Monday, February 27, 2006

Making Handcrafted Greeting Cards

Handmade and individualized greeting cards are fun to make. If you have found yourself enjoying this hobby and wondering how you can spend more time on it, never fear! You may have discovered a way to combine a hobby that you love with a business model that will help support you. In fact, you just may discover that you have what it takes to make a great greeting card producer.

First you will need to gather the supplies. If you are doing handmade greeting cards, then you may want to come up with something interesting as a theme for your cards. You may focus on flowers, hearts, or butterflies, depending your artistic abilities, or you may want to go with Easter or Halloween cards. The benefit of doing handmade cards is that you will not have to make them all the same. In fact, you can make only one card of each kind, but you should have similar ones available in case one type is particularly popular.

Start researching for the business side by thinking about your past cards. Have there been ones you have made for family members that have been particularly well received? Those types of cards are the ones you want to focus on making for your business. Get the materials and practice on them. Try out different techniques to see what works.

Handmade cards can be absolutely beautiful because in addition to drawings, they can have beads, lace, and other objects. Handmade cards also can be made from a number of different types of paper. You have all of the creativity you could want in this hobby projects. Instead of limiting yourself, try to imagine the most unique cards you can.

After creating a store of about 20 cards, you can begin peddling your wares. You can try local bookstores as they are probably your best bet for selling this type of handcrafted item. Also try your hand online at free auction or classified sites. If you are really ambitious at this stage in the game, you can create a website to sell your cards.

People are generally willing to pay more for handcrafted items than those that are universally made. You can charge significantly more for your cards than ones printed on a computer, for example. That means that you will be able to spend more time working on each card, which is what you want to do anyway.

Once you begin to sell your cards, you will need to have a structure in place. Trust me as someone who started a business without a clear structure in my mind. You should have hours that you devote to marketing and selling your crafts and then hours that you devote solely to your craft.

Making cards is a great way to spend your time. It is relaxing to sit down with paper and other supplies and allow your creative side to take over. Because you are creating one-of-a-kind cards, you do not have to try to worry about creating something that will be appealing to a large number of people. Instead you should try to create something that you believe is beautiful. One of the soulful joys of creating handcrafted greeting cards is that you will be able to work on making something that will make others smile, laugh, or even cry. You will be adding to the spectrum of human emotions that the person on the other end feels.

Greeting cards are a popular item in many areas. Do not count out going to craft shows on your own or setting up booths elsewhere to sell your cards. You may even find that you are willing and able to make the cards to other specifications. You may begin to make the cards on request for other people, and that is where this hobby and business really will begin to take off for you.

The cards themselves are only the products of the love and attention that you put into them. Work on getting your cards together and practice making them. You will enjoy yourself, and if you can create something nice in the process, then it is all the better. The cards will be very fun for you.
By Julia Mercer

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