Contest at end of this article
By Poppy Hill
Let's face it, when it comes to card making, we can all run low on inspiration sometimes. So what do you do when that 'pool of creativity' dries up? Struggle onwards? Most likely that produces some not-so-great cards right?
Funnily enough though, your imagination can be sparked very easily – if you know where to look. Perhaps most surprising, is that some of the most powerful sources of inspiration for card making ideas are sitting right under your nose!
Let's revisit some of the more 'obvious' sources of inspiration that we can often overlook when we're stuck
for card making ideas. But this time, let's look at them through fresh eyes…
1. The Occasion
There are so many potential occasions for which you can choose to make a card. It doesn't just stop at birthdays
or Christmas. And each occasion or event is loaded with meaning, whatever it may be. So how do you transform the
'message' into an eye-catching, meaningful, handmade greeting card design?
Exploring the motivation behind the card you're making, is a good place to start. Is the recipient having
a hard time right now and you want to cheer them up? Or perhaps they're moving house or are starting a new job?
Take some time to really think about why you're making the card.
And how is the occasion or event making the repicient feel? Happy? Sad? Excited? Apprehensive? If you can pinpoint why you're making a little creation for that special someone, and how they feel about this particular event, it can help immensely in your creative card making process.
A cheery card design with vibrant colors would be great to give to someone who's having a hard time at the moment.
A house-shaped card, or even a tapestry-esque, 'Home Sweet Home' -inspired card idea could be great for someone who's moving house or returning from a long journey.
Every occasion or event (no matter how obscure) has it's own visual associations and icons from which you can
gather your inspiration. So if you're stuck for card making ideas, take a few moments to think about why you're making them the card in the first place, and how that particular occasion is making the recipient feel. That can really help you to translate your message into a visual representation in your card making designs.
2. The Person
Another, perhaps obvious, but often overlooked factor is the recipient. Who are you making the card for? Everyone
is different! And the beauty of making handmade cards is that you really can personalize them. So, make a card
that compliments their energy, their 'aura', their personality.
Are they free and breezy? Traditional and conservative? A bundle of fun? Too cute for words? So energetic they
can't sit still? Focusing on a person's attributes, likes, and dislikes, can spark off a million of ideas. In which creative direction will YOU go?
It's always a nice touch to add a quote to a card. But apart from being center-pieces themselves, quotes can also provide you with inspiration for your card making ideas and their color palettes. After all, different quotes evoke different sentiments, emotions, and visual associations.
There are different ways to collect quotes. I like to keep a notebook that I use specifically for noting down inspirational, funny and cute quotes. Every time I read a book, magazine, or web page, and see a phrase I like,
I note it down (making sure I also note down the author's name and where I found it). You can grow a great
little personal collection of quotes that way.
If you have neither the time nor patience for that though, you can buy yourself a book of quotes from your local
bookstore, or check out some quote sites online. Either way, quotations are great ways of adding an extra
'something' to a card and can really play a role in your final card making ideas.
4. Greeting Card Shops
An obvious option, you might think, but it's true! Take a look at what the professional card designers are doing. Many greeting card shops stock both the manufactured and the handmade card varieties. You can get some great card making ideas just by strolling through the isles!
5. Gift Wrap
Another great source for card making ideas! There are some simply gorgeous wrapping papers out there. They're a great way of getting more color scheme ideas too. See what works, see what doesn't.
6. Crafting Magazines
Craft magazines are such fun! For me, it's always a real pleasure to leisurely flick through a papercraft magazine on the sofa, magazine in one hand and cup of tea in the other!
Good crafting magazines are made to inspire you do make great things. So they are definitely worth checking out.
These 6 sources of inspiration may well seem obvious, but do we actually stop and refer to any of them when
we're stuck for inspiration? Sometimes, it's the most obvious sources of inspiration that we need to remind
ourselves of when our imaginations get stuck in a rut.
Today's Crafty Card Making Mission…
All set for a mission? Let's put your creativity to work! Think of a person you know, who's going through a
difficult or trying time at the moment, and design a card for them. Use the sources of inspiration we've explored
in this article, and see what you can come up with. Let's spread a little sunshine guys!
To all my readers: Make a card, send me a picture with the reason for the card to firstname.lastname@example.org. The winner will get a $25.00 gift certificate from me and her card will be posted on this blog. Leave a comment on this post telling me you've sent me a pix of the card. I'll announce the winner on 15 October 2010.
- Include your name and e-mail address
- US only please
Happy Card Making!