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Making a Greeting Card in Microsoft Word

By June 21, 2016 General Card Making
cowgirl on peach sm

Many greeting card makers create their card in a paint program, however, for a quickie or or a simple card, you can use Word. Here is how to do it:

If your version of Word already has Greeting Card Templates (if not see below):

  1. Click on File from the top left corner.
  2. Click on New. The Template List will open. If you have Greeting Card templates already in your Word, then you can click on Greeting Cards. (My version does not have Greeting Card templates, and if yours doesn’t also see below.)
  3. Choose a Greeting card sub section. You can preview templates by clicking on them. After downloading, you can customize the downloaded card by changing the colors/fonts, adding a message or name, even add your own photos.
  4. Or, you can just follow the directions below for a card from scratch.

If your version of Word does not have Greeting Card Templates, you can download free blank templates from Desktop Publishing Supplies, Inc.  Scroll down to FOLDING GREETING CARDS, and click on “5”X7” PRINT TO THE EDGE Greeting Cards”. I recommend downloading both of the Word Templates and saving them in case you need them.   (Note: Avery, Burris, or Microsoft also have some in varying sizes, but I found this way to be easiest.)

To create a 5×7 horizontal (landscape) card from scratch, follow these directions.

  1. Download the portrait file, “greetingcards_5x7PTE_portrait.dot”  above from Desktop Publishing Supplies, Inc. Open the file in Word.
  2. From the toolbar, choose Insert, then Picture, and then insert whatever picture or clipart you want as the front of your card. Drag the pic to the bottom box, and use the curser to resize your picture so as to fill in the box. Your picture should look upright.
    word landscape example 1
  3. Add a name and/or text to the front by using the Drawing Toolbar (if it’s not showing, click on View, Toolbars, Drawing to open the toolbar). Click on Text Box and add your text. Fix the text size, font, and color. Drag to position over your picture on the right side. Or, you can click on Insert WordArt and add that.
    word landscape example 2 word landscape example 3
  4. You can also layer other pictures or masks on top of what you have. If when layering you need to send a picture forward or backward, click on the picture and then Format-Picture-Layout-Behind Text (or In front of text).
  5. When you have what you want, print your card using the highest resolution possible.
  6. To print the inside, download the portrait file again, and using the text box add text to the bottom box again. You can also add images. You can print the inside on separate paper, or flip the front page over so that the front picture is on the top on the underneath side of the paper (it will be upside down).
    word landscape example 4

To create a 5×7 upright (portrait) card from scratch, follow these directions.

  1. Download the landscape file, “greetingcards_5x7PTE_landscape.dot”  above from Desktop Publishing Supplies, Inc. (yes, I know, ignore that it’s called “landscape” when you are making a portrait card). Open the file in Word.
  2. From the toolbar, choose Insert, then Picture, and then insert whatever picture or clip art you want as the front of your card. Drag the pic to the right side, and use the curser to resize your picture so as to fill in the right box. Your picture should look upright.
    word portrait example 1
  3. Add a name and/or text to the front by using the Drawing Toolbar just like in the landscape directions (if it’s not showing, click on View, Toolbars, Drawing to open the toolbar). Click on Text Box and add your text. Fix the text size, font, and color. Drag to position over your picture on the right side. Or, you can click on Insert WordArt and add that.
  4. You can also layer other pictures or masks on top of what you have. If when layering you need to send a picture forward or backward, click on the picture and then Format-Picture-Layout-Behind Text (or In front of text).
  5. When you have what you want, print your card using the highest resolution possible.
  6. To print the inside, download the landscape file again, and using the text box add text to the right side again. You can also add images. You can print the inside on separate paper, or flip the front page over so that the front picture is on the left side on the bottom side of the paper.
    word portrait example 2

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Build-Your-Own Card Websites

By June 21, 2016 General Card Making
crystal carousel sm pp

Individual DIY greeting card websites are used to customize a card with your own images and text. Most cards are already created and you simply insert your photos and words. The sites are either free (in which case you print your own created cards), or charge fees for the cards that they print and mail to you. These sites are for people who want a personalized card, but don’t feel the desire to create from scratch- a home-made-card-light kind of thing. (There are also sites where you can buy sets (quantities) of cards using your own images, which will not be listed here but are good if you need a bunch of the same card.)

Here are some sites:

 

Free Sites: You would use these sites for the convenience of using their templates. You use your own images and add text; anyone can do it because it is really easy. They have stickers (small images to add). You then print the created card yourself, either on your own computer or at a Kinkos/FedEx type store.

 

Got Free Cards – This site is simple to use with one of their images or one of your own. The drawback is size; you can either create a 4.25 x 5.5 inch card by folding your paper into quarters, or you can create a 5.5 x 8.5 inch card by folding your paper in half. But, you cannot create a standard 5 x 7 card. Still, if you don’t care about size and just want something super easy, this is very convenient and the price is right.

 

Smilebox– Smilebox is an application that creates cards, invitations, photo albums and more. Creations can be printed or used as ecards. However there are lots of complaints and concerns online about Smilebox coming with third party adware, spyware and Trojans. One should carefully investigate before using this or any downloadable application.

