Simple thank-you cards for busy days
Making homemade greeting cards is something I really enjoy doing! It's relaxing, and the recipient of the card is always excited about a more personal, homemade card -- no matter how simple. And after pricing greeting cards in the store, I just can't spend that much money on something that's not nearly as fun or sweet as a homemade card!
In former days (e.g. when I had only one child!) I always had a nice little stash of homemade cards, just waiting to be sent. Before Eliyahu was born, I made several dozen thank-you cards to use after the birth and in later months, while I was occupied with my two little ones.
Those cards have long since been used, and I just hadn't taken the time to make any more. Sadly, this has meant that I've only made cards for very special occasions (like weddings or something!) and I've written very few thank-you cards in the past year. :|
I realized that my main problem was that I was making unique cards that each took about 30 minutes of creative energy. While I love sitting down to a table full of stamps, ink pads, paper, glue, scissors, and all that -- it's not something I can do while the children are awake. And an entire evening (after bedtime for the babies!) spent making 4 or 5 cards isn't really something I can budget my time towards right now.
So, I came up with a simple, two-color, three-stamp card that I can make in larger quantities. Now, I can spend 5-10 minutes here and there, working on some portion of the stack of partially-completed cards, with minimal supplies on the table (i.e. no inky children!!). :)
Here are the instructions for making the card pictured above! :)
1. Using a sheet of 8.5" x 11" paper (I like to have paper that is of a high enough quality so the ink doesn't bleed), fold the paper into fourths to make a greeting card shape.
2. Open your card and fold the front flap behind the inside one. (You should only see the inside fourth facing you at this point.) Brush your ink pad with an art brush and then brush onto the "border" of the inside of your card, always brushing towards the edge. This will give the card a soft color towards the center, and the edges will be darker. When you open the card, it will look like the picture above.
3. Fold your card shut. Using the same ink pad, swipe the edges of the front of your card on the ink pad. This will create a border around the edges of the front of your card.
This is how the front of your card should look when you've finished your border! :)
4. Next, stamp your design on the front of the card. Depending on the design, you can use the same color of ink or choose a contrasting one. For these flowers, I inked the stamp and then stamped two images, rotating the stamp slightly and not re-inking between the two images. This gives the flowers more depth and adds an extra shade of pink without any extra bother. :)
5. If you want, you can also add an image to the inside of your card. I used the same stamp that was on the front, so I could just stamp all three of the flowers for each card, right in a row. :)
6. Add some text (or leave blank for an all-purpose card!). Since I use, by far, more thank-you cards than any other type of card, I made these all into thank-you cards with a simple little "thanks a bunch!" stamp. I used the same green as earlier. (Remember, this is a two-color card... and I've made some in other colors, like pink and light purple, and did the whole card in one color... and it was still pretty!)
7. Using the green ink yet again, add leaves to the flowers. (Or, if you're using another type of stamp, get creative and add dots, hearts, or whatever you want!) These two-leaf groups use the same "ink once, stamp twice" technique (see step #4) to add some life to the colors.
8. Final step: Using one of your inks (preferably not the one you used for the border!), lightly brush stripes across the front of your card. Lightly brush the ink pad, and lightly brush your card... you don't want the stripes to be too noticeable! This finishing touch seems to tie everything together, and you'll forget you ever started with a plain white sheet of paper!
That art brush is actually one of my most-used card-making supplies!! It can add so much to an otherwise-ordinary card.
So there it is... my super-simple make-a-bunch card idea! So, what I do, is fold about 10 sheets of paper into cards, then start brushing the inside of all ten. This means I just need my stack of cards, a brush, and an ink pad on the table. It's quick to get out and even quicker to put away (like when an emergency arises... which happens often with toddlers in the house!!).
By doing all ten cards, it makes the task seem simpler... because I know I can sit down for just 10 minutes and feel like I've accomplished something! It used to take me 10 minutes to just get out all my supplies... and I had to get everything out, since I had no idea what I would need/use!
So anyway, I love that I've found a time-saving still-frugal solution for making homemade cards! Yay! :)
As a side note, homemade thank-you cards are a great gift to include with other gifts at a baby shower or bridal shower! They're inexpensive to make, and what new mom or new bride doesn't have a few thank-yous to write?! :)