Six Easy Designs for Handmade Cards

It’s been a lot of years since I bought a card from the store. This might have something to do with the fact that I have enough card-making supplies stashed to build a small village out of cardstock and then fuel said village indefinitely using solely scrapbook paper.

One thing that sometimes gets me stuck, though, is deciding on a good layout for any given card. So as I was making a birthday card for my mother-in-law, I thought that I’d put together a little post on easy designs for handmade cards, just in case any of you want to make your own (perhaps for Mother’s Day? Father’s Day? Flag Day? My birthday is coming up in June…) but aren’t sure where to start.

easy layouts for homemade cards

Bonus tip before we begin: The key to any handmade card is layers. It’s sort of like putting together an outfit: everything that is added to the base via accessories or pattern only adds character and dimension and interest. (Within reason, of course. There is such a thing as too much bling. And too much mullet. Okay, so not everything you can add is helpful.)

Anyway, the birthday card I made for my mother-in-law has five total layers: the black card base, the polka dot paper, the ribbon, the aqua paper, and then the text. I guess you could count as a sixth layer the red dots that I added with marker.


With that in mind, here are six easy layouts (with multiple layers illustrated) for making your own handmade cards. They are so easy your dog could make them. So easy your husband could make them. (Okay, let’s not push it. Hi Rick.) ;)

easy layouts for homemade cards

Layout #1: A basic layout with predictable centered alignment. Keeping the sentiment and ribbon in the upper half divides the overall space in a less-uniform way.

easy homemade card layout

Layout #2: Same as layout #1…but with the focus shifted slyly to the bottom half of the card instead of the top.

easy homemade card layouts

Layout #3: This one shifts to landscape. The ribbon divides the bottom half of the card and placing the sentiment to the right instead of the center makes the overall design look neat but not too contrived. 

simple homemade card layouts

Layout #4: Here we get wild and crazy and use not one, but two ribbons. The two ribbons add a bit more visual interest since everything is in the smack center of the card.

simple homemade card designs

Layout #5: Two ribbons again, but here the sentiment and ribbons are shifted to the right half to divide the space in a more unpredictable way.

simple homemade card design

Layout #6: In more wild and crazy news, here the ribbon has the audacity to hang off the page and not even be cut in a straight line. The nerve.

simple homemade card layout












Of course these are just six of the many possibilities, and the sizes and shapes used in each can be adjusted for even more variation. And adding a blinged-out mullet would be a variation, too. Perhaps when celebrating National Mullet Awareness Day.

Are you a handmade card person, or do you prefer to buy? Will you ever attempt a handmade card? If we pooled our card-making resources, could be build a small country instead of just a village? Now accepting recommendations for the name of said village.

Linking up to Tater Tots & Jello!


  1. I have been known to make a homemade card or two. Maybe I will try a couple Mother's Day cards...thanks for the tips! I love the birthday card you made; the layers definitely make a difference.
    PS-I like the new photo of you ;)

  2. I've never made a homemade card before, but now I'm thinking I should! This is such a great idea! I love it!

  3. I really need to start making homemade cards. I have plenty of supplies, but I always overthink it and end up buying because I wait too long. =)

    Thanks so much for the great reference. This makes it seem totally doable.

  4. Your card is gorgeous!! I used to always make cards when I was little (complete with pop ups and a fake card company name of course). I think it's time I start doing that again... perhaps in a more adult way. Or maybe not... pop up frogs are still pretty awesome ; )

  5. Anonymous4/22/2013

    I never make my own cards, but my 33 yo daughter always makes her own AND their so pretty folks think they are from a card shop. She's had lots of practice because she's been making her own since I can remember - even her own envelopes. When she was little, I would just slip them into an actual white envelope to mail for her to her grandparents, aunts, uncles, etc. But she never misses a holiday or special occasion for anyone - friends or family.

  6. I always make my own cards, I just love handmade so much better!!

  7. This is a great set of layouts for people who are just starting out. I make all my own as well--pretty, practical and much less expensive than the store.

  8. Stopping by from Newly Woodwards. Thanks for the great post. I love to make cards, but always like having a starting point. These are great because of their simplicity.


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