20 Easy but Creative Card Making Techniques Any CardMaker Can Do!

In this digital age, it's too easy to send a quick email or a text message to let someone know you're thinking about them. It's rare that we get a card or handwritten letters- let alone one that someone has taken the time to create especially for you. For that reason, card making is gaining back its popularity. Greeting cards are extra special—and they make the recipient feel that way, too!

When you're making a DIY card, you're literally faced with a blank canvas. It can be a little intimidating but it's a great opportunity for some fun, and creative ideas too!

Here are 20 card making techniques to make your greetings stand out:

1. Get Colorful With Your Card making

A sure way to bring a smile to someone who's feeling blue is to share a colorful rainbow with them. Use felt-tip markers and simply go on coloring!

Write a simple message of encouragement on the front of a folded piece of paper, and then have the arch of your rainbow take up both inside pages.

From decorative letters to adding doodles to your card, there's a lot you can do to your cards using colored ink markers!

By using simple card stock or craft paper, you can customize your handmade card with splashes of neon, pastel, or metallic ink, or try a stamp for diversity.

Make full use of your stamp set and have fun using monochromatic or extremely opposite colors in your design. Using a stamp makes designing easier because stamps add a rustic feel to them that really makes a card seem more authentic.
Another great way of adding color to your card is by using watercolor. Check out our article about watercolor card making techniques and learn how to incorporate watercolors into your card layout.

2. Use Handmade Die Cut or other 3D Elements

If you're ready for a slightly more advanced technique, have your glue out for these card making tips.

3D Tutorial 1: Recycled Designs

Try incorporating three-dimensional elements like pom-poms for the tops of ice cream cones, or large sequins for balloons. Any cute craft supply can accent a design and literally make it stand out - plus it also adds a splash of color!
card making techniques
If you have any torn pieces of cloth or fallen buttons, these are items you can get around for free and achieve amazing results when you glue them on top.

3D Tutorial 2: Embossing Folder and Powder Techniques

An embossing folder is a great way to create an entire card design with very little effort. This simple press and fold technique makes any card look expensive.

Another embossing technique that I love doing is using an embossing powder. This is great especially when I want to make my card have a great shimmer. Embossing powder comes in various colors and they also make a great stamping design for other cards or even scrapbook pages.

Embossing card making techniques are perfect for formal invitations meant for debutantes, weddings, quinceaneras, and the like.

3D Tutorial 3: Die Cut Technique

Die cutting is something that every cardmaker, paper crafter, or scrapper loves to use. Die cutting machines make personalizing cards look even better and these also add a bit more fun and creativity to your handmade card.

Another benefit to using a die cut is that it's simple to use and it doesn't require a lot of effort to create a beautiful card.

3. Make a Cardmaking Collage

If you have extra magazines or small pieces of different colors and textures of paper, you have the makings of a one-of-a-kind collage. Simply start snipping out interesting elements and put them to the front of your card. This mini-vision board can include everything your friend or family member loves.
colorful card making technique
Incorporate some card making layering techniques to add dimension to your design!
You need to focus on what your recipient loves the most.
  • Snip and glue magazine pages on cardstock.
  • Get old items from your crafts box
  • Turn gift wrapping paper into a new decor
  • Write using colored ink on another paper and stick it on your card
  • Take photos to commemorate special events

4. Try a Simple Pop-Up

One of my favorite parts of card making is crafting cards that have pop-ups! Every time you open it, it's packed with a sweet surprise! It's a little like origami.

Pop-ups is one of the most love card making techniques but it doesn't always have to be intricate. A simple pop-up surprise is one way that makes handmade cards extraordinary.
  • Cut out the shape you'd like to pop up from a magazine or even a doodle you've just drawn yourself.
  • Cut a strip of paper left behind to use as pop-up support. Glue both ends of the strip on both inside sections of your card.
  • Make a light crease so that the shape folds flat when it closes. Make sure the glue is dry before testing it.

5. Add A Little Nature To Your Cardmaking

Everyone loves flowers, so why not put some directly on your homemade card?

