Yes, today is Valentine's Day, that holiday where you go out and buy your loved one a card, flowers or maybe chocolates. Luckily, you're just in time to make your own card for this Valentine's Day! Homemade cards are a way to show your significant other (or anyone else, for that matter) how creative and thoughtful you are. With so many options available, taking the extra time to make a card from the comfort of your own home goes a long way.
Making a card from home might seem like a daunting task, but the process is actually very easy. Though you can go to your local craft store (like Michael's) to purchase scrapbooking supplies for cutout letters, rubber figurines, and ribbons, this isn't a requirement. As long as you have a thick 8.5 by 11 inch card stock in the color of your choosing, an envelope, a working printer with multicolored ink, and Microsoft Word, you're all set to begin making your own masterpiece.
The steps for making the card are simple:
- First, you need to get your inspiration! What holiday or event are you creating a card for? While Valentine's Day is the obvious example for today, what if you wanted to make a card for Father's Day? Luckily, the internet offers plenty of examples, particularly the social image sharing website Pinterest and handmade goods marketplace Etsy.
- With your inspiration in mind, open up Microsoft Word. If you are familiar with more advanced programs like Photoshop, feel free to use those, but for those without graphic design knowledge, Word will be your go-to choice. A standard greeting card size is 5 inches by 7 inches. Since you are printing two sides, the height would be 7 inches and the width should be 10 inches. Make sure that your page is also set to landscape orientation.
- In order to determine which side is which, you'll need to use the draw tool to make a line down the middle of the card. How do you know where to put it? Word uses a ruler at the top of every page. Since the width is 10 inches, you need to mark it off at 5 inches.
- Next you must determine which panel will be the outside of the card and which will be the inside. If you plan on only printing an image on the front of the card, the right-hand panel on your screen will be where you need to place the image. If you are printing on both the inside and outside, you will need to create two separate pages in Word, the first page functioning as the cover and the second page functioning as the inside. Double check to make sure you've set things up correctly by doing test runs on your normal printer paper.
- With the page set up, now the fun can begin! Feel free to add any images or graphics you feel are relevant. Do you want the card to be personal, funny, cute or playful? Using the right image can do a lot to set the mood/tone of a card. Here, you can also use the text box feature to adjust where you position the text on the page. Take time to experiment with fonts. Just remember not to use the text to put your name in the card. You'll want to sign it later!
- When you're satisfied with your test design, go to File => Print and do another test copy. You'll want to make sure everything is in the right spot on the page, and nothing goes outside of the printer's margins. Once satisfied, be sure to remove your regular paper and insert the 8.5 by 11 inch card stock into the printer's feed. Before printing, go to your printer settings to ensure your print quality is on "best" or "high quality." Though this uses more ink, it will give you better image quality.
- Click print, and voilà, you've got your card ready!
Though you can glue on all of the other craft items at the end, you don't have to. Just be sure to write a personalized note and sign your name to make things official. Though it may have taken a little bit of time to get all of the graphics and images just right, others will take notice and thank you for your creative efforts!
So get crafty just in time to say "I love you" to that special someone. Feel free to share your best designs, tips and tricks below.