Card making is a wonderfully rewarding art, both for you and your cards’ recipients. Starting out is easier and doesn’t need to be expensive, meaning anyone can get involved. Moreover, all manner of designs, from the simple to the intricate, can produce amazing cards and whilst there is plenty to learn, you’ll quickly be able to produce cards you are proud enough to hand out.
Now, whether you’re an experienced crafter or completely new to making homemade cards, there are a handful of tips that can and will improve your designs. If you’re currently making cards that don’t quite give you that special feeling, or you need some tips to up your game then this guide is for you. Read on for five tips for great homemade cards.
Appealing to another of our senses in your designs is a fantastic way to make your cards more attractive. This doesn’t have to be complicated; simply using a textured paper or card will provide texture to your designs instantly. Otherwise, many patterns can give the impression of a texture whilst the card remains completely smooth. Using a wood-grain design, for example, achieves this perfectly.
Another great way to add texture is to use card embellishments such as beads, pearls, paper flowers or ribbon. Embellishments all stand out from the page, adding texture and dimension and giving your card a more attractive look.
Using acrylic paints or stamping inks onto your cards can also give a textured look without any of the added bulk that embellishments can bring. Experiment with different techniques and paints to discover your favourite.
On a similar note, dimension will also add to your cards although perhaps in a less subtle way that texture can. Uneven surfaces and 3D designs can add intrigue, style and class or make otherwise simple designs far more interesting.
Again, there are a number of ways to achieve this with embellishments being just one. Consider using 3D decoupage, heat embossed stamps or collage stamping if you want to avoid too excessive bulk. The latter technique involves building up layer upon layer of stamp ink in successively darker shades of ink to portray an illusion of depth without potentially bulky embellishments or decoupage.
- Create a centre piece
By designing your card around a centre piece or focal point you make it far more compelling and easy on the eye than if you do not. This should be the most interesting part of design (although not necessarily the largest) and draw in the viewer’s attention effortlessly. If there is no obvious centre-piece consider grouping smaller elements together to create a natural focal point.
People’s gaze typically falls initially on the top left of your card, working diagonally down and right as they take in the design. As such, your centre-piece should be somewhere along in imaginary line for maximum effect. Experiment with the centre-piece before gluing it in place to see where you feel it fits best.
- Ensure a consistency of style and theme
Every element in your card’s design should fit with a central theme and style in order to make it look professional and consistent. This includes everything from the colour scheme to the embellishments used throughout the entire design.
Pick a style at the outset of your design and stick with it continuously. Even if you find a great new embellishment that you cannot wait to try out, save it for your next card if it doesn’t fit with your current card’s style. Moreover, choose a simple colour scheme and stick to it religiously, which leads on nicely to our final tip.
- Pick a complimentary colour scheme
Choosing a suitable colour-scheme can be a tricky part of card design and even the most elegantly created card can be spoiled by a shoddy palette. On the other hand, understanding what colours work well together and how to use them on your card can be the difference between a nice design and a masterpiece.
A popular technique is to pick complementary colours (i.e. colours that are opposite to each other on the colour wheel such as red and green) to create a powerful contrast and a vivid design. If a complimentary colour scheme proves too jarring, choose a split complementary combination by pairing a co