Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Card-making: Five Tips for Mass Producing

As a scrapbooker and general paper crafter, I’ve been completely inspired by all the amazing cardmakers out there. I’m always inspired to make birthday and other single occasion cards by what I find on their blogs (Kristina Werner ROCKS).
Yet, when it comes to making my own party invitations or holiday cards, I’m often frustrated by the lack of supplies that cater to the “mass-produced” card-maker. I’ve found a few tips that have helped me over the years and thought I’d share them with you here.
Holiday Exchange Invites
1. As a general rule of cardmaking, be conscious of the scale of your patterned paper. Just because it looks great in a 12x12 scale, doesn’t mean it will cut down to a recognizably scale on your small card. A lot of cardmakers like the 6x6 paper packs that are becoming popular. However, these don’t work for the mass-produced cardmaker (unless you buy a lot of them) because they often only have 3 of each pattern. I just make sure that I’m buying my larger sheets in a smaller pattern so I can buy in bulk.  Stripes are often a sure bet!
Paris Market Invites
2. Plan out how many cards you are making and your design before you buy the paper. I like to mock up a template with some papers I have on hand, or just buy one of each sheet I’m pondering to test out.  Then I do some math to figure out how many sheets I really need.  Using 1” strips on your 4-1/4”x5-1/2” card? You can make 24 strips out of one sheet of 12x12 sheet!
Zoo Invites
3. Stick with embellishments that you make yourself. Punches and stamps are perfect for this. Trust me, although you may love that flower embellishment in the package, buying 14 packages to get 28 that match will kill your budget! My favorite trick is to layer items like punched patterned paper and stamps or buttons!
Spring Blossom Invites
4. Cut/stamp/punch everything at once, then assemble. This gives you more of an assembly line process, and you’ll be much more efficient!
Cookie Exchange Invites
5. Don’t be afraid to get creative in the form of the card. It doesn’t have to be a piece of cardstock folded in half. Make a pocket to hold a small card with all the information. If you don’t have Photoshop, this makes it easier to design and print your party invitation detail card from programs like Microsoft Word or Powerpoint.
4 watermark no personal info
I’ll be sharing more tips in the coming months! I’ll also share my family holiday card preparation with you as we get closer to December!

Some of these invitations look familiar? As Gretchen and I have adjusted with the flow over the last wonderful year at DSSP, I’ve decided that although I love to mass produce cards for my own event, it was taking up a lot of my personal time to keep them in the shop! Instead, I decided to share my tips with you here so you can make your own custom invitations.

So I’d love to know – have you ever mass-produced a card design for a party or a holiday card? What tips do you have?
All cards in this post were created by me.


Erin / Miri-love said...

Great tips! I'm not a regular paper-crafter, but this year I'm on more of a budget than in years past, so I'm thinking of making all of my cards and tags by hand to save some money :) Thank you!


Sabine Hyldtoft said...

Hi there... I enjoy making cards for birthdays and tend to keep them pretty simple - usually because I haven't saved myself enough time to get fancy. Gotta start making them ahead.
As for mass producing - I made a whole slew of invitations and thank you cards for my daughter and son-in-law's pre-wedding events last year. Engagement party invites & Bridal Shower invites and Thank you cards for both. They loved them.
First off, my DD filled me in on her vision for the invites & TY cards, then I shopped my stash and made up some samples, her and her fiance made a couple suggestions and approved the final design then it was - do the math (how much stuff do I need) - make the purchases and begin the assembly line. My best tip - because we needed 30 or 40 of everything - was to purchase basic 'card' packages with envelopes from the Michael's store (the blank cards are already scored for folding and have matching envelopes) this way all I needed to do was create the embellishments, the words, trim the ribbon, attach everything. Assembly line was definitely the best way to go... Because I scrapbook as well and wanted a record of my creations - I photographed my steps and progress along the way. It was definitely a fun and rewarding addition to all the wedding planning and preparations...

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