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By Holly Nicholson & Kerry Cordy

Card Making

If you can think of one person to be thankful for, then you have a reason to make a card. In this article I will discuss several ways to make someone’s day using the art of card making. Card making is fun and a perfect activity if you have a crafty spirit. If you oversee a homeschool or afterschool program, or if you would like to be more thoughtful yourself, this badge is fitting for everyone! Frontier Girls and Quest Club members can even take their skills one step further to earn their Card Making Badge or their Greeting Cards badge.

Making cards can be an incredibly fun and fulfilling process. You can get as crafty as you want, and you can gift your cards to anybody for any occasion! Leaving a pretty card for someone is much appreciated and can make their day and yours. It is much easier to buy a card that is already designed but creating one yourself makes this gesture much more personal. By the end of this article you will realize that card making is truly an art. Making a card can be very fun when you incorporate calligraphy, stamps, ribbons, and even compile some of your favorite work into a scrapbook!

Learn to make a variety of fun cutout cards with Katie Cordy.

Pick a paper:

Before you can write a message down, you must pick the right paper for your card! While printer paper can be used, cardstock is typically recommended. Cardstock is thicker than standard printer paper and thinner than cardboard. Cardstock is commonly used for scrapbooking, greeting cards and decorative boxes, and will hold up when you apply glue and other objects to the surface of the paper. The Cardstock Warehouse has a great guide to learning about proper paper weight.  65lb cardstock is a common weight as it is heavy enough to keep its shape and light enough to score and fold properly.

While half fold cards are common for greeting cards, quarter fold cards are more common for notecards or thank you cards.  Use a paper cutter to cut the paper to the dimension you prefer.  I prefer paper cutters with a sliding blade, which gives you a crisp perfect cut every time, but is also easy and safe for kids to use.  Get one with the measurement arm that swings out so that your cards are the exact size you want them.  For a quarter fold card, pull out the measurement arm, place the cardstock horizontally in the paper cutter and measure to 5.5″.  This will cut your paper perfectly in half giving you two cards.

If you want to get started quickly with minimal prep time, you can also purchase blank cards in a variety of colors along with the correct size envelope to pair them with.

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Make it pretty:

Decorating your card can be as easy as drawing a pretty picture with crayons or markers, or going all out to create a crafting masterpiece.  Use patterned papers, stickers, ribbons, stencils, silk flowers, paper punches and more to decorate your card.   You can even recycle old greeting cards and cut off the pictures to remount on new cardstock.  Glue sticks are great for attaching paper and glue dots are a mess free way of attaching 3D items such as buttons or silk flowers.

There are tons of easy card ideas on the internet.  Just search for Easy Card Crafts.  Craftsy has quite a few easy, yet beautiful, cards to make that use minimal supplies.

Pick a message:

No matter what day it is, you probably know someone who needs to hear something uplifting. Instead of sending them a text, put your words onto a card that they can keep forever. Whether you are sending words of encouragement, thankfulness, or well wishes, there are quote sites such as The Conscious Life and other resources out there that can help get your creative juices flowing! To help you in your search for these words, Hallmark has a huge variety of suggestions for just about any card type listed on their website.

Writing Style:

Next, choose your style of writing. Whether you decide to use your original handwriting style, write in cursive, print from the computer, or use stencils, you have options!  Remember- card making is all about designing cards using your own sense of style. This means that you can do whatever you want with your card art! Add 5 stickers or keep it minimal; either choice will be beautiful. If you have ever wanted to learn calligraphy, TPK has a great “faux calligraphy” tutorial that is easy to learn before you attempt the real deal.

Host a Card Making Party:

The only thing better than making cards solo is spreading the love with a group. Get a group of friends together and have a card making party! Make a list of the supplies you will need and assign each person specific materials to bring. This is a great way to try out new tools and share your tips and tricks with others. Once you are done designing cards, swap your creations with each other or plan a trip to a senior care home where you can hand the cards out to elderly folks.


Give the Gift of Cards

Now that you have made a bunch of cards, give some away to those who need them.  Find local organizations such as veterans groups or senior care centers to donate to or give cards to your local first responders.  Teachers, essential workers or elderly neighbors also appreciate cards.  You can even give “just because” cards to friends and family just because you want to tell them you love them.

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