 

 

Paid Sites

These sites are easy and fun to use. They won’t save you money but they will save you time (no standing in a store aisle wading through the usual cards.) It can take a fair amount of time to get or send the card, but you can get a personalized cute card with very little effort. If you are a good planner-aheader, and not watching your pennies, these will give you a small and pleasing taste of creating your own greeting card (not to be confused with creating your own from scratch.) And the card receiver will surely appreciate the personalized aspect.

Mixbook– You can make nice cards with your own images for highish prices, but plan ahead because it takes a couple of weeks to get it unless you pay a lot (and I mean a lot) for express mailing.

Cafepress Similar to Mixbook in price and length of time it takes to get the card.

GreetingCardUniverse– A slightly better turn around time here- all cards are shipped out the next day, but then 2-4 business days from the ship date for the West Coast US, and 4-9 for the East Coast (too long for a last-minute person like me). They really have a lot of cards to choose from though (many contributing artists) with some customization of photos and text.

Shutterfly – Very easy to use, and they will stamp and mail the card for you. Reasonable prices (a couple of dollars.) I love Shutterfly for making books but they have customizable cards also.

Zazzle– Regular cards with varying prices similar to your local drugstore. They have postcards (where you can use your own image) that are great for save-the-date postcards, using as a marketing tool for your business, put on your refrigerator with a magnet, or frame. The postcards are a little over a dollar.

Etsy (a site where artists sell their stuff) has cards and many which can be personalized too. It’s just fun to go there.

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Create Your Own Computer-Generated Greeting Card Part 2 -Sizing

By June 21, 2016 General Card Making
owl uprightsm pp

Sizing- If you go to your local drugstore, you will note that greeting cards come in various sizes and shapes. When doing your own, you will either make it to fit a particular envelope size, or if you are going commando (naked i.e. sans envelope), any size will do.

There are three common choices:

* You can fold your 8.5 x 11.0 inch paper both length wise and width wise to create a card that is 4.25 x 5.5 inches. In that case you will print your card with the front image upside-down in the upper left corner of the paper, and the message right-side up in the lower right corner.

4 quarter card

* You can fold your 8.5 x 11.0 inch paper in half for a 5.5 x 8.5 inch card which can be either an upright or horizontal card.

vertical and horizontal sample

* You can print your card and then cut it to create a standard 5 x 7 inch card. This is what I usually do because then it’s easy to get a pretty envelope for the card to go in.

owl 5x7 sm pp

I hope this helped. Please come back for more.

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Create Your Own Computer-Generated Greeting Card! Part 1

By June 21, 2016 General Card Making
birthday stars sm pp

This post is about starting from scratch to create a printed card. (If you decide to use a fill-in site, here are some suggestions.)

First, to create such a card you will need these things:

  1. a software program that will put images and words onto paper (you can even use Microsoft Word for this; or any paint program will do.)
  2. appropriate paper for the card
  3. an image for the front
  4. words that you want to superimpose over the image on the front (although words are optional)
  5. words for the inside (also optional)
  6. an envelope (optional)

Paper-

Thickness– A greeting card should be on paper that is thicker than typing paper. The thicker it is, the more luxurious it will feel, but beware, don’t get the paper so thick that it won’t happily go through your printer. How think? Well it depends on your printer. You will have to experiment. Stationary and craft stores often carry single pieces of paper in their scrapbook section. You might try those. (See what I use below in the card stock paragraph.)

Color and Texture– Your paper can be colored, textured, or plain. There are a couple of things you should think about. For instance, when considering the color of the paper, you should ask yourself how the printing and/or the image will show up on the color. Will the printing be swallowed by the paper color? Will the image colors clash with their background? There needs to be enough contrast between the color of the paper and the print to make it easily readable (dark on light or light on dark), and you certainly want a complementary background color for your image.

Card Sets-  If you want to go the easy way, you can buy card-sets specific for the task, such as Avery Half-Fold Greeting Cards (which are less than $10 for twenty and you can buy on Amazon or at many print stores.)

Card Stock– Or you can buy card stock in varying thicknesses and colors. You will have to choose between gloss and matte, of course. Sometimes gloss is better for photos, but matte often creates a look that is more like a conventional card. Either one is fine- it’s a matter of personal preference. I personally usually use Neenah Exact Index paper, 110 lb, 8×5 x 11 inches, 250 sheets, White, 94 Brite, because it works well with my particular printer and I print all of my own cards these days. It’s also very cost effective- between 6 and 7 cents per page!

Craft Paper- Another fun option is to buy individual pieces of paper from an art or craft store. Usually you can find wonderful colors and textures that way, from a woodsy brown weave to a sparkly metallic, there’s something for everyone. Experimentation is really quite fun.

Paper Insert- There is one more thing to consider, and that is whether you want to print on both sides of the paper, or have a separate paper printed inside the card. There are lovely thin delicate papers that make beautiful card innards, and going that route is unquestionably easier if you want a normal sized card (5 x 7) and don’t know your way around printing on both sides (positioning correctly can be confusing.) I like the inner paper myself, and often buy two pieces for my card (just in case I mess one up.)

