How many times have you attended a class, stamp camp or workshop and seen a drool-worthy card only to want more when you opened it up to find it blank inside? More often than not as a designer we spend all of our creative juices designing the perfect front to a card and then stop. Let’s take a look at what makes a great card rather than a Just-a-card.
Every greeting card has four elements: the front, the inside, the back and the envelope. (Yes, the envelope is just as important as the rest of the card) The Front is usually the most decorated part of the card with artwork, embellishments and usually a message to introduce the recipient to your message. The inside is usually mostly text, with limited decorations. This is where the verses or personal message portion of your card goes. A well designed inside will also have some coordinating graphics to match the front of the card. The back is where you (the designer) put your signature/credits. For many of us this means a personal stamp that has our name or initials and says images © Stampin’ Up! . Many Stamp companies require you to put the words “images © ??? Stamp Company” on cards of other items you create with their stamps. This is part of what is known as the Angel policy. The envelope is the first part of a card the recipient sees. While a plain envelope is ok, if you add a stamped embellishment on the front (out of the address areas) that coordinates with the card itself it makes it so much more special.
If you have been making handmade cards at all you have already made several card fronts and have a good idea how to create a basic greeting card with a fancy front. And if you want inspiration, you can easily look at any good Papercrafting blog and get lots of ideas. Most of the blog owners put up photos of the front of all their cards and sometimes you will find photos of the insides. So let’s open our card and start with the inside.
The inside of your card can be an inserted interleaf or a glued down panel. This is a good place to use My Digital Studio. I often use MDS to create the insides of my cards.
The inserted interleaf is usually made of a text weight paper (24-28#). It is usually slightly smaller than the opened size of your card. For example, a standard card is usually 4¼“by 5½” when closed and 8½” by 5½” when opened out flat. An interleaf for this size would be slightly less than the 8½” by 5½”. (I, personally, cut my interleaf to 8¼” by 5¼” for this size card) The interleaf should have the main body of your text on the right half of the interleaf, with the left side blank of lightly decorated. Think of the look of fancy invitations of wedding cards. When gluing the interleaf to the card front, you want to put the glue only at the fold of the card and only on one side. I prefer placing the glue along center fold on the back of the front of the card. This causes the interleaf to open smoothly when the card is opened.
A glued down panel is usually constructed like a card front and then glued in place in the center of the right side of the inside. Remember that the inside will primarily be the body of your message. So a glued in panel may be matted or not, but will usually have a verse or text centered in the middle of the panel with room for a signature and possibly a personal message and usually it will have some simple graphics that coordinate with those used on the front.
The samples above of the interleaf and glued down panel were both made in My Digital Studio.
The back of the card is usually fairly plain. For most of my cards, I have 2 stamps I use. One for when I use Stampin’ Up Stamps and one for when I use other stamps that don’t require a copyright disclosure. They both say “created by Kat” and have a cat image and one also has the “images © Stampin’ Up!” text as well. This tells anyone receiving this that though the card may have been sent by another friend— I was the designer and creator.
For the envelope, I like to use a stamp I have used on the card inside and stamp either on the bottom left of the front of the envelope or on the back flap. If I am feeling in a really fancy mood, I will even use some of the DSP I used on the card to make a lining for the envelope. However, I never line an envelope if my card already has several layers. The bulkier that card/envelope the easier it is the post office to damage the card in transit.
For more details and a step-by-step tutorial of creating the card insides using My Digital Studio, make sure you are signed up for my newsletter before Dec 15th.