Papercrafting Post #1: Greeting Cards

greetingcards
When we think of paper, we usually just think of writing something on it, or perhaps cutting shapes out of it. Maybe back in our childhood heydays of Elmer’s Glue and pipe cleaners, we did something more with paper, but as adults, we likely don’t give much thought to the material. It merely carries messages for us most of the time.

But there’s a whole section of crafting that just involves paper. It’s not just kid stuff, either–papercrafts can turn out some of the most astounding creations, and you’ll never believe it’s just made of paper. Today, I’ll cover one of the more accessible forms of papercraft–greeting cards.

Why Make Greeting Cards?

In these tough economic times, who wants to pay tons of money for greeting cards and gift tags that will more than likely just be thrown out with the gift wrap? Not to mention that it’s difficult to find just the right message amid the sea of overly obnoxious or generic cards.

So, instead of trying to buy the right card, we can make some ourselves–that way, they can be treasured items!

Robin’s Homemade Greeting Card Solution

You will need:

  • 1 sheet of card stock, color of your choice (available in large packs at most office supply stores)
  • (optional) Construction paper or printer paper in different colors
  • Markers, colored pencils, or crayons (whatever you have handy that has a color other than blue or black)
  • Regular ink pen and/or pencil
  • Scissors
  • Calligraphy markers and/or access to a printer
  • Glue stick or double-sided tape

4 Styles of Greeting Cards

Basically, a greeting card needs 3 things: originality, a fitting picture on the front, and a meaningful message inside. I personally like to draw simple, almost clipart-style images and write pretty poetry on the front of my card and then extend the poetry into the inside message, because I write better poetry than I draw.

You, on the other hand, may love to draw but hate to write, or you may feel that neither your drawing skills nor your writing skills can match up to the people at Hallmark. Don’t fret: there are solutions for every level of artist.

Folding/Sizing The Card Stock

  1. Fold the card stock either in half width-wise to form a larger card, or fold twice into quarters to make a smaller, thicker-feeling card.
  2. Alternatively, you can cut the card stock down to a specific size you want.

If You’re Creating Everything From Scratch

  1. Sketch the appropriate picture for the occasion, either on a separate sheet of paper or directly onto the front of the card. If you’re sketching on the card itself, use light pencil lines first so you can place your picture appropriately (you don’t want to end up with something lovely but off-center!)
  2. Once you’re satisfied with the drawing, go over its lines with an ink pen or marker (whichever thickness of line you prefer)
  3. Then, color it in using your favorite medium, or leave it colorless as desired.
  4. Write out your message on a scrap sheet of paper, checking wording and spelling.
  5. Letter your finished message directly onto the card, or print it in a cool font, cut it out, and attach with glue stick or double-sided tape.
  6. If your art was on a separate sheet of paper, cut it out and attach it to the front of the card.
  7. Sign the card inside, and you’re done!

If You’re Drawing but Not Writing

  1. Follow the first three steps of the “do-it-yourself” instructions above.
  2. Search the Internet for a meaningful poem or quote that would mean a lot to the person you’re giving the card to. Great resources for poetry and quotes: Bartleby.com, BrainyQuote.com.
  3. Letter your finished message directly onto the card, or print it in a cool font, cut it out, and attach with glue stick or double-sided tape.
  4. Sign the card inside, and you’re done!

If You’re Writing but Not Drawing

  1. Search the Internet for fitting (and free-usage) clipart, images, or photographs; alternatively, you can use your own photographs.
  2. Print your image(s) out on regular paper or glossy photo paper, cut them out, and attach to the front of the card using double-sided tape (glue stick won’t hold photo paper as strong).
  3. Write out your message on a scrap sheet of paper, checking wording and spelling.
  4. Letter your finished message directly onto the card, or print it in a cool font, cut it out, and attach with glue stick or double-sided tape.
  5. Sign the card inside, and you’re done!

Super-Quick-Style Greeting Card

  1. Search for a free-usage image or two on the internet, and a poem or quote that works well with the person and occasion, and print both of them out.
  2. Cut out the image and message, and attach to the card using glue stick or double-sided tape.
  3. Sign the card, and you’re finished in record time!

Optional Steps for Extra Care

  • If you want to, use the scissors to trim out a pretty border on the card (gentle curving waves look pretty, as do pinking-shear-style edges). You could trim out just the front three edges of the card, or all six edges (front and back cover).
  • You can layer a different color of printer or construction paper in the interior or exterior of the card, cut to either the exact same width and height of the card stock, or cut to leave a border of the card stock color around the edges. Attach with a few swipes of a glue stick or double-sided tape.

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