When you want a great card to delight the happy couple, sometimes only a handmade wedding card will do. Then it's time to start tracking down and gathering any bits of suitable craft materials you can get your hands on.
If you're a planner then you might just work out what you want to create before hand. But if you'd rather go with the flow then your card might come together organically - as it happens. Sometimes these kinds of creations work better than step-by-step ones.
You'll need a central eye-catching design. This can be made from anything from doilies, mesh, fabric, ribbon or braid. There are no hard-and-fast rules on what to do and how to do it because handmade cards are truly individual.
Perhaps it would help to draft out some ideas on paper first, before you begin. Perhaps shading, or coloring in blocks of card will help you to balance your ideas before you move onto the fabric itself.
Think about whether to include names and personal details and how you could incorporate print, ink, or transfer graphics together with other 'stock' materials. Sometimes it's the mixture and placement of materials that makes a card extra special.
Play around with layers of things before you stick them down, positioning them in different places. Look at the effect different colors and materials make as you build them up. You might like to position some materials 'off-center' for greater effect or add something a little unusual. Where and how you place your bits and bobs will depend on the size of the background card and what you've got to use.
You'll also want to think about the overall size of your card too. If you're personally delivering your card then you have absolute freedom in how you package it and you may opt for something shaped rather than traditional.
Remember that Mail services often restrict the overall size of your envelope and a deep box-like card will require a more robust covering. In some cases the weight or size of your card will be reflected in increased postage.
Try not to keep everything in neat ordered lines or layers, but spread things out, tear, rip, pink or splodge! The idea of a handmade card - is just that - that it looks handmade, but professional. So be neat but creative, flowing but focused.
You'll soon know if it feels right. Just like the essential of Fung Shui - the art of placement, things will look and feel right when they are in the right place. So don't be afraid to experiment and see what you can create. You may find yourself making more than one special card and you'll then have the skills to know how to make a wedding card anytime you choose.
If you know the couple well then you may be able to link in with their chosen colors or styles. The bride may prefer bolder colors over muted ones, or go for a more traditional feel where you favor something more contemporary.
Think about the couple your card is for as you assemble and work on your card. Ideally, you'll have the time to 'play' around before you embark on the finished article.
You can get some great ideas from looking online. There are special magazines that concentrate on greeting cards and weddings and you're bound to find some inspiration inside one or two of these magazines.
If you're fortunate to have the space, then make a few trial runs at your card, ask friends for their opinion - as opposed to their approval.
Remember that card making is very personal, but for this special occasion you're trying hard to be objective. That is, to think of the bride and groom rather than your own preferences. Put yourself in their shoes and think about the type of card that they would like to keep with their memorabilia of the happy day.
There's loads of materials to incorporate into your card making which aren't all expensive. You can easily get off-cuts of satin, ribbon or lace at your local market and with the right background card stock you can make a handmade wedding card both you, and the couple will be proud of.
Geraldine Jozefiak has written widely on how to choose and write a wedding card. Greeting Card Guide gives you the latest news, trends and products to make your greeting card selection as quick, fun and painless as possible. http://greetingcardguide.com
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