'Making Your Own Greetings Cards and Invitations'

Peter E. Taylor ©2006

This book, which is still being written, will provide a wide range of simple yet sophisticated designs suitable for all occasions.

Here is a design to try...

Please feel free to print this page.

Before you start to make any greetings card, the first thing you must do is select its envelope. So that the card slides in easily, the length of cardboard needed for this design will be a little less than twice the width of the envelope.

Cardboard has a 'grain'. That means it will fold easier in one direction than in the other. If you bend the card as though you were going to crease it - but don't actually do it - then turn the card at right angles and try again, you should be able to feel the difference. Always try to cut your cardboard so that any folds will be parallel to the grain, and the crease will be made as easily as possible.

I use 'cover weight' cardboard, from printers - particularly varieties called 'Teton' and 'Sundance', which fold smoothly. They feel fairly warm when you touch them - quite soft and fibrous. When shopping at art shops, a favourite variety of cardboard is 'heavy weight Canson Ingres'. Canson is the name of the manufacturer.

The concept for this design is that the two side-flaps either meet edge to edge, or overlap very slightly. In the photos you will see that all the flaps meet at the centre of the card, but they don't have to. If you are not going to make the flaps meet at the mid point, try to make the join come one third of the width of the card from either the right or left side, for maximum visual impact.

On to one flap, glue something so that part of it hangs over the edge.

For the large Christmas tree design, on the left, using a craft-knife, the edge of the cream card has been given a freehand uneven wavy edge. This could also have easily been done with scissors. The tree itself was cut with scissors from coloured corrugated card.

The hearts, trees and star, for the other cards, were cut with craft-punches.

It is most effective if colours and themes are carried from the outside of the card to the inside.

Because this card features a gold star on the outside, on the inside I have glued a square of gold cardboard as a background for the words, leaving a little space around the edges.

The sheet of paper with the words on it has been cut so that an even gold border will show.

Both the gold card and the words I fixed in place using double-sided adhesive tape, close to the top edge only. When possible, I try to make sure the grain direction of all items runs in the same direction.

Carrying through the theme and colours, the extra gold tree is added as a final decoration.

This card can be modified for all occasions by choosing other shapes to glue on, and, of course, there are many ways of adding 'extras'.

If you are using an envelope of a contrasting colour to the card, and a craft-punch for the additions, punching the same shaped hole out of the bottom corner of the envelope provides a special touch. Try to position this so that only plain coloured card shows through - not half a decoration.

Please let me know if you have success making cards of this pattern, and any instruction you find hard to follow.