Tuesday, January 14, 2014

Mass Production Card Making - a Tutorial

I rarely buy cards.  Partly it's because I'm too frugal to spend the money, and partly because I have the supplies on hand to make my own.  Add to that the fact that I like making cards and giving cards I made myself, and I've got a win-win.

It's a win except when I need a whole bunch, now, and I have none made.  They do seem to get sent as soon as I can make them and I rarely have a good stock on hand.  I often fall on 'mass-production' to solve the problem, but thankfully, I quite like the ones I make in bulk. I thought I'd take pictures of this last bunch and share with you my marvelous mass production technique.  Feel free to copy away!

The only tools you really need are a cutter and some sort of adhesive - I always use plain old Scotch double-sided tape.  Start with a handful of cardstock and the secret ingredient - a 6x6 pad of scrapbook paper.  You can use any patterned paper, but a set (small or large, doesn't matter) does so much of the matching work for you.  (I have bought some of these little pads online, and some I have found at Winners at a good price.)

 Pick out a bunch of papers that you like and match them up.  You'll be using about one third on top and two thirds on the bottom.

Then trim your cardstock into half, so it's 8.5 x 5.5.  Either 65lb or 110lb works fine - I like the heavier one for a crisper feel.

Fold them over, and you'll have cards that fit 'invitation' sized envelopes.  Buy a box at Staples or wherever and you'll be set for a few mass-production sessions.

If you'd like, round the corners.  Totally optional; they look fine left square, too.

Trim your papers down to slightly smaller than your card size.  I finally nailed it down to 4 x 3 3/4" for the bottom piece and 4 x 1 3/4" for the top so I could give you sizes, but feel free to wing it, too, if that's more your style.

Round your corner pieces to match, if necessary.

Tape the pieces on the card front.

You can see my uneven gaps - I'm not too worried about that because of the magic next step...

Take one of your cardstock sheets, cut off a piece 4 1/4 " wide, then trim into roughly half inch strips.  These ones are slightly less.

Using your adhesive, nail that strip down edge to edge over the join of your papers.  Voila!  Your stash is ready to go!

The finishing touch, when you know what you are going to use it for, is to write on the strip - Happy Birthday, With Sympathy, Just a Note, Happy Anniversary, Congratulations... they are good for whatever occasion comes up.

This is the super basic model - it does the job, and very nicely, too! - but you can step it up a notch in a number of ways.

  • If you don't like your handwriting, or want to make them fancier, print your sentiment on the computer, then cut it out and attach.  Or if you have stamps, use those, trim and attach.  
  • Add a flower or other embellishment two thirds of the way along the strip, instead of, or along with, your words.
  • Add a strip of ribbon (maybe with a bow?) instead of the paper strip, and do your writing inside the card.
  • Use an inkpad to ink the edges of your paper strip to make it pop.
  • Use a brad in a coordinating color through the end of the strip before you tape it down - maybe a fun heart one?
Hope you found this helpful, and I'd love to see a picture if you make some, or one in my mailbox, maybe??

1 comment:

Linda Strandquist said...

Thank for the great ideas. I'm thinking of starting to sell cards.