Frugal Fridays: Making Homemade Greeting Cards

For many years now, I have been making homemade greeting cards to send to people whenever the occasion arises.

Besides the fact that I often don't have the money, time, or vehicle to go out shopping for cards (even cheaper boxed ones!), I really enjoy sending someone a hand-crafted card with a personal note inside from ME!

First, I'll show you some pictures of cards I've made recently, and then I'll give tips for making homemade cards with whatever you have lying around the house.

One of my homemade cards 

 To color the edges of this card, I rubbed the paper on the ink pad.

I stamped a Bible verse and some yellow bees. I used a scissors to cut a fancy edge, and then glued everything together.

The inside is blank (unless I decide to add something in there, too!).

 Here is a thank-you card I made yesterday. I tore the edges of the papers and glued them down in layers.

I stamped the leaves and flowers, and then used a marker pen to draw a border _._._._._._. around the edges, like that.

 Another of my cards...

You probably noticed both of the cards pictured here use rubber stamps, markers, or ink. Rubber stamps are expensive. Until just a couple years ago, I was the owner of just ONE itty bitty kitty rubber stamp and a blue ink pad. My good friend Nicole (who is a fabulous stamper!!) has blessed me with several boxes of "goodies" in the last 18 months or so, sending me rubber stamps, ink, and paper. I never had the money for such nice things, yet our heavenly Father has blessed me with them.

I managed to make homemade cards using:

  • A white sheet of paper, folded in fourths (this is the cheapest)
  • Crayons (these go on sale in August, 25 cents for a box of 24)
  • Colored pencils (we already had these, they last forever, unless your children break them!)
  • "Recycled" old cards, envelopes, or magazine pictures (Cut pictures or pretty things from greeting cards that others send you, or from magazines. Glue these on the front of your folded paper, write inside, and you're all set!*)
  • Plain old black or blue ballpoint pens
  • Bits of ribbon (bought at thrift store)
  • Tissue paper ($1 for a big package, makes nice effects)
  • Scissors (having at least one plain old pair of scissors is kind of required ;D)
  • Glue (Elmer's glue, 10 cents on sale -- spread thinly with finger so it doesn't warp your paper)

Of course, it's nice to have things like fancy-edged scissors, markers, cheap buttons, etc. for effects and greater variety. If you have extra art supplies lying around, you can put them to good use! You can use bits of fabric, beads, glitter, whatever you have. You could also make cards with photos of your children on them to send to relatives or friends.

What I'm trying to say, is that you don't have to spend money to make nice cards! If you want to ask for card-making supplies as gifts, or watch for second-hand supplies if you can afford them, then go for it! I love all the "stuff" I have now. But I didn't always have it, and I still made cards. :)

One thing I like to try to do it make custom cards for people. When I am making a wedding card for someone, I try to use their wedding colors in the card. For a birthday card, I might make it in their favorite color.

A card I made for my cousin's bride-to-be last year

Here's a card I made last October, for my cousin's fiance. I thought their wedding colors were cream and green (although they were actually green and purple!), and I knew that green was her favorite color.

I tore some cream-colored paper for the middle of the card. Then I stamped flowers and cut them out. I glued them down and glued buttons on top. I hand-wrote the Bible verse on the front.

 I've done hand-lettering (which I am NOT talented at!) in pencil and re-traced in pen or marker, and I did that 100% of the time before I had stamps. I still do it, whenever I don't have a stamp that works right, or, I want a custom message. :)

For this card, I wrote a message inside with green and then used a plain blue pen to sign my name, so it looked more... professional. Or something. :)

At any rate, she loved the card, and it ended up getting passed around at her bridal shower. Everyone thought it was great because it was homemade!

 Inside the card

Here are some more photos (older, low-quality ones) of cards I made when I first got rubber stamps. For more, better ideas, I suggest visiting my friend Nicole's gallery or blog! She has loads of neat ideas and tells just how she made them!

I don't usually know what I'm going to come up with until I've sat down and started. I try things and see what works. It does take time to make homemade cards, and I'm not able to make lots and lots of them. But when I need a card, I don't have to spend money to have one to send.

*Obviously, you have to be a little choosey about what you "recycle", or your card will look shabby. Ask others to save their old, unwanted greeting cards for you so that you have a wider selection of ideas to choose from.

For more Frugal Fridays tips, visit Crystal's blog!


What talent! Your cards are beautiful - you could sell them!

I have tried to make cards at home before but, though I am blessed with many abilities, I have no creativity in the card making area.

Still I loved your post!

I really like your cards! Thanks for sharing, I wondered how you did them. I should get into making homemade cards, they are special to the reciever. I know yours are to me!! :)

This must be such a ministry to those who receive one...they are beautiful!


Those are simply lovely! Great work!!

Nice cards! I really like the first one. I'm always saving stuff off cards or little odds and ends too for my cards and scrapbooking. :)
The Giant Dollar Store has a good selection of embellishments, stickers, etc. and are way cheaper than any other scrapbook store or places that sell similar supplies in town.

Pretty! Sam and I actually got this kit at B&N with a gift card we had. And it is really neat all the cards you can make. I love your ideas! We always have scrapbook paper laying around too and that makes nice cards.

Really neat. I love your cards.

Just wanted to say thanks for everyone's comments about my homemade cards. You're all very kind. :)

Your Cards Rock! My mom is 50 years old and I was trying to figure out how to make a card to thank her for all she has done for since I was born(11 years ago), But then I went to your website and it helped a whole bunch, Thanks!

Your cards are really nice! You have inspired me to make homemade cards than to just buy one at a store. Love it!!!

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