A question that sometimes drives me hazy: am I or are the others crazy? – Albert Einstein
Sometimes I think everyone in my life is getting together to drive me nuts. Maybe it’s a plot.
After what can only be described as the longest week in the history of the world, I started thinking about stationary. I know that they don’t seem related, but trust me, they’re not. Really what happened was I reading this month’s Real Simple, which you should absolutely get, if you don’t already, and there was an article about personalized stationary. Now, I’m all about stationary, and have spent quite a few months looking for the perfect personalized note cards. This post isn’t about that, but rather homemade greeting cards. I’ve seen cute ones, ridiculous ones, cheap looking ones, and ones that are so elaborate that they make me say, “Don’t you have a real job?!”
So I set out to make my own. It all started with a cute owl stamp I found at Michael’s, and from there I just started playing with different ways to put materials together. I learned a couple of things along the way, which I now happily share with you…
Top 5 Tips for Making Cards
5 – Use Archival Materials. The people in your life love you and want to keep the notes you send them, so use inks, papers, and glue that keeps.
4 – Use Glue Dots – Glue is a fickle friend, and more often than not creates a messy, smudgy, downright ugly boondoggle of disaster. Glue dots solve this problem. They come in several varieties including tiny ones and super flat ones and they are easy to use. No muss, no fuss.
3 – Stay Monochromatic – For a really clean, pretty look, try layering only one or two colors, but in different tones. They cards I made were turquoise and I used a slightly darker turquoise ink with white accents. It keeps the papers from looking kitschy, clashy, or dated, once lime green and hot pink are no longer au currant.
2 – Try A Different Perspective – I bought folded notes with every intention of using them with fold horizontally, but then I got to thinking – why not turn them upright with the spine on the left? Maybe it’s not the orientation of your cards that has you in a rut, but whatever it is, try looking at it from a different perspective — be it colors, shapes, or materials. You might discover something you never knew you could do.
1 – Keep It Universal – The cards I made have owls on them, but no words, so they can be used for almost anything — a note to a friend, a get well soon, even a birthday card (written or stamped on the front “Who-o-o-o’s Birthday Is It? Or something. Don’t judge). The point is, if you keep the card design vague, you aren’t locked into a specific holiday.
One last tip — if you’re using a stamp and ink, make sure you practice your pressure on clean paper before you start. It may take a few tries to get the effect you want. Or, play with it and go for different effects.
So that’s it. Be creative, take chances, and don’t be afraid to make mistakes before you get the swing of things.