Even if you don’t get a chance to go to the store to pick up a card, you can still do something nice for your partner on Valentine’s Day. Here are some tips and ideas to make a handmade card.


February 14th and the days leading up to it are some of the most frantic shopping time in many retail outlets because people often wait until the last minute to pick up gifts for their significant others. Perhaps the only time that sees more shopping is Christmas. When you wait until the last minute, not only do you put a lot of stress on yourself, but you may not get a good card.


However, it's possible to skip all the stress and impress your partner on this holiday. How may you ask? You can, with some minor crafting skills, creativity, perhaps a few puns, and time, create a hand-made Valentine's Day card for that special someone. While there is a wide range of Valentine's Day card ideas on the Internet, you should try to make your own.


We’re here to give you pointers on how to come up with good card ideas and how to craft a quality piece.

 

Material

You can make Valentine’s Day cards out of several types of materials, but the most common one is paper. The quality of paper matters: you don’t want to use standard printer paper because it has poor consistency. Instead, use card stock. Card stock is thicker and takes heavier mediums like a marker. Marker bleeds through regular paper and will ruin your effect. 


Try to use other colors than white. Off-white, cream and pastel colors work best. For Valentine's Day cards, you want to use soft, warm colors like pink or light red as accents where possible. Of course, if you have a different theme or a specific motif, you don't have to stick to the traditional color schemes. Use your imagination.


If you’re making Valentine’s Day cards, you might want more than a simple card design. You might try alternate and additional materials. Some of these can include felt, leather, light cloth, and lighter paper. You simply need card stock as the base for the rest of your card elements.

Supplementary Elements

Different colors of tapes

​Image Source: Pixabay

The best Valentine’s Day cards have a few extra elements, or added pieces and drawings designed to add a little something else to the card aside from a simple message. If your skills at creating 3D art, folding paper, and other crafts are good, you can put whatever you like.


One idea is to have a handmade card pocket to place a gift card or money into the pouch. You can also incorporate this pouch into a drawing or photograph.that you know would mean a lot to your partner.

When adding extra elements to the cardstock, you need to know what adhesive works the best for your given materials.

Glue

Glue sticks allow you to smear an even coating of adhesive to the cardstock and place your extra pieces onto the stock while allowing it to dry. However, it can be too easy to overdo the glue, especially if you have a lot of tiny pieces like acrylic jewels or glitter. For this sort of thing, you should consider using glue dots.


Can you use a standard bottle of glue on your card? Well, you can, but school glue works best for a lightweight paper. You'll need different adhesives to work with each type of material you encounter, and unless you make a high quantity of greeting cards, it's probably not cost-effective to stockpile six different kinds of glue.


It’s better to keep medium-strength glue in stock because it allows you to set the pieces on your card and move them a little for adjustment before the glue has time to set.


Tape

Tape probably isn't the best idea. For one, it doesn't look as good, and for another thing, it can be cumbersome to handle. Making tape like Scotch Tape invisible requires you to create loops of tape, which leads to possible detachment and protrusion, making the card incapable of closing all the way.

Artwork from Photography or Freestyle

Card Ideas decorated with lights

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Next, you need to figure out how you're going to color your card, assuming you're adding drawings. You have several options: colored pencils, paints, or markers. The best choice depends on the tooth of the paper background.


Tooth refers to how rough the pa​​per is, or how easily it takes markings from graphite and wax. Card stock has more tooth than standard paper, so it is likely to have a lot of white spots if you use standard colored pencils or crayons to make your drawings. You’re better off using markers because the coloring can bleed over the tooth of the paper.


Therefore, using markets can make a smoother, more professional-looking drawing.

On the subject of artwork, sketch your idea out in rough form before transferring it to the card stock. Use a standard pencil and light paper. These materials work well if you and your significant other are both of an artistic bent and you want to use your skills to make a card.


One idea could be to sketch a meaningful photograph. First, take the photo, place it on a light-box underneath thin graph paper. Trace the picture. Then, make a larger grid on the surface where you want the final drawing to be. Create a similar layout of grid squares, but size them appropriately.


For example, if you want to make your grid twice the size from ½-inch squares, make 1-inch squares. Replicate the linework from the photo onto the larger grid, keeping the proportions the same. Trace over it with pencils, make the linework neat, and start coloring with markers.


Look for brush markers. Brush markers have variable tips that allow you to make broader and narrower strokes. Also, they work well when filling in blocked letters.

Calligraphy

Hand writing in calligraphy

​Image Source: Pixabay

Have you ever seen wedding invitations or high-class party invitations and marveled at the intricacy of the lettering? Why not do the same for your Valentine’s Day card? You can purchase calligraphy sets at various hobby stores.

A calligraphy set includes:

  • ​Dip pens
  • ​Eraser
  • ​Paper
  • ​Pencils
  • ​Ink

As with the artwork, sketch out your calligraphy message on a piece of paper. Alternatively, you can use the pencil directly on the card stock. Once you’re satisfied, dip the pen into the ink, shale off the excess, and start delicately tracing over your pencil guidelines.


Use a moist sponge to blot up any stray ink, but if you do calligraphy right, you should have little to no mess. When you're done, let the ink dry for about five minutes and leave the card on a flat surface.

Once the ink is dry, you can start adding other images, glitter, or whatever else fits your theme to the card design.

Decorations

Other decorations you can add to the card include glitter, jewelry (craft jewelry, obviously), small paper cutouts, wooden and metal frames, and tiny mirrors for the structures. Before you start making your card, sketch out what you want, loosely labeling the different elements. For example, you might draw a square around the calligraphy and label it ‘glitter border'.


If it’s just one card you want to make, you don’t have to spend an inordinate amount of time planning.

Keep your message short and sweet if you’re doing hand-drawn calligraphy, because it can take a while to write when you’re meticulously tracing each letter.

Color Composition

Color Pencils forming heart shape

​Image Source: Pixabay

When adding color elements to your card, you need to put proper colors together. As we've said, Valentine's Day lends itself well to soft, pastel hues like pink. You should strongly consider choosing this as your background.


If you’re writing on the card, use dark ink. Black works best with a wide range of card stock colors, but you can use acrylic paints to add other colors like blue. For darker card stock, you should use light colors so that your message shows up clearly.


Use adjacent colors for your background elements. For example, if you used pink for your base, use slightly lighter or darker shades of pink to offset it. To make something stand out, use complementary colors. These are colors that sit opposite one another on the color wheel like red/green, orange/blue, or yellow/purple.


Speaking of colors, one idea for a card is to use the colors of your partner’s alma mater, if they went to or completed school.

Themes

Now you have to have a choice of themes. Do you want to go with the more traditional romantic message or something a little more offbeat and quirky? It depends on the personality of your partner and what you believe they will appreciate. More traditional card ideas include heart decorations, faux flower petals along the message border, silver glitter.


If your partner is a video gamer, one idea for your card is to dip the cardstock in coffee, crumple it to look like an old map, and write a clue on it, leading them on a scavenger or a treasure hunt. At the end of the scavenger hunt, you could place a Valentine's Day gift.


The options are endless: you could style your card to look like a restaurant menu, a book, or anything you could imagine.

​Featured Image Source: Unsplash

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