Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Making Greeting Cards

I enjoy making my own greeting cards. It is much more economical for one thing.  Prices for greeting cards baffle me.  Some cost as much as $5 and $6 dollars and when you're on a tight budget, that is quite an extravagance.  Years ago when our family was young and our budget extremely tight, I decided to make my own.  The advantages include saying exactly what I want to and making it special to the person I'm giving it to. And every time I make one, it cost literally pennies and I'm saving money.


I have different books that I use as references.  Some have quotes, some have scriptures by category.  And I sometimes reference websites such as Bluemountain.com for inspiration. I also use my own original poetry.


The variety of ways to construct a greeting card are endless.  There are many books on the subject at the library to assist with learning techniques.  But a few scraps of pretty paper and some basic art supplies are all that's really needed to turn out pretty, unique cards. 


One of my new found favorites is the use of watercolor paints.  Here's the card I just made for my husband's birthday.



I printed out the words and then added color with this simple kids water color set.


I designed the card on our computer card making program and then printed it out in black and white.  Our printer is laser and only does black and white printing, so any color it had was going to be up to me. So I blended some pretty water color shades together as I went and I think it turned out well.

The moisture caused the paper to buckle a bit, so while it was still moist, I layed it face up on the bathroom counter and blasted hot air from my blow dryer directly onto the card. The warm air dried the paint and also flattened the card back down.


Here is another card I made yesterday by printing out the words and adding my own artwork and color.



There are a myriad of ways you can make greeting cards. Tearing paper and layering it is also a great way to give a card a look and feel of prominence.  Ribbons, eyelets, glitter, feathers and sewing stitches add a lot of charm and make cards even fancier. 


I love plain and simple cards with a hand drawn look to them as well. (Like the shoebox variety at hallmark. ) If you have even a little artistic talent, you can draw simple figures of people, balloons, a vase of flowers, a puppy - things like that - and then fill the drawings with a little watercolor for a fabulous professional look. 

Or you could print out some clipart and hand color them.  Hand coloring is a nice touch and gives the card a warmer sentiment than printing out in color, I think.  But in a rush, I've used our color printer in the past. 


If you haven't tried making your own greeting cards, I encourage you to give it a try.  Your loved ones will feel special, you can express yourself personally in a way that no store bought greeting can do and you will have the added benefit of saving money!

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