10 Handmade Card Making Ideas to Jazz Up Your Cards

Are you longing to make some homemade cards, but short on ideas? Let me help! These ten handmade card making ideas each feature different techniques, and are sure to spark your creativity.

10 handmade card making ideas

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I used to think there was no way my creative handmade cards would ever rival a fancy store-bought card. Those big card companies have such state-of-the-art technology nowadays, to print foil, glitter, embossing, and so many other snazzy colors and embellishments… I thought I could never compete with that.

But, boy, was I wrong!

I’ve come a long way from my teenage card making years, when I relied almost entirely on stickers and clip art from chintzy greeting-card-making software programs… and back then, my cards looked, well, pretty elementary.

So, a few years ago, when I decided to start making handmade card designs again, I knew I wanted to up my game with some cute card making ideas! And, I’ve found plenty of ways to do that.

Thanks to the lovely array of papers, ribbons, washi tape, stamps, and other embellishments that are available in craft stores and online, you can be inspired with lots of greeting card making ideas. And, it’s absolutely possible to make cards that are not just ‘as good as’ store-bought ones… but BETTER!

And, of course, more special too. Because who wouldn’t love to receive a sweet handmade card that you made especially for them, that’s one-of-a-kind and didn’t just come off a store shelf?!

10 Handmade Card Making Ideas to Jazz Up Your Cards

If you want to jazz up your homemade cards, delight the people you’re making them for, and maybe even fool them into thinking that card was professionally produced… Try out these handmade card making ideas!

1) Stamp background + colored cardstock

Layering, layering, layering… this is one of the best tricks to make your card look like a million bucks! For this birthday card, I used the “Wish Big” Peek-A-Boo Parts stamp set from Hero Arts, to create the fun cake-and-confetti background. And then, I layered that with metallic gold and purple textured cardstocks, with a “happy birthday” stamp from this Sweet’n’Sassy stamp set.

card making ideas for birthday

You can imagine how many handmade card ideas for birthdays you could get out of this one stamp set! Different colored confetti backgrounds, layered with different papers, not to mention all the cute little sentiments. Hero Arts also has several other ‘Peek-A-Boo Parts’ sets right now, that are just TOO CUTE.

2) Easy patterned paper + washi tape

Do you want some simple card making ideas that won’t take a lot of time to create? Grab a festive set of papers, like this Sunny Studios ‘Surprise Party’ paper pack, and use them as card backgrounds! Like I said before, layering is key for great handmade card making ideas. And what could be easier than a layered background that’s already created for you?

birthday card making ideas

For this card, I used one of those cute papers from the Sunny Studios ‘Surprise Party’ bundle, attached to the card blank with Scrapbook.com adhesive. And then, all I did for the rest of the card was stick a piece of gold glitter washi tape across the middle, cut out a circle (with this easy 1.5” circle punch), and then I stamped it with some of those cutesy birthday sentiments from the Hero Arts set I mentioned in #1 above.

3) Use washi tape to create a background

Want some easy card making ideas for beginners? Nothing could be quite as easy as washi tape! And sure, washi makes a great embellishment on a card that’s already layered (which is how I use it most of the time), but you can also create a whole background with it. How fun is that?!

thank you card ideas

Bonus points if you grab a coordinated washi tape set, where all the tapes match, so there’s no guesswork about which colors or patterns pair well together. Personally, though, I prefer to buy single tapes (I get most of mine from various Etsy sellers). That way, I won’t end up with a set of, say, a dozen tapes, but only two or three that I actually use.

CRAFTY TIP: If you find that the ends of your washi tape are curling up/not wanting to stick very well to the card, just peel the end up, apply some stick glue to the tape, and then stick it back down.

4) Easy sentiment + glitter cardstock

Speaking of easy handmade card making ideas, this one might be the easiest of all! Get a patterned paper pack like this Echo Park ‘magical birthday boy’ collection, which includes pre-printed sentiments!

time to make a wish - handmade birthday card

With this paper pack, you don’t even need stamps… just cut out a sentiment, and layer it with some of the other papers included in the pack. For this card, I also used some red glitter cardstock, but the musical background and the “Time to make a wish” sentiment are both from the Echo Park paper pack.

5) Stencil with texture paste

Now, onto some more advanced card making techniques… Texture paste is SO COOL! It’s one of my newest favorite handmade card decoration ideas! And the best way to use it, is with a stencil. I like to use Scrapbook.com mint tape to secure the stencil, and then apply the paste with these nifty Nuvo craft spatulas.

God never fails inspirational handmade card with texture paste

There are lots of different texture paste brands out there… so far, I’ve tried Nuvo ‘embellishment mousse’ (which is fine, but I always have to add water to it since it’s very thick and not creamy), and Picket Fence ‘paper glaze’. I recommend the latter, since it’s super creamy and easy to apply.

For this card, I applied Picket Fence paper glaze in snowdrop white over some glitter cardstock, using this lovely Paper Rose Starry Night stencil. And with such a beautiful result, I thought it deserved an equally powerful sentiment… which I will talk more about in IDEA #6 next!

TEXTURE PASTE PRO TIP: When applying texture paste, it’s best to apply it in a timely manner, and then immediately wash the paste off of your application tool(s) and stencil with soap and water. Once the paste starts to dry, it can be a big pain to get it off. (Which is great for the card, not so great for your craft tools!)

6) Heat emboss with glitter

Continuing with these handmade card ideas step by step, we have one of my all-time favorite techniques… EMBOSSING! Yes, embossing can definitely jazz up your handmade cards in a way nothing else can. It just adds an extra bit of pizzazz and professionalism, that goes beyond regular ink stamping.

