January 29, 2012

Handmade Greeting Cards

Have you checked out the price of greeting cards these days? Oh, it’s enough to give you a fright! Several years ago, I decided to forgo my regular visits to the local Hallmark store and avoid the greeting card aisle at Wal-Mart. What’s a budget conscious gal going to do? Make her own! 

I started out doing stamped designs, but then later changed to making cards using my own photographs. The cost per card is a fraction of store prices. It’s also much more satisfying to create something uniquely beautiful. As a bonus, recipients appreciate the thoughtfulness of receiving a handmade card in this cookie-cutter world. 

I like to make two cards out of regular size cardstock. A finished card is 4-¼ ” by 5-½”. Envelopes are easily found for this size at office and paper supply stores. For a double border, I size rectangular photos down to a maximum width of 4-¼” and print four to a page. I use to Epson's Premium Presentation Paper with a matte finish. I also go through through my stash of cardstock to find colors that complement the photos. 

I gather up my other supplies and tools, such as my nifty paper trimmer with a rotary cutting head, double-sided adhesive, bone folder, basic cardstock, black cardstock, and custom self-adhesive labels. 

The background colors I picked are keepers! 

Next, the photos get trimmed up and stacked. 

The photo stacks are ready!

Then I start taping the photos to black cardstock pieces (to help make the images “pop”) and colored card stock. 

The next step is to cut the matted photos apart and trim, leaving a ¼” margin all around. 

I cut the cardstock in half and score each half down the middle for folding. I forgot to take a picture of the scoring board earlier! You don’t have to have one of these, but it does make the job a little easier. And you’ll notice that I didn’t use a plain white cardstock for the cards, but one with multi-colored speckles. 

Then I start taping the photos onto the cards. The final step is to apply a decorated adhesive label on the back of each card. I designed and printed out the labels using a free Avery software program. The rabbit silhouette was created with a Martha Steward punch. 

And here are the final results of my card-making endeavor. It is a little time consuming, but I enjoy the whole process. If I ever get to the point of selling my cards, then I will be exploring the use of printing services. 



  1. I'm Drooling here!!!Hahaaaa...Cards in the store are getting to be TOOO expensive! Your photos are just Gorgeous...I may look into printing up my own...birthdays, eye with the persons photo on it!
    Thanks for the tutorial Donna!

  2. PS- EYE?? What was I trying to say???Hahahaa...etc???

  3. yes I have all that equipment, I have no business in the card isle. My reasoning however, was not so much the price of cards but the fact that while picking a card with all the mushy sentiment, I just stand there and cry, quite embarrassing. My son's birthday is coming up and I'll be making a card for him too.

  4. Yes, cards are ridiculously expensive any more. I'm at the point now where I either don't give a card or write a personal one on a little note card. Those are beautiful and that actually looks kind of fun!

  5. You know I LOVE your homemade cards! This was a great tutorial too. I want my daughter to do this.
    Have a great day my friend.

  6. Gorgeous, Donna... We've made cards similar to that before --but since I seldom send cards anymore, we haven't done it in awhile... I do know that the best invention is the paper cutter!!!!!

    I get my birthday and anniversary cards now at Dollar General. They are EXCELLENT and only about $1 each --and some 50 cents. And they are as nice as Hallmark.

    BUT-I do love your cards with those beautiful photos.


  7. Your cards are lovely!

    Such a gift you have, Donna.

    Have a wonderful day!


  8. I rarely buy cards and can't even think of the last time I did. I like making them myself because you can say exactly what you want on them. Yours are great and I like your process for doing them. I might have to go play with my stash this afternoon

  9. My family is a HUGE card sending one!
    It all started with my Nana! My aunt Debbie just took up making her own cards! They are so personal and beautiful, just like yours!!!
    Thanks for sharing this :)

    What photo editing site do you use? Picnik is closing and I am trying out different ones!
    Hope you and hubby have a lovely day!
    xo, misha

  10. I love handmade cards, it always makes me feel so special to receive one. Yours are beautiful!

  11. Your cards are so beautiful and I love how you showed the process of how you make them. I remember getting a set of your handmade cards in a giveaway and they are even more beautiful in person!
    You should really start selling your cards!

  12. I've kept this post open on my computer to be inspired! I've loved making cards in the past but I need to find time to try this! Thanks! I'll leave it open today, too...if you don't mind! heehee! ♥

  13. An older friend who is no longer with us made her own cards and it was a treasure to have one of her photos. Yours are wonderful! Thanks for sharing how you put them together. You're an inspiration!

  14. I told you I was going to read this post for awhile! I'm still here! heehee! Hope you're having a good evening! ♥

  15. Your cards are wonderful and so special. I need to do this too. Thanks for the inspiration!


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