How to Make DIY Printable Cards

I'm launching a new Etsy shop selling something that's a new product for me - digital downloads for art prints and DIY printable cards.  I tried out several of the cards to make sure they printed and folded just like I wanted them too, and they turned out great!  They're pretty easy to make on your own, too!  It's pretty simple using just three steps: print, fold, and cut.  If you're the more visual type or prefer more detail, here's the rundown:

Print

Print out the cards!  There are two sizes of cards currently available, A7 (5"x7") and A2 (4.25" x 5.5").  Both will print on a standard 8.5" x 11" paper.  You can print at home or at a printer.  I personally prefer using a printer because it's not too pricy and you'll get a better quality print.  You're also not using up all that expensive ink at home that way!  I'd also recommend going with a higher weight paper, such as card stock.  As the name implies, that's the thicker paper that's used more for cards.  Regular printer paper will work, but you'll have a much nicer feeling card with better paper.

Also keep in mind - for cards where the color goes to the edge of the paper (also known as a full bleed) the A2 cards will need some special handling.  You have two options in this case:

  1. The first option is to print the cards on a larger sheet of paper and cut them down to the size you need.  I've included extra color on all the cards that need this so that you can do this if you like.
  2. Or you can print on a regular 8.5" x 11" sheet of paper and the card will be a bit smaller than a standard A2 size.  The exact size will depend on your printer.  Be careful when you print that all of the design is in the print safe area!  I haven't had any problems, but too small of a print area could cut off parts of the design.  If this happens to you, I suggest resizing the design to fit the print area.

Fold

Fold the cards in half at the indicated lines!  Generally this should be as easy as folding the paper in half, but this will depend on your printer.  For A2 cards, you may want to trim and separate the cards separate first, but that's up to you - you can also do it this way!

I recommend using a bone folder tool to fold the paper, particularly if you're using card stock.  You can see the tool I used in these photos.  Bone folder tools allow for really firm folds and won't remove ink on the fold.  You can purchase bone folder tools at most craft stores.

Cut

Use scissors or a cutting tool (I used a paper trimmer here to ensure straight lines) to cut through the paper.  You can unfold to cut through the paper if that's easier for you, but cutting both sides at the same time will allow for even edges when folded.

And that's it!  You should be ready to add your personal note and send to the luck recipient!

If this seems like something you'd like to try, check out one of my card designs on Etsy now. Or check out one of my other print-on-demand stores if you'd just like to order some pre-printed and ready designs.

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