A hot glue gun can help attach small flower buds or other natural pieces like autumn leaves, palm fronds, or blades of grass. It's an especially exciting way to share a delightful landscape from across the nation.

6. Photo Personalization Technique

If you have a bunch of pictures you've snapped with your recipient, print them out! One way to honor the receiver is by stamping on a photo. You can stick on beautiful frames made from colored pencils or ribbons on a number of small, overlapping photos for a truly personalized feel.

7. Card Making with a group

If you're in charge of creating a card from a group, consider giving everyone their own little section to decorate. Divide the card into small blocks, and write each person's name in different fonts and colors. Then pass it around to your friends or family so each person can add their signature or a special image.

A collaborative project will surely make the receiver feel extra special. It would even be great if you put a stamp of approval or medallion to honor the recipient.

8. Open From the Middle

An easy card making tip is to begin from scratch. No need to limit your card making to a traditional opening from the right! Get creative with the way your card reveals its inner message by making the opening in the middle.

To do this, determine the middle of a page and then find the halfway mark between that point and the edges of the paper. Fold at that halfway mark so the edges touch in the middle.

9. Make an Elegant Headline

When you are using your own script, you can make it separate from any other font you'd see in the store. Try your hand at a little calligraphy by writing one large, beautiful letter to your card's headline.

Try using a felt tip marker or any colored ink. You can also use stamping letters. These letter stamps oftentimes add a more down-to-earth feel to your card, doesn't it?

10. Have Fun Using Foam Sheets

For a soft, cushy look, pick out a few pieces of colorful and flexible foam sheets. These thin craft supplies are easy to cut, arrange, and glue onto a greeting card for a funky design. Try making a bouquet of foam flowers, balloons, or a gumball machine as card embellishments.

11. Be Free and Creative with Stickers

Packs of stickers offer many ways to add a unique style to your card. Pick out a theme that your recipient will love and create a landscape on the front of the card. You can even tuck inside an extra page of stickers as a gift!

12. DIY Confetti

Have card making paper punches? Use differently colored paper and make your own confetti (I have lots of containers of homemade confetti available that I use in my card making)!! Then, you can glue individual pieces on the front of a folded card to make a shower of fun celebratory confetti.

Without a puncher, try to cut up your own from colorful paper or old discarded cards. Don't forget to save some to put inside so they'll fall when your friend or family member opens their card.

13. Weave In a Ribbon

Take a paper and make small slits the width of your ribbon. Then you can weave small strips through the paper to create a pattern. Glue the edges neatly on the inside of the card's front.
card making background ideas

14. Get Glittery

When it comes to glitter, remember that a little goes a long way! Dab glue to areas that you'd like to apply glitter, and pour on the shiny stuff. Don't forget to knock off the extra glitter onto scrap paper.

15. Tie it With a Bow

Sure, you can simply fold it in half—or you could place a ribbon or experiment with other ways of closing the card. Use glue or a staple to attach two ribbons to the outside edges and tie them together to remind them of the gift your card is.

16. Make it Modern

If your recipient likes a more modern style, try to create geometric patterns as a border with thin markers along the edges. This is the perfect way to give your cardmaking a unique look!
abstract card making ideas

17. Incorporate the Present

Are you planning on adding in a gift card? You need to create a pocket on the inside of your card to tuck in the present. They'll be surprised and touched by your thoughtfulness.

18. Take Time with the Message

Every card is meaningful enough but what matters the most is what you write in it. When you combine a pretty design with a meaningful message, you create one that your recipient will keep forever. Spend time thinking about what you'd like to write, and then put the message inside as a heartfelt addition.

Or consider the use of your card making skills to create a scrapbook. There are a lot of ideas to explore here!

19. Week's Worth of Cheer

Instead of simply folding in half, make an accordion type of greeting card. If you fold it seven times, you can add a week's worth of messages that will keep the celebration going!

Learn more card making tips by checking out our article about Card Folding Techniques!
techniques for making cards

20. Keep Handmade Cards Simple

Finally, if you're not sure what card-making techniques to choose, just keep it simple. Any design, color scheme, or message that you make and share will let your friend or family member know you care. Besides every card you give is already something special.

Happy cardmaking!
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