Friday, April 11, 2014

Making Photo Note Cards

I’m linking up with Kim Klassen today and my Friday Find is teaching and sharing.  
And there’s a giveaway today.

Join me for a step-by-step tour through my process of making photo note cards. I’ll let you in on what I know – techniques and tools and materials – to make handcrafted stationery using your very own photographs.  

Gather supplies.


Cutting tools - scissors, a paper cutter, or a rotary cutter, ruler and mat 



Adhesives – tape runner or double stick tape.  I use Tombow permanent adhesive tape runner.  

Stamp and ink pad to label card backs. I use a self-inking custom stamp from Expressionery.  



Assorted colored paper – I use 12x12 scrapbooking paper from local craft stores.  I cut the paper into rectangles, 4.25” X 6.25” (3 from each square of paper) to serve as mats for pictures.

Pictures – 4” X 6”, printed on photo paper or white card stock. For variety, try square pictures, too.


Blank note cards – Creative Cards from Strathmore, size 5” X 7”, fluorescent white with deckle edge, with matching envelopes.  I purchase these in boxes of 100 from Jerry’s Artarama.  I love the textured feel of these cards and the way the pen glides along the surface for handwriting.  I also use brown Kraft cards and envelopes made by Paper Studio purchased from the local craft store. For folding cards with crisp edges and lighter work for your hands, a bone folder comes in handy.


Clear Bags – Crystal Clear Protective Closure bags purchased online from Clearbags.  They come in packages of 100.  I order B75PC, 5 7/16” X 7 1/4”. 


Acid free pens – Sometimes I print a quote on the photograph itself, other times I handwrite a caption or photo title just beneath the picture, and still other times I find that no words are necessary at all. I use Zig, Micron, or Precision archival pens with black ink that is acid-free.  Use the pen that gives your most natural handwriting. 

Sewing Machine – For an extra creative touch, I sometimes sew the photo and mat paper to the card. Sewing on paper is not nearly as difficult as you might imagine. You don’t need to backstitch to lock the stitches as you start and finish going around the photo.  You don’t need to sew a perfectly straight line. You can straight stich or zigzag.  Just remember to change your needle before you move back to fabric – sewing on paper will dull the needle.  

 

Assemble the card. 


Using tape runner, adhere your picture to the colored mat paper.  You can use almost anything as mat paper – old maps, sheet music, or even brown paper bags. Next, adhere the photo and mat to the card. Add a caption or photo title. Stamp the back of the card. Tuck the envelope inside the card and slide them both into the clear bag, making sure your stamped label shows on the back. 


 
If you’re feeling especially creative, you can make a distinctive envelope from patterned scrapbook paper (check out these envelope templates from Kreate-A-Lope).  Or, turn your card into a collage, add embellishments, or use a paper punch to create a frame opening and place your picture behind. 

A big part of making art is sharing art. 


Photo note cards are a simple, affordable and unique gift. Stay in touch with a friend, say thank you, offer encouragement.  A card made by hand sent via mail is a special treat to cherish. 

Photo cards can become instant art when displayed in a well-chosen frame.  I love the frames handmade from reclaimed wood by Urban Ashes. Just slide your card in the frame – and presto! instant Art.


Hope this makes sense.  Share your art. Make some photo note cards.  Need help?  Just ask. 

Leave a comment by April 17th for a chance to win a set of 10 handmade note cards from Patchwork Photos. That’s me. I’ll announce the winner on Friday April 18th. Thank you for visiting.

23 comments:

  1. These look great !
    You are so very creative, Donna, thanks for the tutorial !
    Have a nice weekend,
    Sylvia

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    1. Sylvia, Looks like we are both sharing and teaching today. I'll look forward to trying the tilt-shift effect you shared as your Friday Find. Always a pleasure learning from each other. Have a lovely weekend!

