There are hundreds of ways to take on craft projects to make useable items instead of buying them outright. You can frequent the bead store to create replicas of the jewelry items you see in magazines, at a fraction of the cost. Or you can learn to turn a potter’s wheel to make beautiful bowls and vases. You can even whip out the sewing machine and have an entire household full of handmade linens, drapes, and pillows. But when it comes to creating cards and stationery, you probably just go to your local Hallmark and spend more than you should ($3 for a card that would cost you $0.25 to make?). This may be because hand-written notes and letters are quickly becoming a thing of the past, what with the internet revolution. But if you’re interested in saving money, getting crafty, and adding that personal touch, then here are a few tips to get you started with creating your own stationery.
The first thing you need to think about is the purpose of your project. You’re going to need a different set of supplies if you’re making a stationery set as opposed to a slate of handmade graduation cards, birthday, and/or condolence cards. In short, the purpose will determine the materials. Once you know what you’re doing, your next step is to pick up some paper. You could make it easy (and green) by using scrap paper from around the house. Or you could purchase 100% PCW recycled paper products (you can even get paper that has seeds in it so that when your recipient puts it in soil, flowers will grow). There are many types of paper to choose from, so you’ll just have to determine which one is right for your particular product.
Now it’s time to get your arts-and-crafts on. If you have a flair for the artistic, you can draw or paint a design. Or if you’re more tech-minded, you may want to use a layout-and-design program on your computer to cut and paste the components (graphics and text) that will make your creations look more professional. Either way, you can still get crafty after the fact. All you need is your imagination and a few other items. In truth, you can decorate your cards and stationery with just about anything you can think of to paste on. Glitter, beads, and ribbons are fairly inexpensive and easy to find, and stamps and stickers can also be fun. But if you want to save some money and go natural, pick up some leaves or press flowers from your garden to adorn your creations.
Last but not least, think about the text you want to use. For stationary, a simple monogram can be added with the recipient’s initials. And for cards, you can certainly come up with something clever if you fancy yourself a wordsmith. But if you’re not quite up to par with greeting-card parlance, think about adding an appropriate poem (let the masters do the work for you). And when it comes to the envelope, you can as intricate as you want, but keep in mind that the important part is inside.