. Mount them on scraps of card stock and/or on scraps of the decorative paper. Sometimes I use additional layers of scrap paper to add dimensionality to my pieces. You can also buy foam dots or 8 1/2 X 11 sheets of foam to mount pieces on your card that you want to stand out. The foam dots come pre-glued.
  5. Use scraps to enhance your design. I added a "ribbon" of paper and a partial circle on one card.
  6. Experiment with the layout of your papers, scraps and images. Decide if you want your card to be a landscape or portrait view. Once you have a design that pleases you, glue them in place.
  7. I like the look and feel of lined envelopes. I created a template that I use to trace the shape on the decorative paper. I slip the lining in the envelope, fold it on the crease of the flap so the lining is just below the glue line on the envelope. I run a stripe of glue on the lining to glue it in place just below the glue line on the envelope. This way the lining can move slightly when you open or close the envelope.
  8. If your card stock is too dark for writing to be seen, cut a sheet of computer paper slightly smaller than the card stock and fold it in half. Put one stripe of glue on one outer edge near the fold to glue the paper into the card. In this way the lining doesn't glue your card open or closed.
So, you can see how easy it is to make attractive greeting cards with only a few supplies. You can add your own creative touch to the cards by using brads, buttons, clips, different papers, ribbons and so forth. Here are some examples of cards I have made:

This card uses torn paper, a ribbon and a square brad. I used an olive colored stamp pad to color the edge of the torn paper. The photo and sentiment are printed on glossy photo paper and are mounted on scraps. The paper's edge behind the sentiment has been cut using special scissors. This is a Mother's Day card with the sentiment from Carrie Latet saying, "The best conversations with mothers take place in silence, when only the heart speaks."

This card makes use of torn paper to create a frame for a sentiment that was printed on parchment paper mounted on the plaid contrasting design. A ribbon adds additional texture. About 1/2" was cut from the bottom edge of the card's top and a strip of the plaid paper was glued on the inside bottom edge.

This card is made from textured card stock. I put a small piece of contrasting paper to add a shot of color. The photo and sentiment are mounted on card stock and decorative paper scraps. I put ribbon through the holes of two heart-shaped buttons and I used the same sentiment for Mother's Day.

This card uses my favorite 'cowboy' papers; the bucking bronco and the neckerchief designs. I also made use of some textured brown paper. The sentiment is printed on parchment paper and mounted on the scrapbook paper. I used star-shaped brads as embellishments.

1 comment:

  1. I just love these cards. Was just taking a closer look by clicking on the photos. So cute!!! You are very talented. I wish I had time to try making a card. Alas, I haven't even picked up my knitting since December.

    Another typical Colorado Saturday, heh? Good thing the new trainer/riding instructor I'm trying today has an indoor arena.


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