Have Fun Making Your Own Cards

by CherylRogers

Are you tired of sending store-bought cards? Do you have a creative bent? If so, read on to learn about how you can make great-looking cards yourself!

If you ever looked at greeting cards in a store and said to yourself "I can do better than that," here's your chance. You can write your own, personalized message and have it printed right on the card. Or you can have the recipient's name printed right on the card!

When you design your own card, you may want to add an original poem. Or feature your own photo of your family or a special place.

Making your own cards is not just something for kids. Crayolas and construction paper are still good, but adults are using computers, print-on-demand technology and digital art to produce professional looking cards.

This article looks at digital tools and techniques to make your own cards.

Pensacola Beach sunrise
Pensacola Beach sunrise
Photo by Cheryl Rogers

Print-on-Demand Cards from Zazzle

Zazzle.com makes it easy to make your own cards using their online tools. You can use your own digital photos and size them according to your needs. You also can make use of digital art supplied by Zazzle contributor artists, a great advantage if you're looking for just the right piece of art!

At Zazzle, you also can add your own message in a large variety of type styles to create just the right mood. Or choose a pre-configured card with a great message and adapt it with your recipient's name, a special photo, or some of your own art!

The online tools allow you to be creative without any expensive equipment or software. So go ahead and have fun! You can even add your own copyright notice on the back.


Designing Cards on a Computer

If you want to design cards on a computer, you'll need access to a computer with page layout software. You also may enjoy using art or photo editing software. Before you begin, do a bit of brainstorming about what you want to say and what kind of art you'd like to use. Do you have a photo of your family you want on the cover? Would you like to feature some lovely flowers or a gorgeous landscape or seascape? Determine the mood and message.

Survey your needs and available art, then determine the card's size. Since you'll be printing this yourself, you'll want to make your card fit in any extra envelopes you have. Or you can order special 5" x 7" envelopes to have for your cards.

Decide if your card will be flat or fold in half. Set up your folding cards in two pages: the front is the right side of your page and the back is on the left side of your page. On the inside, the right is where most folks put the main message. You can leave the left blank or include art and/or supporting text. Be sure to allow adequate margins. One third of an inch is good. Decide whether you want to allow a margin on the side of the fold or if you want your art to flow over the fold onto the back of your card.

You may want to have a large piece of art for your cover, but it is not absolutely necessary. You can experiment with designs featuring interesting typestyles and smaller pieces of art. Be sure whatever art you choose will print crisply on your printer or the printer at your copy shop. You'll get good quality if your art prints at 300 dpi or above.

You can get away with just using text on the inside right, but this is your card. So experiment and have fun. You may want small pieces of art sporadically across the inside.

When you are done, expect to print a proof to check for your margins, fold, image clarity, spelling, etc. You card can then be printed on the paper of your choice, either a card stock compatible with your computer or a heavier paper so your text on the opposite side of the page doesn't show. If your printer does not print on both sides, you may have to practice feeding the printer to be sure the card will print correctly. Then all you'll have to do is fold, sign and prepare your envelope for mailing.


About the Author

Cheryl Rogers used to run a desktop publishing company designing and typesetting for print shops and other businesses. She has four Zazzle shops. 


Updated: 11/30/2014, CherylRogers
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