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Designing a Card

There are several steps in designing a card.  Typically it takes me an hour to completely make a card (40 minutes of design and 20 minutes to actually make the card.)  I usually have a good time with all of the possibilities.   Ask yourself the following questions before you start:

  • Who is the intended recipient?
  • What is the occasion? Is it a joyful celebration or thoughtful moment? 
  • Do they have a favorite color, style, or theme?
  • What do you want your message to be?
  • Do you have a rubberstamp to convey that message?  If not, calligraphy or other writing style works well.
  • What materials do you have available for color and texture?
  • What layout of the materials has the best impact?

Card Stock:    I prefer to use card stock that when folded in half measures 8 inches by 6 inches.  A deckled edge adds a nice look.  I find that the larger 8x6" card is more luxurious than the smaller notecard-size. 

The Design:    Keep it simple.  On several occasions, I have taken a simple but lovely card and added one more element to it, which made it look too busy.  My preference is to have a simple card, not a cluttered card.   Sometimes it is hard to know when to stop.  It comes with practice.  The good thing about cards is that each new card is a clean slate, a chance to start over again and try something new...


One of my favorite elements of any card is the use of texture and embellishments.   Rather than just a flat, stamped image from a rubber stamp, I prefer to use embossing powders and stencils to create a "raised" image.  I also love to add the following to a card:

  • bows, ribbons, or raffia
  • corrugated cardboard cut-outs
  • beads, charms, or coins
  • fabric ribbon, lace, sewing notions (like buttons, small rosettes, and appliques)
  • cut out a stamped image and "raise" it above the card by attaching it with foam-tape

Have fun with it but one warning:  some of the items above don't work too well if you want to mail the card in it's envelope.  You don't want the card to break or the envelope to tear in the mail.  (* Note:  Use a padded envelope for mailing an embellished or delicate card.)

Please come again soon!

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Date this page was last edited: 01/26/02
This page was originally created on March 31, 1998.

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