Top 5 Reasons to Make Your Own Cards

5. An Excuse to go to the Craft Shop – If you enjoy ogling
papers, are drawn to the sparkle of rhinestones and glitter and could get lost
in the sticker aisles for days, then you might love going to the craft store
almost as much as me. Any excuse therefore, is a good one!

4. Personalized is Better – When you make a card from
scratch, you have an opportunity to tailor it directly to the person you are
making it for. Be it a fellow crafter, a sports fan, a young child or someone
with a funny nickname; you can design a card that will mean something
specifically to that person.

3. It’s Fun – Making cards is a great way to play with the
craft supplies you have on hand (or go buy more, see #5). You don’t have to
limit yourself to one style; each one is its own little piece of art with no
need to match or coordinate with any others. You can even use it as an excuse
to spend a great afternoon with the kids or have “girl’s night in” with

2. It’s WAY More Expensive (but, cheaper than therapy) – I could
lie to you and tell you that the cost of a few sheets of cardstock, some
glitter, stamps and ribbon add up to the same amount as a few store bought cards
but, who am I kidding? If I get out of the craft store for less than $50, I
reward myself with a fancy lunch to celebrate! Then I spend the rest of the
afternoon looking at all the stuff I couldn’t pass up but, have no idea what I’ll
use it for…

1. It Means More – A handmade card is a gift of love; if it’s
pretty too, all the better. Perfect or not, the person receiving it will
probably treasure it forever. When my mother passed, I found a stash of cards
that I had made for her to use as gifts but, she never wanted to part with any
of them. I know many of the cards I’ve made over the years for friends and
family are kept somewhere safe; little treasures made especially for them.

1 Sheet of Stickers + 1 Pack of Blank Cards = 1 Set of Awesomeness!

If you take an inexpensive set of blank cards (like the ones
you can find in the dollar bins), add some layers with scrap paper mats and use
stickers as the focal points, you can end up with a really nice set of cards
for any occasion! I like to use stickers with dimension for this trick but, any
stickers will work. You can add some ribbon, glitter or other embellishments to
dress your cards up a bit more. With the preassembled parts, your cards will
come together in a snap; think of this as the Hamburger Helper® of cardmaking. A set like this can make a great gift too! Here is another example of “semi-homemade” Christmas cards using stamps instead of stickers.

No Naked Envelopes!

My friend Ella taught me early on in my stamping adventures that you should never send an envelope out without at least a hint of what’s inside. Handmade cards are little treasures in our mailboxes; colored envelopes or little decorations help them stand out, set the tone and build anticipation. Now be careful, you don’t want to go overboard and give it all away either. It’s rather anticlimactic to open a beautifully painted envelope to discover an exact copy waiting inside. Aim for the sweet spot in between. Limit yourself to 1-2 colors if you stamp or print an image onto your envelope. You don’t have to color the images in, remember you are just hinting at what’s to come. Another favorite trick of mine is to use velum envelopes. They are translucent and give you a cloudy view of the prize inside. Whatever decoration you decide on, make sure you can clearly address your envelope.

A quick note on lined envelopes…They are beautiful decorations in and of themselves. Keep any outside decorations to a minimum when using lined envelopes. Try a very small image near the address or consider using calligraphy or a visually stimulating font as your only embellishment.