 

And, by the way, you can get envelopes in all kinds of entertaining colors too.

 

When it comes to creating greeting cards, size matters; to continue, read about sizing and format in this post.

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Creating a DIY Greeting Card

By June 21, 2016 General Card Making
Birthday spotssmall

Making your own greeting card is super fun! That’s the best reason to do it. There are a lot of other good reasons too (like saving money, convenience of being able to have a card immediately, and making your friends and family happy.)While there are multiple reasons why creating and printing your own greeting card is a great idea the basics of doing so are not very hard. But first, you have to narrow down exactly what you want to do.

To begin with, you must decide if you want to create one of three types of cards.

  1. First, you could make a computer-generated printed card similar to what you would buy at your local store. Making your own, you would choose and print the image on the front and any words to go with it. You could similarly add text on the inside. You could make your card out of any photographs, cartoons, or art you can find. Once printed you could further decorate or embellish your creation, for instance with sequins, glitter or beads.
  2. Second, you could physically draw, paint, create a collage or use other art medium to create your card and either print or hand-write your message. (Note: You would want to plan out your card and if you are going to print your message on the card do that first, of course. Alternately you could print a separate page for the inside of the card.)

3.Or third, you can send an ecard by email or on social media (facebook or twitter for example).
(It should be mentioned that while not original or home-made, in this category, you can also find               animated cards online.)

 

Once you choose which kind of card you want to create, then there are further choices.

  1. If you are going to go with the printed card, you can have as much or as little original input as you want. You can just get your toe in the water by going to a website that has templates or a fill-in-the-blank-with-text format already for you. There, you choose a base design, and then customize the card by adding text, using photos, overlays, and in some programs you can add additional small graphics (“stickers”).  A couple of sites where you can do that are free but most charge a fee, so while the personalization will be loved by your recipient, that route is not helpful price-wise.) Or, you can jump right in, start from scratch and build your own original, which is very helpful in the price department, and a lot of fun. It is also not nearly as hard as you would think.  To do that some sort of image editing program is necessary, although by layering, you can even use Microsoft Word to create an original card. Luckily, there are a number of free paint programs you can use. Some directions for creating your own can be found here. Some sites can be found here.
  2. If you are going to go all out and not use a computer, there are many art ideas for cards. (This blog will be posting such ideas in the near future, so come back and get your creative buzz on!)
  3. Ecards are simple to send once you have created a computer generated card by either of the ways stated above. BTW, you can also get the best of both worlds by taking a picture of your art generated card and sending it as an ecard (repeatedly if you want.) Sending ecards is really just a matter of size and resolution, especially if you want to post your ecard on social media. Directions can be found here.

 

Stay tuned for more details!

 

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Five Darn-Smart Reasons to Create Your Own Greeting Card

By May 31, 2016 General Card Making
surfer perfect day ecard

Why, you might ask, would anyone want to go to the trouble of creating a home-made greeting card, when it’s so easy to just go buy one? I will give you five smart reasons, but first let me begin this with a personal story.

 

A number of years ago, my son met a girl in a bar- a rather shy girl. On their second date, they went on a picnic. Without planning it, they each brought to the date special hand-made items to share, items meant to showcase a bit of themselves in the process of getting to know one another. There was food made by each, music made by him, flowers of course, and a hand-made birthday card created by her. To this day, my son and my beautiful daughter-in-law will tell you that that creative card was their ground zero. In each other, they recognized a kindred spirit. So, while I don’t promise a significant other or even a date will result from making our own card; you just never know. Wink. Wink.

 

1.Effort equals caring: Let’s face it, the more effort you put into something, the more it shows how much you care. When it comes to card giving, effort involved lies on a continuum that begins with, “Oops I forgot,” and could go all the way to something engraved, or a hand painted card. For most people, somewhere in between would mean much more than simply a plain store-bought card. From embellishing an already printed card, to printing and/or decorating your own creation, a hand made card says,”I care about you” in a very tangible, undeniable way that will be appreciated by your special person. Everyone will think of it as part of the gift.

2.It’s so much more personal: Have you ever stood in a store aisle for what seems like forever trying to find a card that says something close to what you want to say? Truthfully, you could spend half that amount of time at home,  beginning with what you want to say and then simply attaching an image it to it- problem solved. And by-the-way, there are many places online to help you find words to say, if you need it.

3.Convenience– Hey, you can make a card while in your pajamas for a party that’s happening in an hour. I know; I’ve done it!  Enough said.

4.Price– A home-made card is a fraction of a bought card, and if you save images and words on your computer, it can be modified and reused for different people and occasions. That’s a bargain for sure.

5.Well it’s just fun. There are so many possibilities. You can use a picture of a dog like their dog, or add glitter, sequins or beads, use your own photos, write a poem or sassy limerick. The lucky recipient will surely smile at your efforts.

 

Do come back for suggestions on how to make colorful, exciting, personalized cards!

Stand by to be inspired.

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