How to Make Cards – The Blank Card

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I love to make seasonal cards.  And this year, I will be sharing them with you.  Before I do, I would like to show you how I make blank cards.  They are quite easy to make, and will save a lot of repetition and space if I tell you here and now.  I make a size called A1, which is a party invitation style.  I use this size because if you unfold an A1 card, it is exactly half the size of a 8.5 x 11 inch piece of paper.  Also, blank envelopes can be purchased in groups of 100 at most stores that sell office stationery.  But, they are also easily made out of paper.  But this blog post will focus on making the cards, not the envelopes.  So here we go.

A few years ago I bought a bunch of 8.5 x 11 inch cardstock at a Hobby Lobby sale, and spent a lost weekend cutting them in half.  I left the unfolded and filled this box with the results of that weekend.  As you can see, I have barely put a dent in my store of pre-cut cards.

Cards 00
This is what obsession may look like.

You can buy cheap cardstock for these card blanks at Wal-Mart, where you can get a pack of 50 sheets for $5.00.  This means 100 cards for $5.00.  They sell Colorbok cardstock.  It is a white centered cardstock.

Cards 01
Yes, it’s cheap.  But it shows that it is cheap.

There are two flaws I see with this cardstock.  One is the way they package it.  They hold the pieces together by adding a little extra cardstock and perforate the edges, so you can tear them out.  This leaves a jagged white edge on one side of the cardstock.  However, this can be overcome by a little ink on the edges if you want to go this way.  I bought a package just to use on this year’s cards to prove that to you.

Cards 02
Leaving a jagged edge on my paper isjust.. it’s just wrong!

The other flaw is their color.  White cardstock is white cardstock.  It looks like bleach.  Colors, however, seem to be washed out.  The first picture below are two different cardstocks of a dark red.  The bottom paper is Bazzill, the top is Colorbok.  In comparison, the Colorbok paper looks brown.  The second picture is black.  This time, the bottom is Colorbok and the top is Bazzill.  The Bazzill paper is much deeper.  And this picture shows a third flaw.  Even with clean hands, every time I handled the black paper, I left finger prints.  Fortunately, I know how to remove those prints.  I will tell you how in another blog.

Cards 03
Hmm… one of these is definitely NOT red.

 

Cards 05
Yes, they are both black.  But one can be used for forensics.

Okay.  Now I take a piece of paper and put it on the cutter, as below.  I cut the paper in half, which means setting it at 5.5 inches.

 

Cards 06
Make sure your edge is even against the cutter…

 

Cards 07
… and that your paper is indeed 11 inches tall…

 

Cards 08
…and you will end up with two 5.5 inch pieces

This gives you two pieces of paper. These are basically your card blanks.  Unfolded, of course.

Cards 09
This is how I store them.  You can fold them first with a bone folder if you prefer.

This is the unfolded card.  You can also cut the paper in half the other way, which makes a taller card. For that, you cut at the 4.25 inches.

Cards 10
Make sure it’s straight as before…

 

Cards 11
…and if your paper is indeed 8.5 inches long…

 

Cards 12
… you will have two 4.25 inch pieces…

 

Cards 13
… just like these.  Nice huh?

Here is the differences in size.  I use the taller cards like an A-frame, with the fold at the top.  But you can use the cards in whatever direction you want to.  Most of the time, I cut my cards the first way.

Cards 14
They are the same size, but a fold makes ALL the difference.

Of course, if you make cards this dark, you might want some paper on the inside that you can stamp or write on.  For this, I usually use plain white cardstock.  Basically, you use the inside of the card as a matte, and cut the “picture” (aka the white paper) to fit inside it.  Start by cutting the paper in half again, either way.

Cards 15
Here we go again… do I really need to tell you to keep it straight?

Then cut the paper in half the other way.  This gives you four equal pieces.

Cards 16
Don’t be tempted to double up.  They like to slip apart, making them uneven

To make it fit within the inside of the card, cut 1/4 inch off of two perpendicular sides.  Most cutters give you a handy guide just below the cutting line.  Line your paper up at the first line below the line, that I am pointing at here.

Cards 17
That’s not nail fungus. I got happy with glitter glue.

This makes one side 4 inches, and the other 5 1/4 inches.

Cards 18
I guess I show you these shots…
Cards 19
… for visual confirmation.  Or filler…

This size fits both my regular cut card and the A-frame cut cards.

Cards 21
My regular cut is like a pair of “relaxed cut” jeans.
Cards 22
The a-frame cut is like “boot cut” jeans.  It’s all about preference really.

And that is pretty much it.  I cut a ton of these and they last me quite a while.  Halloween cards will be made with these awesome black cards this year.  And as soon as I figure out what I am going to do, I will totally share that with you.


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