Wednesday, November 5, 2014

Making Note Cards: Cutting, Folding, and Packaging

"Summer Birds" note cards by Laura D. Poss    A few years ago I wrote a series of blog posts about making note cards from your art. In those articles I discussed reasons to make note cards and what materials I use to make mine. Today I'm going to go into a little more detail about each of the steps I use to make the cards.

Step 1: I print my cards 8 1/2 x 11-inch card stock, and two are printed on each page, so the first step is to cut each page in half. Using my paper trimmer, I set my guide at 5 1/2 inches, and slice each page down the middle as shown below.

Step 2: The next step is to create a fold down the middle of each card to create a front, inside, and back of the card. Whether your cards are oriented horizontally (as shown) or vertically, the fold will be in the same spot. I use my paper trimmer and an 8" plastic bone folder (available online or at most craft stores) to make a neat, clean fold.
   To do this, I lay the paper face-down on the trimmer, with the image closest to the back of the trimmer. Then, I use the back of the trimmer to hold the paper in place as I fold the card in half and line up the edges. Next, I use the bone folder to press down on the folded edge and make a firm, neat crease. 

Beginning the crease in the middle of the fold.
Using the bone folder to finish creasing the paper all the way across the folded side of the card.

  As you can see in the background of the photos above, I am making a large stack of cards, folding them one at a time. I am also separating them into packs of 8 cards as I go, by turning each pack-stack a different direction from the pack-stack below.

Step 3: The next step for me is to assemble the rest of my supplies. I count out my envelopes into stacks of 8, to go with my packs of 8 cards. The boxes I use come from, and they arrive packaged flat, so I also need to fold all of my boxes before I start packaging the cards. I leave one end of the boxes open to slide the stacks of cards and envelopes in. I also print backing sheets (shown in the lower left corner of the photo below) to place in my finished packs of note cards. I make a variety of different packs of cards with assorted images inside, so the backing sheets show you what assorted images are in each pack. I also print price tags to put on the front of the cards, using address labels made for home printers. And, finally, I have round stickers that I use to seal the ends of the boxes (they come with the boxes from, and stick-on hang-tabs from Firefly Solutions that I use to hang the finished packs of cards on my display rack.

Items shown, clockwise from upper left corner: White note card envelopes, folded note cards, two stacks of clear boxes, a printed sheet of price labels, with stickers and hang-tabs on top, and a stack of printed backing sheets.

Step 4: Once I have all of my supplies together, I begin creating the final product. To fill the boxes, I stack the contents (8 note cards, 8 envelopes, and a backing sheet), with one image showing on the front of the pack and the backing sheet showing through on the back and slide them into the boxes. Sometimes they try to get a little hung up on the flap seal at the far end of the pack, and when this happens, I just use my bone folder to help slide the contents in the pack more easily. 

Back side while assembling packs of cards.

One pack at a time goes pretty quickly at this stage! 

Step 5: The final step for me is to add all of the stick-ons to the outsides of the boxes. Clear round stickers go on the ends to help keep the flaps sealed, price stickers go on the front top corners, and the hang-tabs stick on to the top center of the backsides. The hang-tabs are very strong and cannot come off of the pack without damaging it, so place carefully!

The final product!

    So that's how I do it! I hope that if you are trying to make your own cards, that my methods can help you get started. If you already make your own, I'd love to hear any comments you have about ways to improve the method!

I also hope that some of the lovely folks who have been buying and using my note cards for years will enjoy seeing a "behind the scenes" look at my process. All of my cards are made using these techniques in my home workshop. The cards are printed on super-smooth archival card stock, and they are a joy to write on! I sell many types of note cards on my website,, and in my Etsy shop.

Comments? I want to hear them, and I'll do my best to answer any questions! Thanks for reading!