Have you ever found yourself standing in a Hallmark or in the card aisle at Target hemming and hawing between two different cards– neither of which truly expressed what you were trying to say and both of which cost some ridiculous amount of money? Approximately five years or so, I jumped off of the crazy overpriced card train. Ever since I have been creating handmade personalized cards for everything from birthdays to weddings, funerals and retirements. Goodbye trite overpriced unoriginal card- hello custom designed and personalized package of sunshine.
I was inspired by a story my sister-in-law told me about the Easter gift bags her mother-in-law made for all of her grandkids. They were brown lunch bags hand painted with the most spectacular scenes. It was an experience to receive these precious gifts every year. My sister-in-law still puts these bags out every spring! I wanted to take the same approach with my cards.
Initially the cards were very simple–blank cards from a local craft store with images from the internet. 80s movie quotes for our youngest nephew and Vampira for our niece. Over time the cards have become more elaborate. I started making accordion style cards with 3×5 index cards that folded into the cards. Then I found out about explosion cards. Now I exclusively use my Oodle Doodles in my cards. If I don’t have something appropriate I design something new.
A few years ago my husband bought me a wax seal kit for Christmas, which allowed me to add a unique touch to the packaging of the cards. A friend joked that he felt like he had received mail from the Queen when he got our Thanksgiving card. My students simultaneously want to open the card, but don’t want to break the seal. The next year Tom surprised me with a return address embosser so that I could say goodbye to tacky return address labels. I don’t have the best handwriting, but I do my best with a Lettermate envelope addressing guide. I am still interested in learning hand lettering, but have not made the time to pursue it further. Last year I received a beautiful Pilot pen, so now I have reason to work on my script! For now, when you receive a card from me, it has a custom designed envelope, hand addressed, embossed return address and a wax seal enclosing a custom personalized hand created card. To be honest, I have no idea if they are cheaper than what you can find in a store when they are all said and done. The last graduation card I made took me about six hours to create. What I do know is that they are overflowing with love from me and I couldn’t say that about anything I saw at Target or Hallmark.
I buy my supplies at (these are NOT affiliate links):
Wax seals and sealing wax at Nostalgic Impressions
Tombow markers at Dick Blick
Blank note cards at Michael’s.
Address embosser- I cannot remember, but a lot of places sell them.
Pen and ink- Goulet Pen Company