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8 Fresh and Stunning Card Making Ideas!

Cards are amazing for any occasion, and in my opinion - a beautiful handmade card makes a wonderful keepsake gift. But sometimes even after flicking through your pile of cardmaking and papercraft magazines and scrolling through your saved ideas on Pinterest, it's still really hard to make a start.

Below are some fresh ideas and some new takes on old card making and papercraft card inspiration to hopefully inspire you to make a start on your next amazing card.

Get Creative With Different Markers and Coloring Books

Not great at drawing? It doesn't matter. Grab a page from one of those beautiful coloring books that are aimed at adults for stress relief and cut out three rectangular strips to be placed on the left two/thirds of your card. These books can be found at most $2 stores or large department stores and often feature mandalas and intricate nature themes that are just perfect for this crafting project.

Cut and Glue Creative Magazine or Book Pattern Pages

Have fun matching the design for your recipient. A floral design might be great for the garden or outdoor lover while a manga comic design might be great for a younger audience and a particular animal would be great for ... well, animal lovers. You get the point!

Boost Your Craft With Colorful Ink

I really enjoy using Copic Markers because of the way they flow and blend, but other brands will work just as well. Sharpies are great too! I used gel pens for the example below as the design was intricate and I needed a fine tip. It's up to you whether you color first and then cut out and stick down, or cut out your pieces first and just color what you need.

As you can see in the example below, I have included the words in the lower third of the page. Using the rule of thirds is a fantastic design technique that we'll talk about another day.

special card making tip: rule of thirds

Make a Quaint Accordion Card For Any Occasion

Accordion cards both look great and lend themselves well to any cardmaking occasion. They don't have to be complicated though and even a simple accordion card can look amazing. Here's how to make a simple one!

Get a rectangle-sized cardstock 28cm wide x 11.5cm in height. Score the card vertically at 4cm, 8cm, 14cm, and 20cm. If you work in inches, your rectangle cardstock will be 11in wide x 4.5in height and your scores will be at 1.5in, 3in, 5.5in, and 8in.

Now, it's time to take your scored piece of card and fold it like an accordion. This means that you fold each score in the opposite direction leaving you with five distinct panels. Once folded, you should see three panels as in the example below. Focus your styling on panels one, three, and five as these are the panels that are seen when the accordion is folded up.

I adore accordion card making for birthday greetings because it's super versatile and will be appreciated by both adults and kids alike. There is also plenty of room on panels two and four to write a lovely birthday message. If you include an overhanging piece or tags like in the example below, just make sure you don't accidentally glue it to the adjoining panel when sticking it on.

accordion card making sample
It's best if you don't ask how I know this but let's just say that when I made my first accordion card, it is when I learned how much of a great advice that is for next time!

Making Simple But Stunning Backgrounds With Watercolors or Acrylics

Even non-painters can manage this easy greeting card making tip with stunning results. Using a sheet of watercolor paper just slightly smaller than your card face, pencil in some triangle shapes at the bottom of your paper to represent mountain peaks. Feel free to copy my example below!
accordion card making sample
Using either watercolors or watered-down acrylic paint, blend some bold colors of your choice in the sky behind the mountain peaks. Blending yellowish to reddish tones look great as a bold sunset as do blues fading into the black of night. Don't forget to ink in some white dots when it dries for stars if doing a nighttime scene.

For the mountains, keep one face white to represent snow, and on the other side add some shadow.

Once your masterpiece is dry, trim as appropriate and adhere it to the face of your card with a beautiful message.

Use Your Paper Scraps for DIY Christmas cards

Find and use your Christmas paper scraps for a great Christmas card idea. This one is super easy and has the added bonus of using up leftover strips of paper. I love projects that use scrap pieces, don't you?

Just stick your scrap pieces in odd-shaped strips on the front of your card as in the example below. It's a good idea to lay your pieces down first before gluing to make sure all the colors look great together and nothing is out of place.

Tape in colorful strips of wrapping paper for a new background
Once they are dry, trim out three present shapes and glue a cute little bow made from your scraps of wool or ribbon on top. Don't forget to add your Christmas greeting!

Jazz Up Your Cards With Some 3D Embellishments

Bring your card to life with some 3D Embellishments. It's easier than it looks! Using little foam sticky squares or dots that can be purchased from most $2 stores, make some of your imagery pop out. This is a really simple and effective way to give your cards that ''WOW'' factor.

In the children's card example below, I pre-cut all of my pieces and spent a few minutes layering them how I wanted. This is really important as it's hard to fix mistakes without ripping or marking your paper once you have stuck something down.

Again, it's best if you don't ask how I know this!

Pre-cut lettering looks amazing using this technique on the front of your card so don't just confine the pop-outs to the imagery.

quick tip for 3d embellishments

Tips in Crafting a Stunning Silhouette Card

This fantastic romantic card idea for Valentine's day that used silhouettes is a must-try! Using either a handpainted background or some beautifully printed paper, either stencil on your silhouette in black or use a cut out on black paper.

The possibilities are endless here and can be tailored to the individual. Cat lovers may like my silhouette card below or a black silhouette of a couple sharing an umbrella in the rain makes for a beautiful Valentine's card also.

The background is just as important as the silhouette as it brings the pop of color. Don't be afraid to be bold! Use a DIY painted sunset or bright-colored card as your background.

The example below is made using Derwent Inktense pencils for the background and a stencil for the silhouette image.

silhouette technique for lovely inspiration

I hope you have found some inspiration with this list of easy card making ideas, and I'm eager to see your take on these cards. Please do share your finished products with us. Happy card making!

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