I used to snub printables because “back in the day”, you could always tell when something was printed on a home printer. Telltale ink streaks, flimsy paper, and lackluster colors always gave it away! Now, though, printers have come a long way. Not only are they cheap, but many produce high-quality pieces.
Lately, I’ve been relying on my printer a lot. As the birth of our baby nears (I’m due in 10 days — ten days!), I’m finding that I’ve got a lot of gratitude but very little time to show it. So, I developed a workaround: I use scans of illustrations to make elegant, artistic cards in Photoshop. Then, I print the cards out, fold them, and send.
The whole point of making art is to slow down, take some time off, and get lost in the creative process. Realistically, though, sometimes you just don’t have the time to pour your energy into a project like a DIY greeting card. At the same time, you want to show someone how much you appreciate them by sending something unique — so it’s a bit of a conundrum!
I put together the Printable Watercolor Cards Packet for anyone who might find themselves in that situation — myself included. Basically, I have a little collection of illustrations that I’ve created throughout the years for various occasions. If I liked the illustration enough, I made a scan of it — and until now, those scan files have been sitting dormant in my hard drive. This morning, I decided to change that! I picked out five illustrations and made them into greeting card printables.
Tips for Making Professional-Looking Cards at Home
To make nice printables at home, you really only need two things: white cardstock and a printer with genuine inks (don’t use generic inks — they’re almost always lower quality). Make sure your printer can handle the weight of cardstock that you’ve chosen! I like to use 100# cardstock because it’s nice and sturdy, and it doesn’t give my printer any problems.
If you enjoy making printable cards, there are two other instruments that can come in really handy! The first is a guillotine style paper cutter, which I use all the time to make clean cuts along card guidelines. The second is a bone folder, which you can run along the card’s fold to ensure a crisp crease.
I always like to offer a freebie when I can, so I created a printable out of the Hot Air Balloon Birthday Card Tutorial that I posted a few weeks ago! I liked the result of that card, so I scanned it before sending it out. If you don’t have the time to make the tutorial, you can download the freebie printable by clicking here.
Other Uses for These Printables
Remember that you don’t have to relegate yourself to only using the illustrations in the Printable Watercolor Cards Packet for cards! You should feel free to decoupage the illustrations on various projects that need a creative boost. From sketchbooks to envelope art, the illustrations can add some artistic personality!
I hope that the Printable Watercolor Cards Packet helps you out next time you’re in need of a beautiful card, but you don’t have the time to make one yourself. I didn’t include any calligraphy or lettering on these cards, so hopefully you’ll be able to use at least one of them for any given occasion! And, of course, I hope you’ll help yourself to the freebie Happy Birthday card. It’s my pleasure to provide it for you!
Thanks very much for reading TPK, and have a fantastic weekend!