Two dozen handmade cards and counting, I realize making them is more than a hobby. It’s an effective mean to send my thoughts to others thoughtfully, and I’d like to share some mindset tips for making them.

Since I first started my experiment with making handmade cards last year until now, I have made, written, and given about two dozens of cards out of wallpaper samples and card stocks. Almost unanimously, the recipients are genuinely happy and touched when receiving the cards, and the responses have been so overwhelmingly positive that I’m tempted to make an Etsy store out of it.

Most importantly however, I am sincerely humbled witnessing the impact of those handmade cards. When I said, “Oh, I have something for you,” the recipients usually do not expect to receive a card, much less a handmade one. They get mildly surprised at first, then almost immediately get interested in examining the card and envelope (if there’s one) while caressing its textures and beautiful patterns. Then they open the card and read them thoughtfully, in almost deliberately slow manner. Last but not least, they look at me and smile, and sometimes give me a hug.

Every time I give a card to someone else, it’s like a micro pursuit of happiness. These are the people I normally don’t get to meet often, and I certainly don’t know when I would have the chance to see them again. For some, I only see them once a year. Some a little more frequently, and some much less frequently. So in that rare moments of meeting opportunity, I want to give them my meaningful thoughts, reserved just for them. Not for retweeting or resharing via social media and other knick-knacks. My thoughts, written on those handmade cards, are just for them and nobody else. They feel special receiving such attention, and in that moment, I feel that I am able to make their day a little bit brighter. That happy feeling…is simply priceless.

Previously, I have shared my handmade cards from last Christmas season. Now I have made some newer batches and I’d like to share them with you, along with some mindset pointers.
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Tip #1: Think about the recipient first, then make the card.

As much as possible, I think about the recipient first and choose the suitable wallpaper sample later when making these handmade cards. It makes for a much smoother creation process from beginning to end.

I get my wallpaper stock from Fabmo, a fabric rescue organization in Mountain View, I usually get them packaged in 18 in. x 18 in. books like these.
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Currently I have about 5 wallpaper sample books that have various color schemes, mood, and textures to choose from. When I want to create a handmade card, I think about the person I’d like to give the card to and choose what I think they will like and appreciate. If there’s any special occasion for giving the cards, I also take that into consideration. Using those two factors, I will then be able to narrow down the color palette and relevant design patterns. Below are some samples of my wallpaper options.
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Tip #2: When making a batch of handmade cards, diversify

But sometimes I also make a batch of 3 – 5 cards for efficiency sake. When I do that, sometimes I have yet to know whom to give some of the cards to. In this case, I usually try to diversify the colors, textures, and patterns of the cards and envelopes so I don’t end up with 5 similar-looking handmade cards.

The card batches come very handy during last-minute card-giving opportunities. So far, I have always found the right card to suit the intended recipient and occasion despite the last-minute nature, thanks to this diversification.
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Tip #3: Envelopes are optional

From time to time, I give my handmade cards that are designed without envelopes. They tend to be given to people with jet-set schedules, those who are always on-the-go, needed by many, and have very limited time to spare. For them, I usually choose either wallpaper samples that have great textures or patterns with high contrast.
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Tip #4: Decorative stamps can enrich the handwritten message

I love decorative stamps. When used sparingly, they will strengthen the message and makes the whole handmade card that much more special for the recipients. I don’t have many; I get my sets from Karaku Tokyo (an Etsy store) that I highly recommend. The stamps are beautifully made, and I’m a fan of their Original Stamps category. For stamp inks, I use Tsukineko line – Splendor, VersaCraft, VersaFine, and VersaMagic.
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So there you go; hopefully you will get inspired in making a special handwritten message for that special person (or persons) in your life. Life is to too short, let’s spread some more happiness around.
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Thanks for reading; until next time,

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