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Painted Hand Made Cards for Unique Gifts

Making your own greeting cards is quite a craze these days. So far, I have managed to escape the scrapbooking fever, avoiding it intentionally because when I get involved in a new craft, nothing will do until all the supplies they make are spread out before me so I can use whatever is needed for any project that comes to mind. Unfortunately, one can only actively pursue a finite number of arts and/or crafts in the alloted 24 hours each day.

So let's see how we can use our art to create our own greeting cards that will be loved and cherished by family and friends.

First, you will need a surface to paint on that is flexible and can be cut or torn to fit the size you need. If you are into watercolor, you already have a suitable surface. Just buy or make envelopes the size you want. To prepare the paper for painting, measure the dimensions of the envelope and cut or tear a sheet of watercolor paper so it is the width of the envelope minus 1/4" and twice the height of the envelope (minus 1/4"), folding the paper in half so it will fit into the envelope. You will decide which is to be the front and do your watercolor painting on that side.

If you paint in acrylics or oils, you can get canvas sheets in a tablet form, cutting or tearing a sheet as described above for the watercolors. Then paint on the front to make your card special to the person who will receive it.

Another way to make the card is to make the base from any cardstock weight paper. This can be bought in packages of about 10 or so at WalMart or in larger packages from office supply stores. Sam's used to carry them in a box of 100 with envelopes for about $10 or so. Good quality colored paper can be adhered to the front with a glue stick.

Tear the edges of the paper you are using for a painting surface so it is about 1" smaller than the height and width of the colored paper. Do your painting as above and use a glue stick to adhere it to the center of the colored paper on the card. This will have the appearance of placing a mat around the painting.

You can write on the insde of the card or print out a sentiment for the inside with a computer. A sheet of parchment paper or other specialty paper can be cut down just a little after printing the message, folded in half to fit and glued with your glue stick just along the fold to hold it in place. This is a wonderful upscale touch!

A really nice extra to make this more of a gift item is to wrap up an empty frame the correct size for the card and give it with the card. The recipient can use the frame for the card and will remember you every time they see it.

Help For Haiti tip:
If you can find someone who has a color laser printer and would print cards economically, you can have them duplicated and sell them to friends, co-workers, people at your church or clubs, letting them know you are sending the profits for Haiti relief or for a worthy cause in your area that needs funds. Most people will do what they can to help out. The sentiments for the inside can also be printed separately and sold separately to add to the charity funds. That way, too, if they need a birthday card, they can pick from any card they have and just pop the sentiment sheet inside!

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Happy Painting!
Paula Devore
Painting Editor

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