The problem with most handmade cards is that they tend to look just that – homemade. The idea is to have them look artistic but at the same time, also professional. It can be a difficult balance but it’s easy once you know how.
Artists are fortunate in that they can decorate their cards with lovely hand painted designs and pictures. But if you are not an artist, one of the best ways to add a genuinely artistic element to your cards is to use pressed flowers. In a way, it’s almost like cheating because the flowers do all the work for you!
Here are some tips to help you with your card making:
- Always use good quality card that is firm yet pliable. It’s possible to buy sheets of cardboard in all colours but I prefer to use white or cream for my cards because they show off the delicacy of the pressed flowers best. Coloured cardboard competes with the flowers and you really don’t want to overwhelm them.
- Some people like to use recycled or even homemade cardboard for their handmade cards but this is optional. You can start out with any firm cardboard and then move on to the more specialized varieties.
- Make sure that you purchase envelopes of the correct size and that they match and complement your cards. Don’t be tempted to use envelopes that are too big or too much of a tight squeeze. Rather adjust your cards to the size of the envelopes that you purchase. You’ll find it much easier.
- One of the first signs of a badly made card is an uneven fold. A badly folded card shouts “amateur” before you even open it. So it’s important to score your cards carefully.
- Here’s how to score your cards properly. Position your ruler along the centre of your card and hold it down firmly with your left hand. Then with your right hand, work your way neatly and swiftly down the card following the line of the ruler with the back end of a blunt knife or scissors. I sometimes use a steel knitting needle.
- Try to make a smooth line and be careful not to catch the threads of the paper. Once the indented line has been drawn, you will be able to make a perfectly clean fold in your card like a professional!
- With cardmaking, the real fun starts when you start to decorate your cards. As you may have gathered, flower pressing is my own particular craft and I have a lot of ideas to share. I’ll discuss them in future articles.
- Cards made with pressed flowers have a very long shelf life. People usually keep them and often frame them too. Some of these cards are even used as promotional gifts by commercial companies so there is good moneymaking potential here too.
A real benefit of using pressed flowers is that your cards will always look original and natural. Making your own greeting cards is a fun thing to do and at the end of the day, it can even bring in a tidy profit from the comfort of your own home.