So, as I mentioned previously, for the starry night card I wanted to add a powerful statement. Enter, this Catherine Pooler ‘Abundantly Blessed’ stamp set, and some oh-so-fabulous Ranger black sparkle embossing powder. This card will be a wonderful blessing for someone who feels like everything in life has gone awry… when all else fails, God doesn’t!

Want to achieve this effect in your own handmade card making ideas? All you need is some embossing ink (such as this Hero Arts ink), the black sparkle embossing powder, and a heat tool to melt the powder (I use the Ranger Heat It tool, which is useful for quick drying all kinds of paints and inks, as well as embossing).

creative handmade cards - texture paste and embossing

By the way, these creative handmade cards look so much more gorgeous in person… I struggled to capture the beauty of the embossing on camera. Especially the black glitter tinsel in the “when all else fails… God doesn’t”… it actually contains flecks of rainbow glitter in the black powder, and it looks amazing when the light hits it just right!

7) Reverse embossing + gelatos

Yes, more embossing fun! Honestly, this one might be my all-time favorite of all the handmade card ideas! I just recently learned this ‘emboss resist’ technique, in which you apply embossing ink + white embossing powder, and heat it like normal to melt the powder. Then, you paint/ink over the embossed design. The embossed design ‘resists’ the paint—meaning, the paint adheres only to the paper… resulting in a gorgeous card design!

faith handmade card idea - with embossing and gelatos

Crafter’s Companion makes several stamps that are specifically designed for this ‘emboss resist’ technique, including the Magnificent Mandalas stamp that I used here. Painted with iridescent Gelatos, it turned out so amazing! And, it made the perfect background for Hebrews 11:1, from the Faith stamp set by Sweet ‘n Sassy Stamps. I think the abstract nature of the mandala is very symbolic of “the evidence of things not seen”.

EMBOSSING TIP: If you notice that stray bits of embossing powder stick to your paper (leaving unsightly specks around your design), you are not alone! It’s caused by static, and can be easily remedied by rubbing your paper with an anti-static embossing pad like this one (or, you can make your own anti-static pouch!)

8) Stencil background with gelatos

I don’t know about you, but I love a good shimmer… and Faber-Castell Gelatos ‘Iridescents’ sets really deliver on that. They’re such a fun and easy way to create a background with stencils! Seriously, you can get so many great handmade card making ideas just from stencils. Just mix the gelatos pigment with water, position your stencil in place and secure with low-tack removable tape, and use a blending tool like this one to ‘pounce’ the color on (use an up-and-down motion, rather than side-to-side, to prevent the color from bleeding underneath the stencil).

fairy kisses birthday card

This is one of my favorite handmade birthday card designs that I’ve made… I used this Scrapbook.com stars stencil to create the background on hot pink cardstock, combined with the adorable stamps from this Hero Arts ‘Fairy Kisses’ stamp set, and a strip of washi tape across the bottom of the card. (If you’re wondering how I colored in the fairy, I actually used Gelatos for that part too! That way, the fairy had a shimmery, magical look about her.)

fairy kisses birthday card

9) Add a bow or 3D sticker for that special finishing touch!

Want to add some extra punch to your handmade card? Top if off with a 3D element, such as a bow or three-dimensional sticker! Like I said at the beginning of this post, one of the best ways to achieve beautiful handmade greeting cards designs is by layering… and 3D elements are an easy way to add that extra dimension.

For the fairy kisses birthday card, I just tied a piece of ribbon into a bow, and attached it with a dot of Aleene’s tacky glue. The silver star washi tape already looked great by itself, but the bow just elevates it to a whole other level of cuteness!

10) Make a gift card pocket

And lastly, to top off these handmade card making ideas, let’s add a gift card pocket! This makes such a great addition to birthday, graduation, anniversary, or other celebratory cards where you need a handy place to put that gift card. And it’s easy!

handmade card making ideas - gift card pocket

Just take your gift card, and cut out a piece of colored cardstock that’s about ½” bigger on the bottom and sides, and cut the top shorter so the gift card will stick out just a bit. Then, apply double-sided craft tape on the bottom, left, and right edges, leaving a few millimeters of space between the tape and the gift card. Press the cardstock in place, and slip your gift card inside! Boom!

What do you put on the back of a handmade card?

Now, once you’ve created a lovely handmade card with these great ideas, what do you put on the back of it? Certainly something unique, to identify that’s it’s handmade. You can put your name, like “Handmade by ___”, or just something sweet like “handmade with love”. I use this awesome Crafty Greetings stamp set for pretty much all of my cards!

back of creative handmade cards - made with love

I must say, by far the best inspiration I’ve gotten for handmade card making ideas, has come from the stamp sets. So many birthday card making ideas arise from the Wish Big set, and how about the cute card making ideas you could get from that Fairy Kisses set? So adorable.

If you’re wondering where to find the best stamps for card making, Scrapbook.com is a wonderful source for many different brands (Hero Arts, Catherine Pooler, and Altenew are my faves), and Sweet’n’Sassy stamps makes some great ones too.

🎨 🖌️ ✂️ So, now that you have all these great handmade card making ideas, I hope you’re excited to make some sweet cards + make your friends and fam feel extra special and loved!

👉🏻 💝 If you’d like to take your card making even further, join me in participating in Scrapbook.com’s Cards for Kindness program! Several of the cards I created for this post will be going to encourage people through this wonderful program.

👉🏻 💝 Also, if you’d like an additional way to bless others with handmade cards, Stamp-n-Storage has a special card ministry called Bee a Blessing, through which you can send cards to people who are sick, hurting, or just in need of encouragement. ❤️❤️❤️

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