How to Make DIY Greeting Cards: A Guide For Beginners

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Let's face it: getting a handmade greeting card is always thrilling. Even when it's a clumsy one. The very thought that it was created with you in mind, hand-signed by a person you love, each detail filled with care and warmth... That's real magic, no doubt.

Well, here's the best part: it's the kind of magic that anyone can master.

In this guide, we'll lead you through the whole process one step at a time. Get yourself a good cup of tea, grab your drawing stuff, and let's roll! :)

6 Universal Principles of Making (Good) Greeting Cards

No matter if you're making a Christmas, birthday, wedding, or maybe a get-well card, make sure to follow these 10 simple principles.

  1. Start early. Give yourself at least a day or two to gather ideas, buy supplies (if needed), and make the card itself. Last-minute inspiration is a powerful thing, but it's very unreliable. Don't take the risk.
  2. Keep it simple. The point of greeting cards isn't to create something worthy of the Louvre: it should be a sentimental gift, not a work of art. Focus on your emotions and wishes, never on the complexity of the card or the quality of your cursive writing. Those are cool things as well, but still secondary.
  3. Look for inspiration. Never be ashamed to search for ideas and look up how other people made their greeting cards. Even if you copy someone else's card end-to-end, the final piece will still be unique, filled with your own personality and love for your recipient.
  4. Get your hands dirty as soon as possible. It's easy to get lost in the infinite Pinterest scroll, but procrastination won't get you anywhere: just take that paper and start drawing already! Glue the stuff! Paint the stuff! Color it like the rainbow! The best kind of inspiration comes during the process.
  5. Repeat, repeat, repeat. If you're not fully happy with the result after your first attempt at it, put it aside (don't discard it!) and return to square one. Repeat the whole process and compare the second version with your first one. Still not quite what you wanted? Give it another try!
  6. Practice the writing. To mess up a pretty card with bad writing... That hurts. That really hurts. Think through your wishes beforehand and write them down a few times on a usual piece of blank paper before signing the card.
  7. Have fun! No, really, that's a must. The inner joy you experience during the process will shine through your greeting card, so make sure to enjoy every single step!

Now let's get practical and check out three different models of greeting cards. Pick the one that catches your eye - and get to work!

Level 1
Minimalist greeting cards

As the saying goes, less is more. In terms of greeting cards, sometimes a simple pattern, illustration, or line of text can make a fabulous impression and look really stylish at that. Making this kind of DIY cards is especially recommended for people who're not very experienced at crafting stuff, as they require almost no skills at all.

Basically, you just take a suitable piece of paper or cardboard and decorate it using simple techniques, materials, and forms. Here are some cool examples:



Simple, easy, and utterly beautiful.

By the way, if the last design in the gallery above has caught your eye, here's a video on how to make it:

Level 2
Getting serious

If you have the skills (or enough time on your hands), you can make your greeting card more interesting by adding extra layers, details, and materials to it. This is where the real fun starts, because the options are pretty much endless. Basically, you can put almost anything you want on your card: paper flowers, colored pompons, tiny bags with confetti, stylish drawings...

Here are some of our favorite ideas so far:



And a few video tutorials for you to check out:

The one and only rule here is to let your creativity roam free. Don't worry if your result doesn't end up looking exactly like the stuff on the videos and pictures above: it will still be fabulous. Just pour your heart into it, don't rush anywhere, and your rest assured your recipient will be blown away by the result!

Level 3
Pop-up greeting cards

Most people have, at some point, seen a pop-up greeting card somewhere on the internet but here's the thing: very few people have actually received one. A fact that gives you the fabulous opportunity to make an unforgettable impression. :)



And they're not as hard to make as they seem, actually. Even if you've never made a pop-up greeting card before, by carefully following the instructions below you're guaranteed to succeed at the stuff.

Level 4
SUPER pop-up greeting cards

Pop-up cards are cool, but they don't really... Pop out.

Well, at least most of them don't. But have you ever heard of the Boomf greeting cards? Nope? Oh, that's something you just have to see. :)

Now, for those folks who'd prefer crafting the stuff themselves, here's a quick video guide that pretty much sums up the whole process (the video description includes a free downloadable template):

And here's another cool way of packing the jumping cube concept:

These little beauties aren't exactly like the greeting cards we're used to but hey - what if you write something on each side of it? That's 6 cards instead of one. Six jumping cards. Oh, the possibilities!

The bottom line

In any case, we hope you're full of inspiration and eagerness to start creating something yourself, now that you know how to make some fabulous DIY greeting cards. Go for any of the designs mentioned above or invent one yourself, and rest assured your recipient will never forget this little extra gift!