Customizing for a Gift Card

Gift cards by their nature are impossible to wrap. They are small, square, flat and boring. Not to mention that they always fall out of greeting cards. The upside is that it’s easy to customize a gift card pocket into any greeting card. All you need is a pocket for the gift card to rest in. The pocket can be made easily by cutting a piece of card stock to slightly larger dimensions than the gift card and using glue or glue dots, adhere 3 sides of the cardstock to the greeting card. Simple gift card holder. For added security modify your gift card design to include a sealed flap, ribbon ties or other closure.

This one is designed by my friend Rose Conley. It features a slit closure design and Stampin Up two sided paper.

Cards for Guys

Most guys are not into crafting and firmly believe that handmade cards are distinctly “girly”. This doesn’t have to be the case. At last month’s Stamp Camp I learned a cool technique to give a card a more masculine appeal. This card is made using paper, ink, stamps and sponges.

Personalizing your envelopes

A fun trend in cards is to decorate the envelopes. This provides an extra professional look while maintaining the homemade and crafty appearance. Decorating envelopes can be simple but you need to keep a few things in mind.

Remember the purpose

An envelope is a way to package your card so that it gets to it’s destination safely, and without a bunch of strangers reading your message. Envelopes must conform to several standards if they are going to be mailed. The main one being that the mail carrier needs to be able to read and identify where it’s going.

This card is adorable and the envelope is cute, but can you spot the issues?

First, the decoration is stamped onto a separate piece of paper which is then attached to the envelope. This is an issue as anything attached to the envelope must be completely sealed down or it will get stuck in the machinery used to sort the mail.

Second, the punched circle overlaps the edges of the envelope. Again it will cause issues for the sorting machines, and may cost you more in postage because of the hand sorting that will be required.

The final issue is that the decoration is placed where the return address is supposed to be. If you place one small stamp next to your return address it’s fine. But this is large and precludes the ability to have a return address on the front of the envelope. A return address is not a requirement for something to be mailed but it’s nice to be able to get something back if it can’t be delivered.

Subtle is better 

Subtle decorations can add a fun element.

Use the same stamp and ink color on the envelope that you used on the card. This provides continuity between the card and envelope without disrupting the function.

Another whimsical idea is to stamp the card and then, without re-inking, stamp the envelope. This will give the envelope a softer imprint of the design from the card.

Remember to watch the placement. The lower left corner, and both right corners are great for stamping. Keep in mind that the postage will be placed in the upper right corner so only put something there that won’t be lost under the postage.

Not every envelope has to be mailed

Now that I’ve reviewed what to watch out for don’t throw out the envelopes that are decorated but can’t be mailed. You can always save those cards for hand delivering or place them in a larger envelope than can get through the postal service.

 

Flat Cards

 

How many times do you receive a homemade card for your birthday or as a thank you and then think, “What will I do with this?” I know it sounds harsh but do you store all those cards? Leave them displayed on the mantle or taped to the door? Do you quietly feel guilty as you throw them out, not wanting the clutter? The solution to this dilemma is flat cards.

Flat, or non-opening, cards are becoming more and more popular. They can be easily framed for displayed or stored flat in a scrapbook. Yet they still have all the creativity and design of their hand-crafted cousins.

The card in the image was created using 5×7 card stock, 5×6 card stock textured with a BigShot (Stampin’ Up), card stock remnants, assorted kitchen themed cutouts and stickers.

New Stamps!

I’m so excited today. My new Stampin’ Up! stamps and punches came in. Because I mainly do cards I wanted small stamps that would fit on my pages. I picked up the Petite Pairs set, which has several phrases for major occasions. I can see myself using those alot. I also got the Elementary Elegance set, which is also sized to work well with cards.

I’ve never had punches before but discovered that I kept wanting to be able to create circles. After several days of tracing and hand cutting using scissors I decided that I really just needed a punch. Why make the job harder than it has to be? I purchased the 1 3/4″ punch as it seemed to be a good general size. I also purchased the 2 2/3″ Scallop Circle after seeing it used at a friends workshop. I have so many ideas for this stuff.

I wanted all the inks too but decided to wait on those. I have lots of markers and 2 pads of black that I can start with. No point in going overboard. Besides what will I buy at the next workshop if I have it all now?