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  2. I've been lucky enough to have Donna show me how to make these cards in her own charming studio. I've been envious of her cards forever and now I can make my own! I always sew on the cards and also stitch a tiny collage on the envelope flap, another trick I learned from Donna. People are thrilled with these! Thanks, Donna, for this tutorial--also your resources. The deckle-edge cards are much nicer than anything you get at the craft store.

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    1. And I've been lucky enough see the world through the eyes of a Southern writer and story teller. Thanks to your suggestions and guidance, my blog is place for pictures and words, too.

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  3. Great tutorial. I have always just had my note cards printed, yours have a wonderful personal touch. Thank you for the resource Clearbags, I have looked everywhere in stores for the perfect clear bag and couldn't find any. I will definitely be ordering some of those bags. :)

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    1. Michelle, I think there is a minimum order of $40 - as I recall. I usually invite a friend to order the bags with me - so we can combine and save money, making the bags just a pennies a piece. With one order I have enough bags for years of note card making and sharing. Have fun!

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  4. I use to do something like this and miss it, You do it more on a grand scale than I did and love seeing your process. So lovely Donna. It is just so a lovely touch to do for someone and to get such a personal note like this is super special.

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    1. Barbara, Thanks for stopping by. I really enjoyed the inspiration of your tree photos today - using the Lens Baby. A great way to work out of a creative slump - I'll start hinting to my husband - I need one of those!

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  5. I make my own greeting cards, but have never thought to use any of my photos! Thanks for the great tutorial.

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  6. wonderful tutorial - thank you SEW much!

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  7. Donna, I absolutely love the idea of making photo cards, definitely going to bookmark this post. Especially love the idea of sewing the card. Learned to sew on a Singer just like yours. Have a great weekend. M

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  8. Oh my goodness…this was wonderful and yes it all made sense. I love how you listed and linked to all your sources. I must make work of doing this! Although I would be just as happy to have some of yours with your awesome photography!!

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  9. Thank you so much for the lesson Donna ! I loved that you also included links to the supplies "_

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  10. Thanks for sharing your process and especially your sources. I used cards from Photographer's Edge for awhile, but I didn't like the heavy texture when writing in them and also felt they're so big and leave so much space to write a message. My local craft store doesn't carry any blank cards appropriately sized for standard photo prints, so I'm going to check out your supplier. Thanks!

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    1. Grace, I tried cards from Photographer's Edge, too. Their cards are high quality and the process is simple since they come with self-adhesive, but they are expensive. For me, they lack that special handmade touch, almost looking too perfect. If you don't like the larger cards, with so much space to fill when writing your note, Strathmore makes a smaller sized note cards - just like the ones I use. These are just adorable and I often make them as gifts. You just need to print wallet sized pictures for these. Good Luck - write if I can help you further.

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  11. These are simply beautiful - what a fantastic idea. Thank you for sharing your process!

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  12. I love making hand made cards but I've never used my photos in them. May have to try that too. :) Your cards are wonderful!

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  13. BEAUTIFUL!! What a sweet tutorial and as always such stunning photos. I love sewing on paper.....and what a great idea to sew a quote onto your own photos - I will be trying this one. thank you!! and I soooooo hope I win (I do have a US post box so will not cost you extra if I do win) : )

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    1. Cathy, Send me an email with your address. I want to send you a gift of some of my note cards whether you win or not! I love to share . . . and living in Japan I'm sure you have lots of friends to stay in touch with. Hugs, Donna

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  14. Oh my goodness. This is so helpful and your work and photos so beautiful and perfect.

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  15. I was just browsing Kim Klassen's Friday Finds and came across your blog. What a lovely tutorial for cards. It makes me want to dust off my camera and get busy being creative. Thanks you : )

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    1. Cathy, Thanks for stopping by. I visited both of your blogs and love your view of the world - great nature pictures. I love your animated pictures, too. I want to learn to do this, too! Hope you get around to making the note cards. They really make a special gift for friends and family. I've also donated themed sets to local charities for silent auctions. Would love to see more of your work!

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