How to Make a Greeting Card: The Ultimate Guide

Making your own greeting card is a great way to provide a personal touch on a potentially bland or overly generic gesture. Whether you're creating a custom greeting card for your own personal use or you want to offer custom and small-batch greeting cards through Etsy or other sellers, it's important to know the design elements that make up a high-quality greeting card.

What do you need to make a greeting card?

Greeting cards can run the gamut from being entirely hand-drawn and hand-written to professionally designed and printed. The supplies you'll need to create a greeting card depends on how complex you want the final product to be. But the essential things you'll need to make a greeting card include:

  • Two messages: Create messages for both the front cover of the card and the interior. These two text blocks can be the same message (connected by ellipsis) or two distinct messages. Keep font styles and color options in mind.
  • Two designs: Consider images, graphical textures, and borders for both the front flap of the card and the interior.
  • High-quality paper: Greeting cards are rarely made from standard paper (though they may have a folded insert on a standard type of paper). Instead, look for high-quality cardstock and stationary options that fit the theme of the card. Depending on the ink you're using (such as hand-written calligraphy or digital printers), consider different thicknesses and paper textures that can best handle the printing process and ink material.
  • Envelope: Size the envelope appropriately so it can comfortably hold your card.
  • Printer or art supplies: Hand-written and digitally created cards each need the proper tools to execute production. Look for local businesses that either sell or provide rentals or services that fit your needs.
  • Graphic design software: If you want to experiment with card designs or creating custom greeting cards is your business or hobby, invest in graphic design software. The right platform lets you adjust graphics, font options, layout, and more.

Some optional add-ins could include confetti and paper cutouts, paper inserts, and small, flat gifts you can insert into the card.

How to make a greeting card

Follow these steps to create a custom greeting card:

  1. Identify the purpose of the card: Your card may have a specific audience or a specific purpose. Ask yourself, 'Why are you (or the sender) sending this greeting card?'
  2. Craft the messaging: Focus on the wording first, and then the surrounding font choices, color, and placement options.
  3. Create your graphic designs: This step may happen on digital art software first so you can modify the image and create the final image later.
  4. Select your materials: Now that you've created the wording, images, and general theme for the card, select the final physical materials. The earlier steps will guide your decisions on paper type and size, the color of the materials, and any optional add-ins.
  5. Create the final card: Digital cards should be printed through a professional service, if possible, rather than through an at-home consumer printer.
  6. Address the envelope: Depending on the rest of the greeting card design, you may want to have the address printed on the envelope or hand-written. Also, it's important to know whether the card will be addressed to a work or home address during the earlier design stages.
  7. Have someone review the card: You can have someone review the message and designs for errors during the initial design stages. But it's just as important to have someone else look over the final product before you send it out to customers or the recipient.

Final thoughts about designing and making a greeting card

Designing custom greeting cards is a fun way to transform a greeting card into a personal expression. At CorelDRAW, we're here to help bring your greeting card designs to life. Explore our suite of products to find the right digital artistry tools for your next greeting card.

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