CREATING A SHAPE FOR YOUR CARD:
First, people often wonder how to come up with a creative shape for a card. It is easier than it looks! In fact, there are several options.
The simplest way is to just hand draw a shape. (Don’t worry, you don’t have to be a sketch artist to do this! Just give it a try.) Try starting with a Hero Arts note card. Draw the shape onto the note card with a pencil. By starting with the note card, you can be sure the final card fits nicely in the envelope. Cut along the line and you are good to go! (See the Flower Card example.)
Another option to make shaped cards is to first create something to trace. Try enlarging a clip art image on your computer to a size slightly smaller than the envelope. Print the shape and use it as a template for your card. Be sure to keep the template so you can use it again in the future. You can also trace shapes from around your house, such as a CD for a circle card, as was done with Circle Card example.
If you are interested in simple ways of altering a regular note card to give it a new look, there are several things you can try. First, it can even be as basic as using a corner rounder to round the corners of a plain card. This results in a card with a soft, finished look. Another option is to cut the length of a note card down to the width of your envelope. (You will end up with a small, square card.) Create a stamped piece that hangs over the crease of the card. This is just a different option… and unexpected! (See the Folded Card example.)
OPENING AND CLOSING OF THE CARD:
Even with a shaped card design, your card can still open and close like a regular card. There are a few ways you can make sure of this. One way is to keep the regular crease of the note card in tack. Start with a regular note card and draw or trace the shape onto it, leaving it hanging slightly off the creased edge. This way, when you cut it out, part of the crease will still be in tack so it still opens and closes like a card. (Again, see the Flower Card example.)
Another option is to cut two separate pieces, exactly the same shape. Then, you can join the front and back pieces with some sort of creative attachment. Try using a line of stitching, a few staples or eyelets. One fun option is to attach them with one brad so that the front can swing open to reveal the inside. (See the Heart Card example.)
Finally, the easiest way to create a shaped card that opens and closes nicely also starts with two separate pieces cut exactly the same. At the top of the back piece, create a fold going backwards, approximately ¾” from the edge. Generously apply adhesive to the folded flap and line it up with the top piece. Allow to dry. This method allows the person to easily open the card and read your message inside. (Again, see the Circle Card example.)
And, remember, there are many variations to this technique of creating shaped cards. Be sure to try different substrates besides paper, such as fabric and clear note cards (available through Hero Arts). Have fun!